In a day and age where we take things for granted it was not so long ago that fabric was considered “precious”. People in Japan would patch together bits of fabric until they had created a long roll of cloth. There was a saying to never throw away a piece of fabric if it could wrap 3 beans. Once enough cloth was created an offertory bag was made and filled with azuki beans or rice. The bag would then be placed on the altars of Buddhist Temples. I was so touched by this because I consider each little piece of fabric I get to be “precious.” I decided to create my own cloth called:
“the 3 bean offering cloth”
copyright 2009 the pilgrimmage
I took what fabric scraps I have and divided them into two bags. One bag was for pieces that were just too small. The other bag I labeled 3 bean to indicate those that would be the perfect size. Next, I sorted the fabrics by color and from there I pieced them together in a way that was pleasing to me. The whole idea was to use just what I had including my scrap pile of embroidery thread.
my first 3 bean offering cloth.
this is the 2nd 3 bean offering cloth
this is the 3rd 3 bean offering cloth
I have decided I will make these cloths to use for “offerings” , to put gifts in, and additional quilt pieces.
My inspiration for all of this came from a blog I found this morning….
Steve Beimel founded Esprit Travel & Tours in the early 1990’s, as a U.S.-based tour company specializing in culturally focused tours to Japan and catering to enthusiasts of the arts. He now lives with his wife Ritsuko in the northern foothills of Kyoto.
I loved the book Memoirs of a Geisha, which takes place in Kyoto so it was really fun to look at Steve’s site.
Check it out : )