Japanese komebukuro bags were traditionally used to carry rice offerings to the temple during important religious ceremonies. ('Kome' means 'rice' and 'boro' means 'tattered rags'.) They were also used to present gifts to special friends or relatives. At other times, smaller bags would be used to store rice, dried beans and other foodstuffs, while larger ones were used for other storage, including textiles.
Typically, Komebukuro bags were hand sewn in patchwork style, using whatever fabric scraps were to hand - hence their individual appearance. Cotton drawstring cords ensured that they closed securely.
Susan Briscoe's modern Komebukuro design is reversible and comes in two sizes: 12" & 9" / 30 cm & 23 cm square. It uses ‘Nine Patch’ blocks for the lining; strips and squares on the outside. With a little careful cutting, Susan assures us, it's possible to make one bag of each size with our colour pack of twenty fat 8ths.
You'll find many uses for these handy bags, promises Susan:
The larger bag makes a great store for fat quarters or fabric scraps in your sewing room. It's also good for storing items like scarves and socks, it makes an unusual way to present towels in a guest room, or it can be an unusual gift sack. The smaller size is good for threads, a small sewing project, knitting or other crafts.
How will you use yours?
For more about Susan Briscoe and her work go to http://www.susanbriscoe.com/