Japanese artisan Akiko Ike is bringing her distinctive ‘chiku chiku’ needlework to Brisbane as part of this year’s Craft and Quilt Fair.
Akiko will demonstrate her technique and talk visitors through her beautifully stitched pieces over the four day craft event.
Her pieces are created using a simple running stitch and cotton thread on recycled materials, a technique that was traditionally used by rural Japanese families to mend, patch and strengthen old fabrics.
Having only begun stitching at the age of 60, Akiko says that she started creating her pieces after building a collection of ‘boros’, a Japanese word meaning ‘tattered rags’.
“I enjoy using my boro fabric and my new custom made threads and see how they blend in,” Akiko says.
“I believe chiku-chiku is the most Japanese way of stitching, simple, no technique needed but so many variations.
“Chiku-chiku simply means the sounds of needle going through fabric.”
Akiko is the owner of the Niigata Gingka Gallery in Niigata, Japan, and holds several exhibitions every year.
Her enthusiasm for the art and her commitment to teaching has encouraged people across the world to try their hand at chiku-chiku stitching.
She believes that anyone can learn the craft and says that the work is not about perfection, but rather sewing where your heart takes the needle.
“I want to show that whoever you are; young, old, male, female, anyone can stitch,” Akiko says.
“My work is not detailed. I am quite a careless stitcher. I just put a piece of fabric down and stitch over it.
“The finished item is always better than I imagined. That is not my technique, but it’s the power of fabric and thread.
“Stitching teaches me the way of life. I only know how to go forward like chiku-chiku stitching.”
Akiko’s display at the Craft and Quilt Fair will include futon covers, patchwork jackets and coats, aprons and curtains. Demonstrations will take place at 10am, 12 noon and 2.15pm daily.
The Craft and Quilt Fair runs from October 5 to October 9 at the Brisbane Exhibition Centre. For more information visit craftfair.com.au.