Saturday, June 30, 2007

Quilty People

The other night at the SCVQA (our little - NOT - quilt guild here in Santa Clara, CA), I had the pleasure of meeting up with a bunch of cool people.

First of all on the left is Annie Smith. If you don't listen to her podcast, you must be crazy because it's the coolest thing out there on the web. Annie is even more lovely in person than she is on her podcast - who knew that could even be possible.

She gave me an awesome book on Japanese quilting - Thanks Annie! and took the time to have dinner with me which was really an amazing highlight of the evening.

Next to Annie is Mark Lipinski, who is an amazing quilter, and who is the editor of his own magazine, Quilter's Home. Personally, I think it's the only quilting magazine worth reading that comes out in the U.S.

I'm next to Mark (he's seriously tall!! I'm not really all that height challenged, really...I'm at least 5'6...with my shoes on).

On the right of me is Holly. She's an amazing applique goddess, and has her own web site as well where she sells awesome adorable stamps and quilt patterns. She's got a passion for animals, and it really comes through in her work. Total sweetie...her web site is as cute as she is.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Happy Mail

My package arrived today from PurlSoho...lots of cool imported Japanese fabrics in there.

I just remembered that I forgot something when I was ordering, so yikes, I may have to go back and get it.

In other news, we are getting quotes to re-roof our house. Did you know that people like to steal copper rain gutters? Ok, is that the most random thing on earth to steal? Would you not just die if you came home one night and your rain gutters were just GONE? I'm seriously not paranoid, but I think it's pretty darn odd that folks are out there doing that.

Think I'll stick to el-cheap-o gutters, thank you very much.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Less is more

Sometimes color can be amazing, but other times, as the saying goes - less is more.

These blocks are all lovingly pieced by my mom, for use in my sister's wedding quilt. I'm making the "twin" blocks that I have talked about before, that are Dear Jane blocks. Ok, they're not exactly all Dear Jane, they are Dear Hannah or Dear Marisa as I call them since I sort of made a few up myself.

Some quilters cannot stand the thought of making a two color quilt, like red and white, or green and white, because it's sort of boring to work with such a limited color selection all the time even though the final product is stunning.

I wonder how tough it is to make quilt blocks with only 1 color - white?!! Well, thanks Mom, for having the tenacity to make them. Lucky me for having picked the right partner to make this quilt!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Grandparent visit = sleepin' in

My parents will be here tonight, so it could be a golden opportunity for my husband and I to sleep in tomorrow.

Grandparents are known for their willingness to feed babies their bananas and toast in the morning while parents are catching extra Zzzz's. If that isn't a win-win situation, I don't know what is.

Not sure if it's my imagination, or what, but I think PurlSoho posted some new fabrics by Etsuko Furuya recently. Or maybe I just like them more this time, but I'm thinking a few small pieces may have to be ordered....

Thanks for the post, Amy, talking about my humble blog....Calico Cat is one of the coolest quilting blogs around with billions of photos for your quilty inspiration. If you haven't checked it out, please do. She's a doll quilt swapper of course this blog rocks!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Longest day of the year

Tonight's the longest day of the year so we're taking a walk out to grab some dinner to enjoy the late light.

Here's the magazine cover that I'm in love with...I suppose another teaser for the doll quilt!

Have you stopped by Pinwheels yet? This morning they posted some fat 1/8th packs, for supercheap with tons of cool new taupe patterns. Wow, cool. I already ordered mine!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Doll quilt swap #2 - teaser

As you know, I'm pretty stoked to participate in the next round of doll quilt swappin'.

Doll Quilt Swap

The above is a little teaser of the center block I'm working on for the project. I know you aren't supposed to show the entire thing so that it's a surprise and all that good this is just a tease.

I'm going for a vintage retro feel that my partner really likes. I hope that she enjoys the final product.

You know I just cannot resist doing a bunch of hand work, and applique is my I guess no surprise what techniques I'm using.

Dropping my idea of using Japanese fabrics in order to fit the request of my partner, but I think that it will really look cool. The pattern itself is from the cover of a Japanese book, Patchwork Lesson #9.

Oh, and to answer your question on the cathedral windows...yes, of course they are by hand! Quilt Otaku would settle for nothing less! ;)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Garden Windows

As my garden does my cathedral windows quilt.

If you feel like making your own King Sized version....please feel free, just be sure to purchase 25 - 30 yards of white fabric first! Wow!

Between my wealth of house guests (and yes, I do love them!) I managed to get another block of the quilt done. Completed it will only be 4 blocks, so I'm almost half way done.

My last house guest cleaned my dirty stove (I'm blushing) and the most recent set took us out to a very fancy dinner! This summer we have TONS of visitors coming and going. Personally I like the coming part, as the going is always sad. I wish I could keep the whole lot of them all here on bunk beds with us to BBQ and party every night.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

Here's to all you father's out there...thank you for all you do. I'm lucky enough to be able to thank my own Dad as well as my husband!

Thank you for -

Kissing our skinned knees

Photographing us

Changing our clothes and diapers

Soothing us when we cry

Always being there

Support our wild ideas

Driving us places

Feeding us breakfast

Being worried for us when we are sick

and most of all for

Loving us no matter what

My small cathedral windows quilt continues on...There's a little wanna be quilt teacher inside me. I think teaching with my sister would be really REALLY fun. Maybe someday I'll get that far.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Open the windows

From this giant pile of fabric, I'll be cutting the rest of my windows for the other cathedral windows blocks. I just can't wait to open up some more quilted windows. A breath of fresh quilted air!

I'm thinking that a bunch of red and green will be adorable together since they are opposites, and I'm sort of a freak for those two colors together (ala baltimore albums).

Some may say they look too Christmas-y, but they're a year round thing for my taste.

Today I picked up my latest copy of Quilter's Home Magazine, and it's looking pretty cool so far. Not sure I'm willing to take Mark's (editor) advice and take a month off of quilting for the summer. I feel like I want to quilt every day!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

J Pop

This is a Japanese Pop themed hotel we stayed at last weekend. They have murals with pop culture images on them (giant robots - cool!) and a generally hip look to the rooms.

We also wandered around Japantown in San Francisco in the morning, and although I didn't find any Japanese fabric shops, I did end up buying some stuffed toys for, ahem, the baby.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Windows to the soul

They say that are eyes are the windows of our souls. I think in a way it's true. It's really hard to tell what people are thinking unless you can actually see their eyes. (or so I believe at least!)

This weekend we had some alone time as adults because my generous sister babysat and I left the house with just my husband.

We did spend some time together with Auntie Co Co on Saturday night, however, and my sister got me addicted to a new quilt pattern - cathedral windows.

There's a lot of hand work going on here, but it's a cool way to showcase many different fabrics in a small space. I'm hooked!

Thursday, June 7, 2007


My friend shared a recipe for shortcake that was more like pound cake, or perhaps gain a pound cake. It had an entire brick of cream cheese in there. I'm sure that can't be healthy, but wow-yum!

This strawberry deserves a pound cake of its own. It's an applique block that I made as part of my mom's birthday gift a couple of years ago. Getting it done on time is a super funny story, must tell in a future post.

Today I learned (for the millionth time) that if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all. Thankfully I was just an onlooker, but anyhow, not a bad reminder for us all I guess. In case you want to hear something inspirational and's my usual pick me up.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Kissy Fish

When our todler kisses the family, he puckers up like a little kissy fish. It's the cutest thing on earth. It's wet and sorta icky, but at the same time adorable.

This weekend I'll have an entire evening alone with just my husband, which is a rare treat, so I'm already really looking forward to that. I think it's making the week seem unnaturally long.

In celebration of retail therapy, I just ordered a copy of Prairie Children and their Quilts (item#44383) that talks about traditionally made kids quilts...thinking it could be some cool inspiration for the doll quilt swap, and 40% off ain't bad either.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Quilt shopping in Japan

This is a photo of the "small cuts" section in Yuzawaya. This is my MOST favorite place to shop. It's in Tokyo, in the Kichijoji stop. 7 floors of crafty bliss.

2 floors have pretty much only quilting stuff. 1 floor has small cuts, which are very small pieces, smaller than fat quarters, but each piece is marked with its size and priced according. Heaven to scrapy quilters. The other floor requires you to get at least a 1 meter cut of all the fabrics, but I had no problem doing that either. If you have their frequent buyer card, and pay in cash, they give you 10% off. If you're in the station looking for it, follow the signs of a red little knitting ram, that is shown at the link above, and you'll find it.

The other place I stopped was Cottonfield. This is more pricey, but has a better selection or a more funky smaller selection I guess I should say. It's cute, and much much smaller but I found some very nice fabrics there also.

Some kind soul make this map of the area, and both of these shops are listed here. It's old, but these 2 are still in existance. Don't get too excited about the Yama quilt house listed here, it's not in business anymore, so don't look for it.

As for books, don't forget to visit Kinokuniya book shop in Shinjuku station - selection is dangerously amazing.

This other shop - Blue and White - which is owned by Amy Katoh, an American, is somewhere on my list of places to stop next time, but I haven't been there yet. If you have...let me know what you think!


Monday, June 4, 2007


These are the fronts of those little sashet packs I made...I'm thinking I may need to make a billion more of them for people because I really just cannot get enough of them.

This is my catch up post because I got a couple questions and wanted to respond -

For the sashets - I filled them w/ lavender that I got in a local craft shop, nothing fancy really.

As for planning a shopping trip to Japan - find my older posts on that topic here, and I'll have to make a few more comments on that topic in a coming soon post.

And the last round of doll quilt swap - I gave this, more info, and I received this beautiful quilt.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Come on in, the water's fine - Doll quilt swap!

After thinking about it for less than 30 seconds, I joined Lisa's doll quilt swap again.

Last time was so fun, and I really enjoyed getting to know the other quilters. Making my doll quilt was a blast, and the quilt I got in return is up on my wall right next to my desk.

If you want to join in on all the fun... It's not too late - sign up's continue through June 17th.

This weekend I did a tiny bit of quilting while on the run, and preformed some flower petals for future applique somewhere...this is one of those amazing fabrics I picked up on my last trip to Japan.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Flower nabbing

I am guilty as charged. My best friend from childhood has an amazing ability to grow hydrangeas and her "popcorn hydrangea" bush 'accidently' lost this bloom as I was leaving her house this afternoon.

The darn thing stuck to me, leaped into my car, and was spirited away to the ledge on my kitchen sink window. These accidents do happen...theft? Certainly a gray area.

I must warn you before you read any further. If you are likely to buy beautiful fabric online from either Japan or Liberty of London for that may not want to click this link. Wow, they have some very cool stuff. Had no idea that Liberty fabrics were being sold in such small pieces. Danger...warning...!! Perhaps better to avoid the Japan links here...