Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fabric Haul in Japan #2


I know it's been a while since I came back from Japan,
but there are still lots of fabric from there that
I hadn't had a chance to share with you here. My sewing
machine had a serious issue with its upper thread tension
which I couldn't find a solution for anywhere, so it is
on the mend now. It's weird not to have a sewing machine
at home. Some part of me is relieved that I can cross out
sewing-related stuff in my to-do-list temporarily, but
some part of me is missing sewing so much. I guess it's
more of the latter case. Wednesday tends to be the day of
the week when my productivity goes up, but not today.
Without my buddy (sewing machine), I am so useless. lol.


So I decided to take this time to take pictures of
some Japanese fabric to blog about and to list
some fabric in my etsy shop. This gave me an opportunity
to remind myself of some really cute fabric stash I have
but I had forgotten about, which made me go Woohoo!
I think I am totally addicted. No wonder my sister
called me "a fabric idiot". She cracks me up sometimes.


Oh I have to mention about the fabric in the
left bottom in the picture above. It is probably
one of the fabrics that wowed me the most among
many fabrics I've found in Japan. It is an original
design by a fabric store called Country Quilt Market
in Japan. I was so happy that I found their vendor
at Tokyo Quilt Festival and got to see their original
prints in person! So cute! You can look at the entire
section of their original prints here.
And this is the link to the fabric I got. It looks as if there are
a bunch of fabric scraps laid out on top of.
I love unusual fabric like this.


I am usually into small prints, but these were
exceptions. As soon as I saw them (especially the
grey version), I was like oh man, I'll make the
suit case more packed ( = Joe, unhappy) lol.


Yoko Okamoto is a Japanese textile designer I
don't think I have mentioned before in my blog.
The two fabrics on the right are designed by her.
Sometimes her designs remind me of Suzuko Koseki's
style, which you know, is my all time favorite.
The red fabric is super cute too. That was one
of my lucky finds at a teeny tiny fabric store
located by the kindergarten I attended. It's so
small though. If there are more than 5 customers,
you find yourself unable to reach most fabrics lol.


Rosy Fabric makes such cute things! I'm
especially mad about the red one. So lovely~!


More fun fabrics :) Decole brand produces
really cute zakka and I didn't know they have
fabric for sale too until I saw the apple guy!
A bit pricy but I couldn't help myself!

Off the topic, but have you heard about One Thousand Wishes
yet? If you have not, I'd really like to spread the word
about it. Ali of the dotted line is going to open this
store during April whose 100% proceeds will be donated for
Canadian Red Cross Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Fund.
If you have any craft items you can donate to
the shop, please contact her and learn how you can
do this. How this works is similar to Craft
Hope for Haiti
where many of us crafters got
together and donated craft items to raise a lot of
money for the Haiti earthquake victims.
Basically, Ali takes care of listing and payment
and she will let you know once your item is sold
so that you can send your item directly to whoever
bought it. Simple! I totally support what she is doing
and will be donating some of my craft items as well as
Japanese fabrics. And that's why it's frustrating not to
have a sewing machine! - I want to make so many things
for the shop!!

Thank you for taking the time to read this :)
Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Toaster Pieced + Free Japan Pattern

Kitchen Block for Penny ~ Ringo Pie ~

I've been totally in a 'paper-piecing' mode. It's like
my brain is functioning to paper-piece everything I see.
If I see anything easily-paper-piecable, I start thinking
about diving into sections and numbering pieces.
It has been so much fun to design, to think about how to
piece, and to actually complete the project. Tons of fun.

This toaster block was made for Penny (of course!) for
Ringo Pie patchwork bee. She asked for all things kitcheny
which got me really excited! You know I am crazy about
the kitchen theme! I could think of so many things to
paper-piece, but I decided to make a toaster, just because
I thought a toaster with Penny's name on it would be quirky
and silly. I had a pretty good idea of colors and types of
fabric she likes so it was fun picking fabrics for this.

This design was based on the applique template I made
for the kitchen towels in the current issue of Stitch
magazine. I just made all curvy lines straight to make
the piecing process a lot easier. I just can't tackle curves!

Japan in Japanese pattern

This idea crossed my mind yesterday. Now that many people
are working on quilts to be donated for the disaster
relief efforts in Japan, maybe someone would want to
include a block that says Japan in Japanese. Usually,
Japanese characters are a LOT more complicated than
alphabets, but when it comes to the word Japan,
a Japanese version might be a quite bit easier than
alphabets to piece because there are no curves.

I wouldn't mind at all if you used this for any other
purposes too. Maybe you just want to try out an easy
paper-piecing pattern. Or you might want to make a
mug rug for your friend in Japan or whatever.

It is not the most exciting pattern, I know, but
hopefully someone can find a use for it.. :)
Feel free to post pictures here if you made anything with it.

Download the PDF here or here

Thank you for visiting!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Congrats to Eight Winners!

pray for japan
photo originally uploaded by jusojin

Thank you again for those of you who have donated to reputable organizations for relief efforts. And thank you for your emotional supports too via comments/emails. It makes us feel helpless there aren't a lot we can do to help the people suffering, but every little donation definitely helps. I'm touched to see so many crafters/bloggers have embarked on some projects for relief efforts. If you have one or a few quilts that you can donate to people sleeping on pieces of cardboard boxes in snow with fears regarding radiation, please go ahead and read this post by Sonja of artisania and learn how you can donate your quilts for them. She has done a great job explaining what we can do. (Don't forget to take a look at her sushi quilt that will be in the hands of someone in need of warmth.)

Anyways, I wanted to announce eight winners for the giveaway I hosted last week today.


Congrats to Vicki K, Isabelle, and Rebecca!
(Vicki and Rebecca - can you send me your contact info?
I can't find your email address in your profile.)


Congrats to Ellen, Sonja, and Kristal!
(Kristal, can you send me your contact info?)


Congrats to Tracy and Rumi!

I'll contact you shortly!

Have a great week, everyone!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I've been crafty

Spring Block for Lucinda ~ Ringo Pie Bee ~

Here is the Spring block I made for Lucinda for Ringo Pie Bee.
(Sorry the resolution of the picture isn't very good - hopefully
I'll get to take a better picture once the sun comes out.)
I spent days sketching some ideas for this month, trying to
come up with a design that has lots of neutral colors which she
asked for, but after much thought, I was determined that I
really want colorful flowers in it and I ended up compensating
with a background in a neutral color. Keeping my fingers crossed
that this turned out ok and it will look good with everyone
else's Spring blocks for her.

pincushion - sewing theme

This is the fourth pincushion I made for a custom order.
The recipient asked for a sewing theme, so I had fun
picking out sewing themed fabrics from my stash and
whipped up this guy. I am happy with the outcome so
is the recipient, woohoo!

Diaper Pouch

Here is a diaper pouch I made for a little boy I babysit.
Ever since Anna posted this awesome tutorial, I knew
I would make it for him. I can't believe how long I waited
to make though especially now that I know it is such a fun,
quick, and addictive project! And I just LOVE this shape!
His diapers used to be in a plastic bag from a grocery store.
I think it is a quite improvement. Why didn't I make it sooner?!


I'm so happy I finally found a great use for this
cute fabric covered button that I received as a part
of a swap a few years ago. Too cute, right?

playing with fabric scraps

And lastly, this is a scrap-buster project that
I was working on. I am not sure what this will be.
A potholder for my friend was my plan, but I am
thinking it's a bit too busy for her. hmm..
Any suggestions?

Have a fabulous Sunday!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

More Giveaways!

Photos from Artisania

I wanted to let you know that some generous crafters have kindly contacted me to offer their products to my donating readers! Sonja of artisania has the most unique, fun and clever quilt patterns in her shop. She would like to offer 3 readers of mine a chance to win 2 free patterns of your choice from her store.

Photos from Happy Sew Lucky

Berene of Sew Happy Lucky is offering 1 reader a chance to win a baby animal kit of your choice AND a Dinnertime fabric book kit. Aren't these too adorable?

Photo from Happy Sew Lucky

She is also offering this cutest set of four birdies kit of your choice of color for one winner among donating readers of mine.

To win any of these or two items offered in my previous post, the only thing you need to do is to donate to any charity to help the survivors of the recent massive disaster and leave a comment under my previous post. For example, if you decide to join For Japan With Love to raise fund for shelter for the victims, you can go ahead and leave a comment for the chance to win. I will have total 8 winners from the drawing - 2 winners for Natural Patchwork Book by Suzuko Koseki, 1 winner of a Spring/Summer issue of Stitch magazine, 3 winners of Sonja's free quilt patterns, 1 winner of Berene's set of the baby animal kit and a dinner time book kit, and 1 winner of Berene's set of four birdies kit! Lots of winners of fantastic prizes! (The comment system for this post is closed. Please leave a comment here for a chance to win)

I also want to take this opportunity to introduce you some of the websites that are working on fundraising for disaster relief efforts.

If you have any online shop with handmade items whose proceeds will be donated to help the victims of the quake/tsunami, I'd love you to list your shop here with an image of one of your products. And remember, you are more than welcome to sell anything made based on my tutorials for fundraising - always! :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Giveaway to support donation for the Japan earthquake victims

Giveaway on my blog

First of all, I am so blessed that so many of you have sent me prayers for my families and friends in Japan since last Friday, the magnitude 8.9 earthquake struck Tohoku area, the northeast part of main land.

The hardest part of living far away from my entire family for me has been to deal with the fear about possible natural disaster like this earthquake that resulted in thousands of people's death. Most of my family and relatives live in a prefecture called Gunma which is located in in the middle of the main land where the effect from the earthquake was minimum, although my dad said it was the most massive earthquake he's ever experienced in his entire life. They are all safe though. Just a few things fell from the wall, that's all. Most of my friends live in the same prefecture, Gunma, and Tokyo, so I am just blessed that they are safe for now.

I do have a couple of friends in the area that was heavily affected by the earthquake. Thank goodness for the Internet. I found that they are safe on their friends' comments on their Facebook pages. I'm just keeping my fingers tightly crossed that they have a safe place to stay and have enough food to eat and they will be recovered from the disaster very soon. I have a friend whose relative's house was wiped away (people are safe). Another friend of mine has relatives missing in Fukushima.

I'm in pain thinking of people in Tohoku area, possible nuclear meltdown, and possible second powerful quake that could hit Tokyo. Please pray for everyone in Japan that aftermaths effect from the earthquake will be very minimum.

If you have family and friends in the area that you have not been able to confirm safety of, you can use this Google Person Finder. If you don't know their names in Japanese characters, please feel free to contact me. I will do my best to guess the characters in case that might help you find them effectively.

I'd like to do something to raise money to help victims for the Japan earthquake victims. Here is a link to several organizations where you can donate directly using paypal. For those of you who have donated for the victims in any way, please leave a comment (a single comment per person please) to win a copy of Suzuko Koseki's new book Natural Patchwork that will be released next month or the Spring/summer issue of Stitch magazine that will also be available next month. I'll announce two winners of Natural Patchwork and one winner of Stitch Magazine on Next Monday, March 21st.

Thank you again for your prayers. I am so blessed.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Log Cabin Pincushions Again?!


You must be absolutely sick of seeing log cabin
pincushions here by now for sure, so I'm sorry for being
so repetitive, but I must admit I enjoy making these guys
so much. These were custom-made for a girl who told me
she likes 1) pink, red, aqua, 2) vintage inspired,
3) cute dogs, and 4) Parisian theme. Umm.. that's
everything I love too! Can you imagine how excited
I was to whip up pincushions for her?!


I made it a point to have a cute dog print
somewhere in each pincushion for her. I am totally
in love with the apples and pears fabric I recently
snatched from this etsy store.


I knew I would want to make a pincushion
with the red and aqua poodle fabric
immediately after learning about the
recipient's favorite things.


I think this one came out kinda cute!

I'll have another one to go. None of these had
enough aqua fabric, so maybe the next one will
be made of lots of aqua fabrics. hehe.

I wanted to let you know that I will be out of town
until Sunday night this week, so I will not be able
to reply to comments/emails until Monday.

It will be a girls' trip to Vegas with my family in law!

Hope you have a great rest of the week :)

Thank you for taking the time to read this :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fabric Hauling in Japan #1


So I've come to realize that it would not be as
realistic as I expected to have a blogpost where I
have pictures of all fabrics and all zakka items,
given everything that needs to be in
have been listed. For a few reasons. For one, I am
sort of lost in the amount of fabric I brought from
Japan. For two, I am not the most organized
person. And for three, I am simply ready to sew up
something tonight for someone's birthday coming up soon.

For these selfish reasons, I decided to share with you
pictures of Japanese fabric & zakka over the span
of several blogposts. I will be adding some fabrics to
my etsy shop from time to time too in case you are
looking for some Japanese fabric to join your stashes.


The very first picture in this post is some cotton
print fabrics designed by Kumiko Fujita.
A fabric chain store called Yuzawaya had a quite
big selection of her fabrics that aren't very easy
to find in other fabric stores, so I went a bit crazy.

And these umbrella fabrics - could anything be cuter?!!
I am so madly in love with the print that I bought
it in four colorways! Okadaya is another fabric chain
store that has lots of cute fabrics. When I was living
in Tokyo 8 years ago, I used to live SO close to
a large store of Okadaya. Too bad it was until after moving
here that I discovered the joy of sewing and collecting fabrics.
I never cared to stop by the store once.


More small cut fabrics from Okadaya. I love this
store's small cut fabrics section. Each of these
measures only 35cm x 50cm (13" x 20"). It doesn't
make you feel too guilty to get one of these even
if you have no plan for the fabric :)


The fox and fruits fabric is soooo adorable.
The paris map print and the scallop print are
some of the fabrics I've wanted for a long time.


I'd seen the milk caps fabric online before,
but it was totally prettier in person!
I'm not sure if I can put it in use..


And these are small cut fabrics that I found
at Tokyo Quilt Festival. One thing I learned
about the festival is that you can find lots
of unusual fabric at pretty good prices! For
some reasons I thought I would see only new
fabrics sold at retail prices, but it wasn't true.


Many small cut fabrics that came from everywhere.
The drink fabric on far right is way too cute!


I have listed three different fabrics in my etsy shop
so far. This is from a collection called Cocochi E-style
by Kokka. I really like the soft feel and simple yet
cute print.


And this large strawberries print was totally irresistible.
Wouldn't it make such a cute curtain or apron or bag or..
pretty much every large project!


This is the fabric I knew I was getting a lot of
at first sight. I had never seen this Lecien linen
+ cotton blend print before. Love this so much.

As usual, let me know you came from here when
you snatch fabric from my store to receive an
extra little piece of fabric :)

Hope you had a great weekend!
Thank you for taking the time to read this :)