Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hari-Kuyo Needlebook finished.

I just completed my first Hari-Kuyo needlebook!

Susan Elliott has been running a very successful e-course for this book. There have been participants from several states in the USA, France, Norway, United Kingdom, Canada, Greece and Australia. A truly worldwide gathering of ladies eager to learn from a very talented embroiderer.

Here is the kit I started with, along with some embroidery threads I added.

I gathered supplies from my stash for 2 more needlebooks:

The fabrics in this one are from old kimonos.

William Morris fabrics and my favourite colours.

All the pages for the needlebooks are wool felt.

The first step was to embroider the flower for the cover:

Next the embroidery for the inside back cover:

This is the part of the book that takes it far beyond any other needlebook. This page is for keeping worn and broken needles until February 8th, when, every year, Hari-Kuyo, or the Festival of Broken needles is held. Hari-Kuyo is a fascinating tradition from Japan where people bring their worn and broken needles to a shrine where the needles are placed in tofu. The tofu acts to sooth and protect the needles. By this act the needle workers are showing gratitude and respect to the needles. In Japan they believe that all objects have a soul and that these objects receive part of our soul when we use them.
If you would like to read more, go here and   here for a very good explanations of the tradition.

My book complete with labelled pages and needles:

To learn more about the e-course click on the button on my sidebar.

I have started embroidering the front cover for my second book.

Have a great weekend, everyone.


  1. It's gorgeous, well done. Now you have the best needlecase around. I like the different coloured ones you're planning too.

  2. Absolutely gorgeous. I love all things Japanese -- their work is perfection, just like yours.

  3. THrilled!! I'm absolutely thrilled...that you liked the course, that the kit arrived, that the instructions were clear and that you're heading off to make even more! Love the new flower and fabric so beautiful! Thanks for being such a terrific cyber participant!

  4. Gosh friend, this is so, so neat. I had no idea about any of this. Wow!!! Thanks for sharing. Breath-taking. *karendianne.

  5. This is so beautiful!!
    Your piece is an heirloom.
    Thank you for the links too!

  6. So neat! Love your little kits that you have put together.
    I actually saw this mentioned the other day on this blog.
    She sells some beautiful felt.

  7. So pretty! It is a wonderful needlecase :) I really need to make me one!
    Your flowers are gorgeous!

  8. this is just sooooo beautiful, the prettiest needlecase I ever saw, the flower on the cover is beautiful. sounds like you had a lot of fun making it too. I really like that it has so many pages to put different size needles in , mine always get mixed up!

  9. Your quilts/crafts are so fantastic! It's so nice to find other quilters all around the world!
    Hugs, Ulla (from Finland)

  10. Your needlebook looks very, very nice! And I love the fabrics for the second en third one :)

  11. Very interesting post. I'll have to mention this to my daughter - she loves Japan -has been there a few times and speaks the language. Your needlebook is beautiful. Thanks for sharing some of your progress.

  12. Thank you for explaining the concept. Your needle book is indeed special. Lovely work.

  13. Thanks so much for the story .... hmmmm, will look with new eyes at my needles! Love the colours for the other two books! Have fun making them! Hugs, Daniëlle

  14. Your needlebook looks fabulous and very nicely done!! Looking forward to seeing pictures of the other 2 you're working on :)

  15. what a stunning project. I love all the embroidery - Enjoy it!

  16. I love all things Japanese too. They way they respect their needles and revere their fabric. The most amazing things are created from little bits of nothing and a worn piece is mended and reused. Some of those pieces of indigo have so much personality.