Friday, November 30, 2007

Japanese taupe quilt - the big picture

Ok, no more teasing. Here's the entire quilt.

More notes on where I got patterns, how I did construction...coming soon.

My mom says she still loves the quilt and looks at it every day. How sweet!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Taupe Quilt

So a couple more details, you know I cannot resist keeping you in suspense of seeing the entire quilt.

The quilt is completely done with Japanese taupe fabrics (yarn dyes), and the vast majority of them are from Daiwabo, although some are from other fabric companies.

Some of the pieces I actually hand carried home from Japan.

My college best friend is visiting Japan, and I mentioned that to my ex-coworker that lives there. She could not wait to show my friends around Japan. What hospitality! Typical Japanese style, they are such generous people.

I'm wondering if my friend will stop in at Yuzawaya. I'm green with envy.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mom (the big reveal)

Today is a special birthday for my Mom.

For her gift this year, my sister and I did a colaborative quilt project for her which we started making last Christmas.

It's a bed-sized quilt, all hand appliqued and hand quilted.

She really loves it, and I think it will help to make this birthday very special for her.

Thanks for teaching us to quilt, Mom, and have a great day!

I'll have to post some full sized pix of the quilt for you, as it is quite pretty to see the whole thing. I will also confess that I've been secretly sweating to finish this for the last several months.

It almost KILLED ME to do so much quilting and not post any pictures on the blog. Had to be a surprise though!!!

Whew! Done on time! Hooray!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Happiest Place on Earth

As a very special treat, our family went to Disneyland yesterday.

Even though I grew up about a 20 min drive from here, I had yet to appreciate it until this trip.

Our 2 yr old son loved it, and seeing it for the first time through his point of view was what really made us enjoy it this time.

The entire place is SERIOUSLY decorated for Christmas, which was also very beautiful. Have you ever made it there around the holidays? It's SO worth the trip.

Minnie blew a little kiss to our son, my husband ate fried chicken, grandparents took pictures, sister went on her favorite ride, and I even got to go on my favorite ride. It was so fun!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Purl Soho in Orange County

The mysterious door below is from Purl Soho's shop in Orange County, Southern California.

What a huge treat to visit there in person. This place is a little known secret among quilters, but perhaps not for long.

The girl who helped us was so very nice, and knew the inventory like the back of her hand. She also impressively pointed us to all the latest new fabric that had just arrived.

If you ever end up in that neck of the woods, it's worth a visit. Not open on weekends.

15431 Redhill Ave, Ste D
Tustin, CA 92780

I was lucky enough to see the new collection by Etsuko Furuya. Dangerously cute, I picked up a litte piece of bird fabric.

The coolest was thumbing through Koigu yarn (KPPM). I will confess that I did buy enough to make 2 scarf projects. Good thing I have another knit lesson next week!

I was looking forward to meeting Mari who works there, but it was her day off. I'm sure I'll catch her next time.

Mari has a very nice blog - Marirob, and makes very creative projects that are sometimes posted at the Purl Soho blog too.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Being Thankful

The above door is the entry to a VERY important be named in my next post, oh such a happy place.

When I was a kid, I visited Plymouth Rock, the rock that the pilgrims landed on in 1620 when they got to the Boston area. It's a very silly tourist attraction with this rock at the bottom of a pit, in a cage. Everybody puts their lens through the bars and snaps a picture of it.

Looking back on it, it seems kinda ridiculous. How do they know that is the actual rock anyhow?

This year at Thanksgiving, I'm going to list the top 5 things I'm thankful for. If you want to do the same, that would be cool. Let me know and I'll read your post as well.

1) My family - they are all with me this Thanksgiving and we are all healthy and happy. What more could I be thankful for.

2) My job - I got a new job this year, and even though it's a challenge to learn the technology, I'm really enjoying my new company.

3) My friends - My "real life" friends, and my blog-related friends - all of you encourage me to continue with the creative work of quilting, taking up knitting, and remembering to enjoy life through making beautiful things.

4) My house - I live in a tiny 85 yr old house, but it's a happy place that is our very own. Covered with our 2 yr old's favorite toys, and at times a bit of dust, I think it's the happiest place on earth.

5) Blogs - out there are many many amazing blogs. Some that I have been looking at a lot lately, and really enjoying:

Ibby Bee Quilts - nobody should have shoes this cute, it should be a crime.

Moonstitches - the owls posted there right now are to die for, free pattern included!

Chicken Blog - one creative lady behind this blog - great photos and a lot of crafty goodies floating through here.

Scrap a bee - Japanese cute at it's finest

Chara Michele - a beautiful and stunning blog - some of the nicest photography I've seen lately

Black Dog Knits - ok now that I love yarn, I cannot resist throwing this in here. A beautiful blog.

Happy Thanksgiving all!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Piu Piu

This little magnet by Piu Piu is so adorabe, I'm thinking it could even hold large pins as well as paperclips.

I have it on my little sewing dish along with the tools I use when I hand quilt. It says cherp cherp when it wobbles around.

Oh, news from Moo - they just emailed me a 20% off coupon, wow, the temptation....

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Japanese quilt fabric on Etsy

What cool comments on the last post, thanks everybody for your thoughts!

I just got a package from a Japanese fabric seller listed on Etsy. There are some very cool ones out there. Some mentioned in the comments, thanks Oiyi and Nora!

Sonetine (my new fabric is from there, pictures soon)
Chocolate Swirl
A little goodness (shoot, just ordered a book!)
Sweet Flavor

Ok dangerous links. I won't tempt you with any more of them.

The above little bag was a free goodie when I signed up for a frequent buyer card at Anthropologie. Adorable!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Japanese Fabric Collection

My fabric collection is one of my most beloved tools.

I put a lot of time and energy into finding just the right tones, textures and colors so that the next project will push my creative limits and become something beautiful.

A lot of quilters call their fabric collection a "stash" and I'm not sure I like the sound of that.

"Stash" - sounds like some disease you should have treated, or a bad habit of filling up your spare bedroom with items you will never use or need.

My fabric is my 'collection', and my tool to create what I love. I'm thrilled to have such a well stocked arsenal.

Where do I end up looking for fabric these days? Here's my top 5 shops (this week at least!).

The above fabric was purchased from this shop

Love their Japanese section

Not sure what type of fabric this is called but for lack of a better description "Japanese cute" is probably pretty close. Shop owners have excellent selection.

More Japanese cute is here, but these guys don't ship to the states.

Adorable fabrics, very nice customer service, awesome.

Material Poessessions - quilt shop near where my mom and sister live, they have a great taupe collection in their shop (I don't buy online here, I do it in person).

Got some other links for me? Please let me know!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Japanese Quilting Blog

I love my little Japanese quilting blog....however I occasionally wander off topic just a touch.

Japanese style quilting does make me tick, don't get me wrong, but tonight I took my first ever knit lesson.

It was so much fun! I actually learned to knit, and purl, as well as how to cast on properly. All these mysteries solved in just one little hour! My instructor is named Ivy, and she has the patience of a saint luckily.

I am really wanting to make a sweater someday, but I also think it will take me a good while to graduate to that level especially since I have 10 billion quilt projects that are still on the front burner.

In other news, if you don't have a TV, now might be a good time to buy one. I actually don't watch any TV (outside of movies) except for 1 show.

This beloved show is Project Runway!

Tomorrow night on Bravo, at 10pm, season 4 starts up. I have been so looking forward to this!! The folks on this show are masters at sewing garments and make some of the most beautiful things. If you don't watch this...please consider!!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Glow in the dark thread

Keeping you waiting all weekend to find out about my new cool find at the quilt shop is a bit mean I know...sorry!

Truth is, I had to be awake enough to photograph it for you at night!

This thread glows in the dark and is called Nite Lite ExtraGlow by Superior Threads.

They claim it glows up to 6 hours. Seriously, that has a lot of cool potential. Dryer safe, Iron safe, it sounds pretty awesome. I haven't used it on anything yet, but gee where to start?

Anything that a little 2 yr old boy would like to go to bed with (blankie? plushie? PJ's?...) I'm thinking the possibilities are endless.

What would you used this cool thread for? Cough up some creative ideas my brainiac friends!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Quilt shopping over lunch

Today over lunch I made a mad dash out to Eddie's Quilting Bee as I was looking for some of Jeanna Kimball's needles.

They didn't have them, but I enjoyed seeing their new building. They moved to this new space in mid Sept 07 and it's a really large and pretty space.

I found the coolest thing there...oh, I know...the suspense is killing you...must photograph for you it so you can understand the magic before your very eyes.

The above photo is a close up of the hat that I made for our son. He loves it which is a giant surprise to me. My knit lesson got rescheduled for next week...but I'm still really looking forward to it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Roberta Horton - Amish quilting

Well, I ended up with a schedule conflict last night and moved my private knit lesson to Thursday, so stay tuned on that.

Back at PIQF a few weeks ago, I took an Amish quilting class from Roberta Horton.

The class itself did not involve any sewing of quilting at all. It was just a color study, and an exercise in how Amish people use color in their quilts.

If you ever get the chance to take this class from her (she travels to a lot of major quilt shows teaching it, even internationally!) I would highly recommend it.

I felt like a real artist!

If you have any other recommendations for me on good classes to take, please do let me know. I'm always looking for tips on what to take (or not to take for that matter).

Oh, in case you're wondering, mine is top row, second from the left.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Moo business card holders

How pretty is this was just sitting on my mom's kitchen counter when I visited her.

I got an email from Moo. They have the most beautiful mini card holders!

Of course I have a billion of their little cards, so could not help but order a holder. Perfect size, and in your favorite colors of leather too. Nice!

Will post pix once they arrive.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Crochet hat

Ok, so I got a bit of blue yarn as well.

I made a little hat while we were driving up to San Francisco. You may recognize the bridge that we're standing on, it's sorta famous for it's red color.

Did you know that the Golden Gate Bridge is actually named after the Golden Gate Strait, which is the waterway that is the entrance to the San Francisco Bay? Our visiting cousin was wondering, so here's your answer Travis!

The hat was well received, and I felt like at least I can do something with yarn, even though that doesn't include the word knit.

I did however, hire a privite teacher at Commuknity (my local yarn shop) to give me a 1 hr private intro lesson next Tues. night! I'm so excited! Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Help! I bought yarn!

Ok, seriously, I am scared now.

I just got the cutest yarn on earth from SuperBuzzy...(imported from Japan of course) ...want to knit at idea how to knit...

But - I have a plan! Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Quilts Japan 119

Quilts Japan 119 (issue number 119 that is, November 2007) was just delivered to me, and is a very pretty and elegant issue.

It is very focused on Christmas, with tons of beautiful wall quilts and small projects in red and green. The Hawaiian style Christmas goodies really caught my eye. Tree skirts, tree decorations, small table runner (p. 6-7 if you're reading along)....all very striking.

The rest of the issue has some taupe small items (needle cases, bags) and some incredible bed quilt pictures. There is a strawberry applique quilt on p.64 that blew my socks off.

It also looks like some new taupes are floating around here in the states. Some can be seen on Pinwheels web site. I haven't run into them in person yet...but I'm sure I will soon.