Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Running with scissors

This movie, Running w/ scissors is nominated for an Oscar. Personally, I feel like the luckiest person on earth if I can just sit on my couch for 15 min. and quilt. Running around with them is something I just don't have time for these days.

These little scissor dolls are made out felt, or wool, and little pom poms. Arms and legs are beads. It takes some time to make them, but they turn out super cute. I even made one that looked like a witch, but I gave it away, so no pix. Sorry!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

14 inch fabrics

Back in 2003, on of my favorite quilt shops, Kasuri Dye Works, closed. At the time, of course, I thought I'd be lost forever, without my 14 inch wide fabric source.

They had silks, and cottons (yukata), of all colors, in 14 " wide size only. The purpose of this fabric was for making japanese garments, but of course I am more than happy to cut it all up into tiny pieces for quilting.

I miss this shop still, and think of them often, but haven't used up all my fabric yet, so there's that small pleasure. I wonder who else is out there hoarding their goodies.

Monday, January 29, 2007


When I say "silk" do you think of fabric? Well...personally I think of batting.

I've never quilted a quilt w/ silk batting, but I hear that it's like quilting through butter.

Interested...but not sure I can afford it! Maybe someday for something very special.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

PQT #50

This album quilt appeared in issue #50 of Patchwork Quilt Tsushin. I love album quilts, and have all my blocks done to put one together.

It's a traditional green and red repro-looking album that could be directly out of the 1860's. Many of the Japanese quilt magazines cover the topic of album quilts.

I think it is because in Japan, there is so much interest in the details of things. A product is not a quality product unless all the details are finely presented. Similar to this is a baltimore album quilt. The more detail, the better, and the better the detail, the better.

Jeana Kimball is one of my favorite quilters. I have seen her patterns go on ebay for a LOAD of money, and still...she continues to sell them direct for just $5 each on her web site. I think that sounds like a pretty cool deal for such nice patterns.

I collect her books (in print and out)...but more about that another day.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Slippery when wet

We were out for a family walk today, and it started to rain. It got super slippery, and I managed to slip right in the middle of the road.

Nice that there were also tons of other people walking around out there. "Are you OK?" Duh. How did this happen? I really must remember to take my walker out with me tomorrow.

This quilt block was a house warming gift to my sister and her husband, who just returned from Maui. It is of their adorable home together, with their sweet little puppy.

In other news, did you know there is less than a month until Oscar?!

Friday, January 26, 2007


One thing we all strive for in various ways is acceptance. Maybe even recognition, I guess.

Getting a new job offer, or getting rewarded for job well done, or even winning an award for a quilt in your local quilt is a feeling that is somewhat rare.

When you are lucky enough to have this feeling, my advice is to DWELL ON IT as long as possible, and to know that on days when you aren't handed a blue ribbon, that you are still an amazing soul that the world does cherish.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Quilting itself

Most people really care about the piecing part of quilting, and not the quilting itself.

Often times, very little creativity, thought or effort are really put into this. I'll admit that sometimes I'm not even sure how best to start quilting my own quilts.

I'm in a rut (but a good and happy one) of quilting lots of concentric circles on my quilts, but this pattern of quilted waves looks very Japanese to me, and also very beautiful.

I will definately try this sometime.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


This is one of those times where people I know, quite a few of them actually, are thinking about making some pretty major career changes.

As for me, I'm still just doing my own thing...but thinking a happy thought to the rest of you out there! Go for it!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Quilt Judge

I have been wanting for some time to become a quilt judge. I tried to sign up for a program, but it was in transition from a management perspective.

It would require some travel to the mid-west, and some time investment...(probably what I'm short of right now) but I would still love to do it - someday!

I think I'd have a lot to learn about machine quilting, as I'm a super-hand focused girl!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Paper piecing

My favorite new tool for paper piecing is this cool disolving paper backing, so no need to rip off any paper, just soak in a bowl of water after you're done.

I have not tried the dissolving tape yet, for doing larger blocks and joining a couple pieces of paper, but I think that might be pretty cool.

This book by Anita Grossman Soloman is what I used to make the baby quilt that is the header banner for my blog.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival

This weekend, the Tokyo quilt show started, and will continue through the week and into next weekend.

For all the business travel I've been doing, I cannot seem to get myself to Japan during this magical weekend.

Yesterday I took my todler son to this quilt shop that I usually don't visit often. They have some very nice repro's, especially for a California quilt shop, so I drove over just to get out of the house.

I was in good luck in going over there as they just got their giant shipment of Japanese taupes and yarn dye fabrics. I was of course in heaven.

My goal is to create a quilt that Yoko Saito would think is cute.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Baby, it's cold outside

If I was a tiny little bunny, I think I would still wear an adorable scarf if a friend or my mommy decided to crochet me one.

Making amigurumi is one of life's finer pleasures. I'm not great at getting stiches small enough so that you don't see the stuffing, so making dark colored animals is not in the cards for me yet. I have tons of books on this, (all in Japanese, of course) but a friend did translate the body parts, so that is a start.

Speaking of Japan, I just booked my next trip there earlier today, so I'll be off to the land of my quilted dreams. I never have time to do anything besides work when I am there, so who knows if I'll even have 10 min. to go shopping or not.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Happy Day PQT 136

Twelve times a year I have what I call a "happy day". I get an email to pick up my latest copy of either Patchwork Quilt Tsushin, or Quilts Japan.

Yesterday, I got issue 136 of Patchwork Quilt Tsushin. I usually like all of these Japanese magazines, but in talking about this issue, I would have to say LOVE.

The bulk of the images are about Baltimore Album quilts with extremely traditional block designs. In order to spice it up, and make it Japanese, of course most of them are done w/ taupe fabrics, which are my #1 favorite in the universe.

I collect these magazines, and have a good number of them (not all, of course, they started in the early 1980's and I was not collecting back then).

Could I really pick a favorite issue, out of all of the many many issues that I have?...and would it be this very issue of PQT 136?

Have to think about this a bit more, because it's a very bold statement...but YES!!! I DO!!!

In other news, if you are tired of using your Wii in the living room, take it to go: Wii laptop.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Today my sister and her husband of 1 year are off to Maui to celebrate their first anniversary together.

I hardly remember our first one, but I know we ate some very disgusting cake before we flew off to take a photo workshop that ended up being better outside of class than actually in it.

This taupe quilt block is one of many that my mom and I are putting together for her as a "wedding" gift. I'm sure it will be quite late, but anyhow, it's still in progress at least on my part. Not sure what blocks we will set w/ these small dear jane blocks, but will have something uniform to go in between then I think.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

My biggest blog fan

I started this blog to show of my quilt squares, and discuss techniques of quilting that I've learned along the way.

As it turns out, writing about my life in general as well is fun, so I suppose there is a fair bit of that here too.

This blog is dedicated to the quilting community and all those who pursue perfection in fiber arts, however, my biggest blog fan is actually not a quilter. In fact, it's not even a woman!

My biggest blog fan, and most religious reader right now, is an electrical engineer, a photographer, an archaeologist, but mostly a person who lives in the moment and acts as a huge cheer leader for whatever endeavor I undertake. Of course I'm talking about my dad.

Now that I'm a parent myself, I have come to appreciate some of the crazy things we are willing to do for our kids, and my parents certainly have done a lot for us. Thanks Dad for being my #1 fan of my blog, and of my life in general. I'm your #1 fan too.

As for quilting....I'm in love w/ Elly's new and tiny album blocks, and reading over this book, planning to make more of them every night.

My next quilting opportunity could be just around the corner, but until then, baby steps, and perhaps a few more blocks will be made for my sister's wedding quilt. Her 1st anniversary is just around the corner, so what better time to gain momentum on a project long overdue.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Family Vacation

When I was a kid, I thought that the dreaded "family vacation" was just something that the kids thought was painful.

Now that I'm a parent, I've come to realize that it goes both ways.

After dashing out of a couple places w/ a tired screaming baby, and having him sleep in between us just so he wouldn't scream and wake the neighbor hotel guests...I'm starting to think that staying home could be the answer.

Our subaru finally rolled over to 100K miles, so that was exciting. It also was thinking of overheating, but my husband quickly sorted that out.

Meanwhile, thinking of ordering a few more taupe yarn dyed fabrics...for a project I'm kicking around.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

True Love

Getting recent quilts posted up on this blog is something that I'm interested in doing, so you'll be caught up on projects I've been working on lately.

This quilt is called Baby Blocks for Teo, and I made it for the adorable little baby boy. I wanted to do an ABC quilt, but I also wanted to use his name in I sort of combined the two. When I show this to people who don't know the baby's name, they say, "Wow, what an interesting choice of letters."

Like I don't know the order of the alphabet or something.

It's my quilt, so I'll spell correctly if I feel like it. Maybe I should have done all 26 letters, but seriously, babies arrive anyhow, even if you are not done with the quilt yet. So in this case, I was going for cute and finished over perfection.

I do love my husband, more than anything, and he is really my true love. If I had to pick an alternative true love, I think I met it yesterday. Bernina's Aroura 440 QE seriously is for me. I don't own one yet, but I think yet is the key word in this paragraph.

I think there is a Bernina in my future.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Suji the plant

This is seriously a quilting blog, but this plant is literally attacking me in my bedroom, so I cannot avoid telling you about it.

My korean roommate in collage named this plant Suji, which I think is a very good name for her. Since I adopted Suji, she has been a faithful plant, but has been growing and providing me company for about 10 years now.

When we got back from Christmas vacation, she had decided to flower for the first time. I was totally not expecting it, so it caught me off guard.

It smells great, and is quite adorable, so I guess I'll just enjoy it.

I swear I'll finish a quilt block this weekend to share with you. I know this is NOT a houseplant blog!!!!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Hello! Good Morning!

When I woke up this morning to do a couple of dishes, I was greeted by this new, adorable orchid that just managed to pop open overnight.

I love orchids, and I collect them, and I hope and pray that they do something eventually. Most of them look like a bunch of crazy roots. My mom asks me why I have such ugly plants.'s your answer! Sometimes it's worth the wait.

Now I'm thinking about Hawiian quilting again....

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Baby Quilt

Not sure what to name this quilt. Have any ideas? Thought about rain drops, or dots, or gum drops, maybe sugar Need feedback.

Leaning to sugar plums, because it was a Christmas gift for our son.

I know this is not taupe colors, but anyhow, I cannot resist Kaffe's fabric.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Booth Bliss

After much waiting, I got email this morning that the 3rd missing piece of my breakfast booth will soon arrive.

I am excited because right now I have 2 out of the 3 pieces, and just cannot wait to have my husband's whole grain pancakes while sitting there all together as our little family.

Not sure if it will happen before this weekend.

Anyhow, this fabric for the booth is so fire red, that I was wondering if it would be OK w/ my more muted color taste, but it really spices up the place, and I'm glad I made the leap of faith.

Looking forward to working on some projects this weekend, w/ 3days...may even get out to do some photography if weather holds out.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Real Otaku's use Taupe

Otaku basically translates to "nerd". Video Game Otaku = video game nerd...Quilt Otaku = quilting nerd. Otaku put waaaaaaay too much time into their passion of Japanese culture of some sort. The sort that I'm into happens to be the quilting sort.

This quilt is called Taupe Impressions, and it was completed in 2004.

Fabrics I used are 100% imported from Japan. I bought most of them at Carolea's Knitche quilt shop, which just closed its doors last summer.

It was my favorite quilt shop in the universe, located in Sunnyvale, California. They carried a TON of these awesome fabrics that fall into the general category of "taupe". Basically, fabric comes in range of colors, all colors really, but are generally muted.

You can find these fabrics online as well.

I was shocked when I was reading through my quilting journal and discovered this quilt was the last entry. I have done tons of projects since, but no entries...ok, must catch up now.

Speaking of shocking, when I was getting home from work tonight, I jumped out of my car, (OK, not the world's most mature vehicle) and my foot got tangled in my backpack, and I landed face down on my lawn.

Thank God it was already dark!

Final thought/question - is Zelda for Wii really all that interesting? My jury is still out!

Putting away Christmas

These little ornaments were made for the 3 children that live next door to us. I make them every year, for these adorable kids, and one for my son as well.

They are all done by hand, and a cram them as full of 100% cotton batting as possible. Jinny Beyer's book on this is genius. I use silk ribbons for hangers.

I write names and dates on solid triangles w/ pigma pens....oh so cute. I seriously own like 20 of these in various sizes and colors.

This year I added my sister and her husband to my list of people I make them for, so the more the better. I'm an addict now.

At the end of the Christmas season, it is always sad to me to put away the decorations. Truthfully, if you have a baby that keeps you pretty busy, maybe it is easier to just leave them up all year.

Seriously, we are the last ones to celebrate Christmas on our street this year, w/ full icicle regalia haning off the eves. But, nothing wrong w/ a little extra spirit I guess when you don't have time to do much else.

Monday, January 8, 2007

First Post

Ok, so this is my first official Blog entry.

Who knew I'd end up posting to the universe, but anyhow, it's a way to get my ideas and images out there to the world, and looking forward to many more posts to come.

Today was just another day in the life of me...or should I say mii...Lately, I've been playing a bunch of Wii video games (love tennis) so my Mii is the icon I'm using for IM for now.

Hopefully I'll get some wild quilted items posted up here soon...

My theme in quilting is to live, breathe, and sew all things Japanese. I love Japanese quilting, and do everything I can to get my hands on more of it. For a girl who lives in California, I'm certainly Japanese in my quiltie mindset. Fabric, patterns, techniques...bring it on.

Mostly I do all hand work, but lately, I've had the hankering for a new sewing machine. That could mean turning out more quilts....but will always be hard for me to get away from the quilting by hand process. A new machine would vastly increase my piecing speed.

Well, here's to my first post! Cheers!