Thursday, May 31, 2007


This is the wild twin block to the taupe block I posted yesterday. Another product of a long weekend, and a chance to get a thing or two quilted.

This block is the block that goes to my sister's wedding quilt and the taupe one will stay at home with me.

I'm thinking and wondering if I should go and check out the closing sale "last days" of this quilt shop I used to go to. Their fabric is all going to be 50% off in a couple of days, but not sure if I need anything and selection is likely to be pretty bad...but still...maybe some backings lurking there.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Long weekend accomplishment

As I mentioned before, I'm in process of making a wedding quilt for my sister with the help of my mom.

I'm making mostly Dear Jane and Dear Hannah blocks, but this one I threw in there too. I designed it, and used my "perfectionist circles" to make the red berries on here.

Anyhow, I made this block in taupes and another one which I'm sure you'll see soon....

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Memorial Day

Happy memorial day to you all, and here's hopes for a relaxing long weekend to you.

Here's a shot of the backs of the sashets that the baby gave to his teachers last week.

Now back to watching TV...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

And the lost shall be found

Nancy, who I met in Japan, and who was so gracious in showing me all the in's and out's of shopping for quilt supplies there, emailed me to say that her little bag I made never did make it to her new home in the U.S.

I thought, well, I'm sure somebody out there in the world will find it and eventually it will get to it's rightful owner.

And I'm happy to say, that it finally did make it! She loves it, and really liked the little clover zipper pull I put on there.

Good that it arrived and is now being enjoyed. Thanks for all the shopping tips, Nancy! I will find a way to get back to Japan again soon, I'm sure.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Quilting Stash Podcast #87

Annie Smith (everybody's favorite podcaster - duh!) has just posed her podcast #87.

In it she talks about her adventures in Houston at quilt market, and all the cool stuff she ran into there.

One of the booths she and her daughter Kirsten really loved was the Clover booth - of course, would have been my favorite too.

Aparently, Clover is bringing the shaped yo-yo tools (ie. hearts, flowers, diamonds..etc) over to the states later this summer, so all you state-sider girls can buy them up and have a blast with them direct from your quilt shop. You can pre-order them online NOW!! from here.

Anyhow, Annie does make a quick mention of me in this podcast, so thanks again Annie, and as usual, keep up the great work.

The above is a picture of the sashet packs on their way out the door for teacher appreciation day. They were a huge hit. All the teachers loved them and praised them for being unique and adorable. Teachers and people who work with children have hearts of gold, so of course nothing but the best will do for them!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Mr McBaby's Garden

Quilt wise, I'm working on some more sashet packs for the baby's teachers, as it's teacher appreciation week at school. More pictures on those when they are finished.

Each day after school, our son runs around and waters each and every plant in the yard, very carefully not missing a single one. I think its adorable and I'll have to run and grab my video camera this afternoon or something.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Patchwork Quilt Tsushin #79

Log cabins never really appealed to me when I first started to quilt. I had to warm up to them over time and eventually ended up getting a couple books on them and falling in love.

I recently came to get a copy of Patchwork Quilt Tsushin #79 which covers a lot of different log cabin variations. Various shapes and sizes. This cover shot has so much depth to it, it makes me want to try and make the quilt myself.

Ok, so I got tagged by Sarah at Village Quilter to come up with 7 facts about myself. So...I've decided to give you 7 details about my quilting style, since that is after all the point of all of this.

Here goes:

a) I only use Quilter's Dream batting in "request" (super thin) loft.

b) For my applique, I almost always use YLI's silk threads

c) My favorite brand of scissor is Gingher and I always seem to go for these first, even though my clover pair is a close second.

d) I hand quilt on a hoop today, although I hope to graduate to a full frame someday when I have more space.

e) I only use 100% cotton fabrics, and 100% cotton batting (I know, there are those out there that have to have some poly in there, but not for me thanks!)

f) Jeanna Kimball makes the most awesome applique pins on earth, and I basically don't want to do any applique without them.

g) Nothing floats my boat more that a 100% hand done quilt, so I guess the above sort of supports this general passion.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Birthday gift

We visited one of my oldest friends over the weekend, and I made these as a birthday gift for her.

They are very tiny little blocks filled with lavender, and also had some essential lavender oil as well. What a sweet smelling year she will have!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Small quilt group

Last night I stayed out almost until midnight with my small quilt group. We had such a huge blast getting caught up, it was really nice to see the girls.

I'm taking a little break in between quilting projects to work on some sashiko. Eventually it will become a pillow cover.

In other news, I got "tagged" by Sarah of Village Quilter blog. I think this is the blogger form of a chain letter, but I'm still trying to think of 7 facts about myself. Maybe tomorrow I'll post 7 interesting quilting facts about myself! Anyhow, thanks Sarah for thinking of me! I'm figure it out eventually!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

More more taupes

This is one of the fabric drawers that I have full of taupe fabrics.

Yes, I have more than one. Yes, I like my taupe fabrics...Ok, maybe I'm an addict, but it's healthier than smoking. (not sure if it's cheaper, my guess is maybe not)

I had the pleasure of meeting a fellow quilter/crafter when I was in Kinokuniya book store earlier today, and she was curious where I buy fabrics.

Here's a few tips from my email to her - Hi Susan! - hope that you all get out there and buy more Japanese fabric! Join me in my quest to own a fat quarter of each and every pattern. Just kidding....sorta.

Zippers for bags:

I pretty much only use Japanese zippers by Clover. Don't bother with anything else, these are the quality, good ones. Really, don't use anything else!

These guys sell the ones that I use. They also have some cute little "pulls" that you attach at the top of the zipper. You probably want to get one of those as well, otherwise there isn't much to pull the zipper open with on the metal zipper itself.

Fabrics: - these guys are pretty much all direct imports of real Japanese fabrics, and have seriously cute and high quality stuff. - this shop is owned by this woman that I know, and lives in LA. She used to have a shop there when I lived there, but has since closed it and is web-only business today. She has a mix of real Japanese imports (which she imports herself, she is a Japanese person) and some American fabrics that look Japanese and are cute as well. - this shop has a mix of yarn, all sorts of other things, and fabric too, some american and some Japanese. The Japanese stuff is specifically called out, and easy to find. Not a huge selection of it, but what they do have is very very cute. - this shop is located in New York, and caters to people who like the taupe look of muted colors, neutrals, etc. Personally I really love this stuff, so I have a ton of it, and end up buying more all the time. They import from Daiwabo, and have their line of yard dye fabrics.

Just a few tips...Happy shopping.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Black Cherry

This is the cover of one of the Japanese quilt books I got used at Book Off.

My only regret with visiting the Costa Mesa, California store, is that I didn't also have time to visit the Rolling Hills and Los Angeles stores. I'm already planning my next trip there in my mind.

The most expensive book I bought was by Yoko Saito, and was only $14. The rest were either $4.50 or $2.00 each. I have to say that I really enjoyed my visit there and can only hope that I get to the other locations sometime.

In other news...have you visited Jinny Beyer's web site lately? She is trying to bring back the free block of the week thing, but I haven't noticed that she updated the block this week. Anyhow, it's free, and fun, so maybe something to keep an eye on.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

For the most part, I like to keep the people pictures and family photos for myself, and post up some quilty-crafty photos for you to enjoy.

Today, on my 2nd year of celebrating being a mom myself, I digress a tiny bit and post this recently recovered family photo.

I have a queen sized quilt that I've been wanting to quilt on my mom's longarm quilting machine. She ended up having to clean her entire sewing room, rearrange the whole thing, and move a bunch of furniture around in order to expand the bars on it to take my queen sized quilt top. (Yes, my mom is perhaps the best mom on earth.)

In so doing, she moved a piece of furniture that came from my dad's childhood home. In one of the drawers was this amazing picture of him as an 11 month old baby, with his mom, taken in 1935.

So here's to all you mom's out there, hope that you all had as nice of a day as I did.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Baby quilt?

Need to come up with a new baby quilt for a little boy who will arrive to a wildly loving family this summer.

Not sure this is the pattern I'll be going for, but this is a picture of a quilt from a book that has the pattern. Thoughts? Not "boy" enough? I usually go for some bright colors for kids quilts since it stimulates their sight and is a bit more interesting than the usual baby blue colors.

Today I went to Book Off in Costa Mesa for the first time. WOW! I bought out almost the entire quilt book section. Given, it was small, but it was mighty. This shop has only used books, and most books are in Japanese although some in English also. More pictures soon of the books I picked up.

Oh, I don't read Japanese by the way, so the vast majority of my new books are in Japanese, but the patterns are pretty easy to read.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

All dressed up

Today Wee Wonderfuls blog has a post about the quilt that I made for Hillary's coming-soon baby girl.

It's a little quilt with apples on it, and has a totally crazy label on the back with more of my wanna be copperplate calligraphy all over it in this wild manner.

I had so much fun making it that I'm tempted to make another one.

The bunny above is from a pattern from her site, and I finally got my act together and made this little darlin' a dress. I put some french knots on there to dress it up, and after Kleas had a post on stamping out felt and wool, I took some hand dyed 100% wool fabric, and punched out a couple of flowers.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Quilts Japan #116

I just picked up my issue of Quilts Japan #116. I haven't tried this service, but interesting that you can have a subscription with them.

Although this issue has some white work on the cover, and is so bride bride bridey looking, the innerds are pretty meaty.

Some awesome wedding rings, awesome white work...and one of my personal favorites, a ton of Hawaiian quilting. You know I'm an applique freak, so that really tickles me. Almost makes we want to take another trip to the islands just for quilting!

Japanese quilters love the Hawaiian style, and often use these sort of tie dye fabrics that are center-weighted, and radiate colors out from the middle. It's very pretty stuff, but I'm not sure I've found a source for it here in the states.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Hugs and Kisses

This is a more detailed shot of the quilt that I'm using for the banner. It is a baby quilt, and is called "Hugs and Kisses" because it has X's and O's in it (hopefully you can see them).

I got an email from my girlfriend who lives in Japan and she said "What means this 'xoxo'"? I guess I always sign my emails to her with the American "xoxo" Hugs and Kisses symbols, but aparently not a popular way to sign off emails in Japan. Well, hm, maybe it's an American thing.

We're off to Orange County (Southern California) this weekend, to celebrate Mother's Day. My secret plan is to stop by Costa Mesa to visit their Kinokuniya and BookOff stores to continue to scour the land for more Japanese quilt books! Like I really need them...

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Quilt labels

I love copperplate calligraphy, and try to use it in my quilts either on the front or at the very least for that label.

I use pigma ink pens most often in black color and just go nuts with it writing whatever happens to come out of my brain. Perhaps someday I'll learn to plan this a bit, but haven't done much of that yet.

I am also interested in quilt restoration, and found this cool workshop. Not in my backyard, but still very tempting. More interesting words on antique quilts here.

Friday, May 4, 2007


Another shot from my doll quilt before I mailed it off. Sarah says "Its so cool! I really appreciate it!" - she's a real doll herself. So glad I got such a sweet and charming swap partner! Thanks for the kudos!

I am using this photo for my computer's desktop wallpaper right now because it is so bold and happy looking.

Sometimes I dream about putting up wallpaper in my home, but then I think of my east-coast raised parents, and their paranoia of it all. This specimen (click on the bird, lower left) reminds me a bit of my swap partner's doll quilt actually.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Doll quilt - signed, sealed, delivered!

Now that my doll quilt partner has the doll quilt, and it's not a surprise anymore, I can post a picture for you to check out.

Sarah really likes it, so I'm glad that it has a good home with my doll quilt swap partner.

I must say that I really had a blast taking part in the swap, and would certainly try it again someday (after I get a billion other quilt projects done first). Thanks Lisa for putting it all together for us.

The best time to get quilting done is when you have some holiday or a 3 day weekend I think. In Japan, it's Golden Week, so I wonder how much quilting is going on there now. Alex of Moonstitches blog has some cool pix and links to what it's all about, if you're curious!

Tomorrow (or right now actually, since it's already tomorrow there) is Greenery Day - no not Green day - and is dedicated to celebrate the environment. I'll celebrate that anytime.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Gifts from Japan

This small taupe bag is what I've been taking around with me lately to keep pins, needles, thread while I'm on the road.

It was made by my Japanese friend's mom, and was part of an incredible gift of many adorable quilted items.

The baby is feeling better (fever gone) so back to work - yeah!- and time for some R&R in the evenings. For my personal rest...I plan to watch some more Rurouni Kenshin (my favorite cartoon)