Welcome to the weekly hand stitching link up! We celebrate all types of hand work and enjoy seeing what is being created by hands all around the world... slow and steady, one small stitch at a time!
Did you know that yesterday (February 8th) was Hari-Kuyo? This is a 400+ year old Japanese ritual called "Festival of Broken Needles". What is that you ask?!?
Hari-Kuyo is the Buddhist and Shinto Festival of Broken Needles which is celebrated in parts of Japan on February 8th. For the past 400 years, kimono makers, seamstresses and homemakers have gathered at shrines to thank their bent pins and broken needles for the hard work and faithful service they have provided over the past year. They express their thanks by holding a small memorial service and putting the pins and needles to rest in a block of soft tofu or jelly. It is also an opportunity to pray for improved sewing skills in the year to come. (Modern Quilt Guild)
This ceremony resonates for me. I go through a lot of needles! I like my needles to be sharp and replace them as soon as they feel dull.
Here is the final resting place for my dull, broken and bent needles. This little glass jar has a cork lid and keeps all these sharps safe. It holds all the secrets and sorrows that my needles have absorbed from my hands over the years. They have seen me through a lot of stitches and memories and I am so thankful for them!
Today I am putting more stitches into my Life Is Beautiful blocks. Here is the stack of finished blocks that have been hand embroidered, hand appliqued, and hand quilted. I am enjoying working on this project again, and have prepped a few more blocks to take to quilt retreat later in the month.
What are you hand stitching today? Link up your blog or instagram post below and share your slow progress with us.
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What a nice story! I have a little glass jar that is nearly full of my broken pins and needles and yes I am grateful to them for there service. Hope you have a good day.
Such a fascinating tradition. Our needles do go through a lot to help us sewists help our creative imaginations come to fruition. What would we do without our needles and pins?? As for your Life is Beautiful blocks, they are lovely. I look forward to seeing them all assembled together. Enjoy your Sunday stitching these sweet blocks.
I didn't realize until just now that your Life is Beautiful project was a quilt as you go project! That's so cool! Interesting ceremony/ritual! Our pins and needles do service us well! Happy stitching! :)
That is was very interesting. I think it's great to take the time to be thankful for the tools we use. I too go thru a lot of needles! I am looking forward to how you will turn your QAYG blocks together. It's one method I haven't tried yet!
I first heard of the ceremony several years ago when I was doing a lot of crazy quilting. I have put a lot of my old needles and pins into an old pincushion over the years but have never held a ceremony. Maybe I should start by removing years of dust from the pincushion.
How do you like QAYG? I've been tempted to try it but was afraid I would not like the process of sewing blocks together.
That was an interesting tradition and ceremony to learn about, Kathy! Our pins and needles certainly do a lot of work for us, and I don't often think about that. Your Life is Good blocks make a lovely pile of "goodness" there! I'll be interested to see how you sew them together!
Your nice neat stack of blocks makes me very happy. I like the Broken Needles story.
I'm curious as to how the blocks will go together - this is quilt as you go? I keep all my needles and pins that are discarded in a small mint tin - I had not hear of this ceremony
I had not heard of this ceremony either. I keep all my broken needles and bent pins in a jar. In fact, I broke 2 needles yesterday quilting one of my projects!
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the special ceremony. I have never thought of giving thanks for our tools but they are so important.
If I haven't said before, I think your header photo is sweet.
The Festival of Broken Needles, giving thanks to tools that have served us well, brings up scary thoughts of Marie Kondo. I'm not at all sentimental about broken needles and pins and discard them (safely, of course) almost immediately. I, too, wonder how you will join the Life is Beautiful blocks.
Happy to see your Life is Beautiful blocks come out to play. I love all the details on each block. Happy stitching. Thanks for the lesson about the broken pins and needles. I tend to like it when my cross stitch needle gets bent just right for ultimate productive stitches.
It's nice to see the Life is Beautiful blocks again, For the past 20 odd years I have performed my own little Hari-Kuyo ritual for my bent and broken pins and needles, its just away of sharing my gratitude for the pleasure I have received using them.
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