Preparing my course for Japan.

Traditional Sashiko stitching patterns

Louise Bourgeois
I have been corresponding with my Japanese contact setting up the particulars for my class in Japan. And last night I got a message asking for the cost of my kit. YIKES!  My kit? I have never used a kit and never thought about creating a kit as a teaching tool. But my contact has been clear that they expect a kit, so last night in a feverish stupor I created a kit. And, they wanted a price for each kit. YIKES again.
I have actually been doing a lot of preparation already. I have lots of notes on the meaning of circles and rings and how they have been used throughout the centuries. And I have a pretty good powerpoint presentation that I will give. I can show how rings are used in art as well as how they are used in stitching and quilting.
I had always planned on handing out detailed instructions on how to sew rings. And since I am giving my students some gifts of marking tools, I have been writing up instructions on how to sew these rings using a chalk tool as well as a marking wheel. I never thought it would be so hard to be clear writing up the steps, but I wrote and rewrote the instructions several times. Next week I will attach some photos showing the steps and send that document off to Japan to be translated. Good luck to my dear translator whoever you are!
Back to the kit.... as an improvisational quilter the idea of a kit gives me the willies, but in thinking about it I did realize how much easier it might be to teach a difficult technique if we were all working from the same base. I spent a lot of time creating a 18" x 24" template that has three large circles including cutting and seam lines for the students to use. My kit will have two copies of the template sheet as well as four 1/2 yard pieces of cotton for the composition. I found a pretty easy way to print architectural quality 18 x 24 inch papers at Staples for $1.79 each. I will package this nicely and realize that I will have to cut up 120 pieces of cotton to make the kits. YIKES again. The cost of each kit is about $15. Not a good way to get rich, but I think it will provide a good tool for my Japanese students. Any thoughts or suggestions from you teachers out there is welcome.  Arrigato! Sayonara.

Fabric rings on Nuno fabric