Monday, April 30, 2007

Doll quilt send off

I had a little send off party of 1 over my lunch break today as I dropped my doll quilt swap gift in the mail. Should get there quickly via priority mail, so hope that my partner likes it!

The picture from above is the May 2007 photo from the Quilts Japan calendar. So much for April - that month really did fly by me. This site has some Quilts Japan issues for sale, and looks like they are located in Southern California.

As for other news...the baby has a fever, so think some cool, non-feverish happy thoughts for us this week!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Japanese quilted stuffed animals

Chuck Nohara is one of my FAVORITE (really, I mean it!) Japanese quilt pattern makers and fabric designers.

This book on Japanese plush dolls (bunnies, kittens, puppies...) was on sale on ebay, and I ended up snapping it up. After I got it, I was surprised that pretty much all the patterns are really adorable.

I think I mentioned this link before, that has pictures of blocks from Chuck's 300 block book (Dear Jane-ish). Pretty fun.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

How to give your husband a giant headache

In the mail also arrived my order from Sizzix.

I was so excited that I whipped out my wool felt, felt, and ultrasuede. I proceeded to punch out like a billion tiny flowers, leaves, dots...It was a giant punch party.

I cannot remember the last time I had so much fun! I then made an adorable wedding shower card with the little flowers I punched.

Meanwhile...not every member of the family thought all the hammering was all that super fun. Whoops.

Friday, April 27, 2007

what has arrived but my new... DOLL QUILT!!!

Oh doll quilt is so very sweet. Thank you so much for all your hard work, and effort that went into this amazing gift.

I really appreciate all your thought and the machine quilting is very creative here. I am so super glad that I joined the doll quilt swap! What a cool cool thing.

Lisa, thanks so much for being the organizer of this. I had such a blast meeting all the girls in the swap, and getting to know their blogs. Maybe we want to do it again in half a year or something.

Going home...

Today I leave Austin Texas to return to my home in San Jose.

It's been an awesome week (business wise) and I managed to get a tiny bit of quilting done at night so that was my non- business win for the week.

Whenever I travel, I like to pack a ton of jewelry with me. It makes me feel a bit more "normal" I guess. Living out of a hotel room is no fun, but if I have my favorite necklaces with me it sorta makes me feel like I'm closer to normal operating mode (read "home"). I's very strange.

Looking forward to getting home tonight!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Moment of weakness

I know I've said before that I'll never buy another piece of fabric, since I just don't have the space for it.

However...I had a moment of weakness and ended up with a small piece or two (ahem) of this awesome Japanese fabric with bugs and spiders. So much for will power, but cannot wait to get it in the mail.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Mommy? Mommy?? Mommy!!

Being on business travel this week hasn't allowed for much time with my favorite little blog here, but I finally found a moment, so here's the latest.

My son is making his dad a bit nuts, crying "Mommy?" at every chance he gets. I haven't traveled for work since he's been able to talk, so I guess it's good to be missed. Good for me anyhow, I'm sure my husband could comment otherwise.

So what have I learned while I've been away?

1) It isn't easy to find applique pins in your purse when they are just floating around in there, and when you do find one it usually isn't the exact moment you are looking for it.

2) Kaizen is a Japanese term of trying to improve in and on-going way.

3) Annie Smith has a new podcast out, where she interviews her sister - how cute is this?

4) If you ever get sick and tired of working on your plumbing, you can check out this web site - "will it blend?" - for an interesting way to get out of working on your toilet. Thanks for fixing our guest toilet, honey, but don't try this at home!

Oh, by the way, my old work backpack had my old company name on it, so I threw this cute little taupe patch on there to make it work for my new environment! Once again, taupes save the day.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Make lemonade

Travel for work is cool because I get a ton done, and meeting new people is my favorite activity.

But...being away from the baby and husband is no fun really. Hopefully I get to post to the blog here and there this week but will definitely being home, and will miss my own bed too.

Just in case you need some new plastic robots...or more ugly dolls, this store looks pretty interesting.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Taupes about town

This picture is from my mom who recently visited Monica's in Palm Desert, California.

Aparently, they have a cute little taupe collection. Guess this is another shop on my "to visit" list.

I'm off to Austin, TX for a week so most likely will not visit any fun quilt shops, but will think about it at least. All work and no play...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

QJ #115

Quilts Japan #115 came in and I hurried over to pick it up from the bookstore that I ordered it from.

This issue has tons and tons of applique roses (which I know some people have a real distaste for) but I can't get enough of them.

I'm also tempted by this book on making skirts. I know, I have no time for this, so I really shouldn't get the book. I haven't, so there,'s lurking.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Salt and Pepper

Ok, so this is really a Japanese quilting blog. Or rather a an American's view of how to get some cool Japanese goodies while living here.

It is not really a collection of salt and pepper shakers, but...for some reason, I could not resist. I bought these on ebay (addiction? perhaps.) but they were so adorable I really had to have them.

They will be the official salt and pepper shakers of our breakfast nook area. Ok, now I must go work on the doll quilt!!! I'm such a slacker/procrastinator!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Spring has sprung

Mother's day is around the corner. Have you picked up a gift yet for that special mom or grandmother?

Maybe an alarm clock that runs around your room avoiding you until you get out of bed, chase it down, and turn it off....could be that perfect gift you have been searching for?

Or perhaps some earings would go over a bit better.

Monday, April 16, 2007


I've never used Thangles before, so this is my first crack at it.

They are sort of a paper piecing method of making 1/2 square triangles. I have found them to be pretty cool, and very exact, especially for tiny sizes. This size is 3/4 inch. I didn't have the guts to start off with the 1/2 inch size. But...I'm think I could graduate there!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Doll quilt block

I mentioned before that I signed up for this doll quilt exchange. In so doing, I decided to really take a good look at the blog of the girl that I'm designing this for and make sure that my colors are in line with her colors.

I got a recommendation from a friend in my quilt group to finish the block off with a cute little cherry blossom yo-yo, and think that was probably a really cool idea!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Never enough?

This is a cover shot from a Yoko Saito book (isbn 579-11080-3, in case you need your own copy) which has a lot of cool projects in it.

Those hexagons are applique! (not pieced together) with individual tiny spaces in between. So beautiful.

I keep seeing more and more fabric I love, adore, must have...all of that. I seriously don't have space for it anymore, so will really have to come up with a plan to make a bunch more quilts to make some space! Ever feel like you could never have enough fabric? Maybe that's why you're still reading my blog...

Anyhow, if you still have space in your quilting studio, maybe you need to get some of this cool fabric from Azabu-ya. If I had room, I'd already have ordered some.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


There's a shop in Daly City, called Daiso. They have all sorts of cool Japanese goodies, and I think it's worth checking out if you have the time. All sorts of toys and other goodies. No fabric, but anyhow, it's fun.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Dear Jane fabrics

Did you know that Brenda Papadakis has now produced companion fabrics to go w/ the Dear Jane/Dear Hannah books? Hm...pretty cool.

Above is the bunny pattern that I got from this blog, and made for the baby as an Easter gift. He was screaming his adorable little 19 month head off on our trip down south last weekend and all I did was hand him this bunny and he fell right asleep.

Monday, April 9, 2007

New taupes

Pinwheels just got in some new taupes - check it out!

Last weekend I spend some time with my sister quilting, which was so much fun. We went to Material Possessions quilt shop in Mission Viejo, California. They have a fun and decent collection of Japanese taupes, and also a few (only really like 5 bolts) yarn dyes.

Just in case you have a hankering for some video game news, this site seems to have all the latest good rumors for you gamers out there. (like how many quilters are seriously into Japanese video games, but anyhow...)

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Internet swap - doll quilts

Ok, so I'm really in love with small quilts, and another fellow blogger, Lisa, has decided to put together a doll quilt swap.

I got the energy together tonight to join up, but Friday, 4/6 is the last day you can sign up, so better do it quick if you're serious. Think there is still a bit of time to join on in. Who knows, you could get my quilt!

doll quilt swap button

I think I'll be a busy little bee for the rest of the month! Will be my first internet swap. Wow, cool.


Today my husband handed me keys to our new car, my very own set. I feel so empowered now. Zoom zoom.

The apple quilt arrived safe and sound to Ms. Wee Wonderfuls (love this blog) and I made my first big footed bunny last night. It came out so cute. Now to stuff it, and will post photos on Easter!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Nine patch

This nine-patch quilt was an ebay find. As far as I can tell, it’s from the 1800’s. I am carefully hand quilting it, and it is really a beauty.

I think I might be able to enter it into a quilt contest, since I’m the quilter and I only purchased the top. Not sure if I’ll ever finish it, since it’s HUGE – larger than a king? – but it helps me warm up into the stitch pattern of quilting again when I’ve been out of practice. So calming.

Have you ever heard of this Nine Patch Studio?
It’s very cute, some of the quilts here are so tiny!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


I have a fair few fabrics by Lecien even though they aren’t super easy to find in the states. Their colors and textures are just out of this world. There are some new collections on this web site and I have no idea where to get them (especially the Chuck Nohara treasure box ones) but that could be a good thing since I have more fabric than I can hope to store.

The above block is one that I made for the Baltimore album quilt…looking at it now I can hardly believe I completed this. I think I must have been nuts.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Just kidding, april fool's day!

Ok, so my last post was of course fake. It was April Fool's Day here in the U.S. yesterday, so ha ha....ok, I'm not going to donate my taupe fabric.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Change of vision

I know that for all this time I've been discussing taupes, and Japanese style of quilting, but I think that it is finally time for me to have a change of my creative vision.

I'm done working with the muted colors, the detailed patterns, and the Japanese books that have patterns with complex motifs.

From now on, I'm only going to use American fabric, with bright and bold colors. The more busy, the more better. More is More! That is my new motto. Here's to a new, wilder, me!

Also, I find that rayon, polyester, and synthetics are more affordable, so I'll probably donate my current collection of cotton fabrics to a local quilt guild, and replace them all with new plastic-based fibers.

An excellent source of these will be recycled leisure suites.