top of page

"Wrappings of Happiness" - Bojagi Patchwork, A Traditional Korean Art Form

We are so excited that Heidi Parkes, the 1st place winner in the Handwork category at QuiltCon 2016 will be conducting the workshop Korean Hand Piecing: Jogakbo at the October 28-30, 2016 Sew and Sew Retreat. You may be thinking, “Sounds interesting, but what the heck is Jogakbo?”

Jogakbo refers to a colorful patchwork of bojagi that is strikingly contemporary and was historically made with remnants of fabrics from leftover cloths. Bojagi, also known as Pojagi, is a traditional cloth that Koreans have for centuries used for wrapping, storing and transporting precious and ordinary objects. Wrapping an object with a bojagi represented not only a concern for what was being wrapped, but also respect for its receiver. Thus the concept: wrappings of happiness.

Bojagi are typically made of silk, gossamer, cotton or hemp, in a diverse array of colors and designs, and can be made with a wide range of construction techniques: sometimes lined or unlined, padded or quilted, embroidered or even painted. Whether your passion lies in sewing, quilting, embroidering or exploring new textile techniques, learning Jogakbo opens up so many possibilities to you.

These photos are examples of finished pieces using this method. The designs and colors of bojagi remind me of modern art and have been described as a true form of abstract expressionism even though it is a centuries old tradition.

(The works below are of artists Heidi Parkes, Youngmin Lee and Teruyo Miyazaki work).

In 2015 Heidi learned the traditional Korean Jogakbo patchwork techniques from the Ssamzisarang School in Seoul, South Korea. She went to South Korea to 1) visit a friend, 2) go to the Ssamzisarang School to learn Korean stitches, and 3) to shop for fabric at the Dongdaemun Market where one can find very unique fabric that you can’t get in the U.S. (More info about Dongdaemum below).

Heidi took two classes total over several weeks time. The first was a group class that started with learning 10 stitches on a sampler. The second class was one-on-one with the teacher. She is still in communication with the teacher, especially through Instagram.

I asked Heidi why she wanted to learn Jogakbo. She replied, “I love that the technique makes the stitching visible. I’ve embraced the handwork method and seeing the stitches. I am using those stitches for joining my quilt work – everything on my quilts are all handwork, no machine-stitching. The classes helped me be able to do the whole quilt by hand.”

Heidi sitting for a photo shoot for Milwaukee Magazine.

Heidi is also a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She will be teaching at QuiltCon 2017 in Savannah, Georgia. Other teaching includes Woodland Ridge Retreats in Wisconsin and frequent lectures to Modern Quilt Guilds across the country. Heidi is becoming a well-known quilt artist throughout the United States – she was a finalist for the Pfister artist-in-resident; an exhibiting artist including at the John Michael Kohler Museum and Charles Allis Art Museum. She was featured in Simply Modern magazine and Milwaukee Magazine. Heidi is known to combine techniques from many traditions in her quilts, and loves to emphasize the hand in handmade. Check out her recent work on Instagram at @heidi.parkes or on

What a treat for the Sew and Sew Retreat attendees

to learn Jogakbo from Heidi.

Who doesn’t want to surround themselves with

“wrappings of happiness?”

Dongdaemum Market in Seoul, South Korea

Dongdaemun Shopping Complex was founded in December 1970 as the Asia’s largest single market, and for over for 40 years, it has constantly received attention and love as a world-renowned shopping center. The Dongdaemun is especially for people who enjoy sewing, quilting, crafting, etc. Everything a sewer could possibly need can be found at Dongdaemun. Along with fabrics/materials such as burlap, cottons, faux furs, silks, leather, linen, silks, synthetics, wools, etc. the market offers needles, spools, sewing shears, quilting material, handles for making handbags, stuffing and batting, beads and semi-precious stones, sewing machine parts, and lots more. In the basement one will find the sewers. Buy the fabric upstairs and take to a sewer to have a comforter or curtains or a dress sewn.


Land: Approximately 5 thousands pyeong (585,500 square feet)

Floor Area: Approximately 20,000 pyeong (710,000 square feet)

Complex: 3 Towers Seven-Stories High and 1 Tower of Five-Stories High

Number of Stores: Approximately 4,300

Number of Employees: Approximately 50,000

Number of Daily Visitors: 150,000 to 200,000

Recent Posts
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Pinterest Social Icon
bottom of page