Monday, January 3, 2011

New year's wishes in picture form

I am beginning to realize, since I began this blog, that my little picture notebook I had been using as a diary all these years is missing a large number of small quilted items. Probably I did not consider these things to be "quilts" as they didn't go onto beds.
Here is a little hanging I made years ago. I can't remember when it was made but I do remember the little blocks were in a set to be embroidered. The center block contains rather stylized characters for New year's greetings with parts of the characters made of pine, plum, and bamboo, an auspicious combination representing evergreen, constancy, straight nature Other blocks in order contain a dog (a common gift for children wishing a healthy growth of children, loyalty and intelligence), A top (a traditional New Years toy representing non-stopping motion),A mallet of good fortune, a fan with pine (evergreen opening up), a traditional new years decoration that stands outside the gate, a gourd sake bottle (celebration) A kite and a battledore both traditional new years games.
In this small hanging about 18 inches square with its many hidden meanings, one could truly say, "a picture is worth a thousand words". If you find this strange, the food that is eaten in the traditional New Years meal is even more full of double and tripple meanings.


  1. HEARTFUL WISHES TO YOU, dear Julie !
    I just love hidden meanings and symbols, THANKS for sharing this cute little quilt and all the symbols it represents ;>)

  2. How interesting that is Julie - and you know I love embroidery so it's even more special because of that. The hidden meanings are fascinating and I tried to think if we had any in our life but nothing is coming to me! blessings, marlene

  3. Happy new year julie! My new years post has a similar wall hanging that I received as a gift from a friend in Hokkaido. I didn't remember all the symbolism behind each design though, and readers were asking me, so I've linked to your post, I hope that's ok. thank you for sharing!

  4. Wonderful wall hanging! I love the look of embroidery, just haven't done much of it. Love the meaning behind the designs!

  5. I love learning about the meanings of commonly used symbols. I had a small laugh to myslef though, in Japan do you say "a picture is worth a thousand characters"?

  6. In answer to Lis's question, the similar phrase in Japanese translates something like "it is better to see something once than hear it a hundred times."

  7. Was looking at a woven brocade hanging in a local kimono shop window with a friend last night. It had everything from a phoenix at the bottom to Fujisan at the top. (In between were horses and a turtle, and dragons and koi and the seven lucky gods and eggplants, etc.) I didn't know that the gourds were full of sake!

  8. Look! Look! Look!

    It's a COMMENT.

    From ME! : D

    It's nice to see comment boxes opening up for me now! And it's so very nice to see your lovely quilt! And to be able to tell you how much I have enjoyed looking at it.

    ~ Ronda (mostly happy with the new laptop!)

  9. So beautiful!

    I've tagged you on my blog for a Liebster blog award - please go check it out!

  10. Your little quilt is beautiful. I love your stitchery.