I went to a kimono and obi sale last weekend. I picked up a worn and damaged summer obi that I would like to make into handbags. Since I wear kimono and obi, it always hurts me to see perfectly wearable kimono and obi cut up to make something else. If the garment is no longer wearable, I am delighted to see it used again to give it new life. However, and I know this is just a thing with me, to cut up these beautiful garments into 4 by 4 squares for quilts... well it just hurts me.
I did make a handbag from an old obi given to me by an old woman in Kyoto when I lived there. I loved it so much that I wore it threadbare, but I couldn't just throw it out because I had so many memories of the tea ceremonies I attended in it and of the woman who gave it to me.
Much of it was rather plain, but the part that shows in the back I made into the feature of the handbag. (see photo, left)
I also made little make up bags and coin purses from the plain fabric which is a silk linen blend. I still have the bag for sale, though I really hope that someone who purchases will appreciate the history and the feelings of the obi that it was made from.