Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year - 2009!

"Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu"
is what we say when seeing people on New Year's day
in Japan to celebrate the new year, so I'd like to say that
to you too. Happy New Year! / Akemasite Omedetou Gozaimasu!

Thanks so much for your sweet comments/e-mails that you've left
for me while I was gone for a trip to LA. I'd like to show
some of the pictures from the trip first today and then move on
to the Penguin Quilt I finally finished!

Nice Ocean View
On the way to LA, we drove along CA1.
There were so many places that we stopped by
to take shots of beautiful views of the ocean.

Lovely cat
We found this kitty cat napping on a phone box
on the way to LA too. I love cats. I don't get to be
around cats as much as I want to, so finding cats
at random places thrills me.

Danish Town
The best place we stopped by was this little Danish
town called Solvang. I loved the structures of buildings
and the whole town. Made me really want to visit real Denmark.

Universal Studio
The next day, we went to Universal Studio in LA.
I'd been to Universal Studio in Japan but had heard
that one in LA is quite a bit better, so I was pretty
excited coming here. It was fun!

Universal Studio
My fave at the theme park was Water World.
It was an outstandingly powerful attraction.
I could tell lots of things going on there must
not be seen in Japanese Universal Studio due to
Japan's strict law. I simply love American powerfulness.

Universal Studio
Cute candy shop.
The lightening there was so beautiful.

Queen Mary
The next day, we went to Queen Mary in Long Beach.
We ate some good food and walked everywhere in the ship.

Queen Mary
This ship reminded me of Titanic a lot.

Queen Mary - Long Beach View
The ocean view was indescribably remarkable!
If I ever have a chance to take my family to
LA, I must come here. My mom would love this view.

Queen Mary
I like seagulls that aren't scared of people and
let us take nice pictures like this.

LA - Joe smoking Hookah
That night I got to see my friend living in Orange County.
We had this multicultural dinner at an Arabic restaurant.
American, Japanese, Indian,Norwegian, Saudi Arabian,
and Vietnamese/Cambodian. Pretty cool, huh?
Joe smoked Fruity taste Hookah there for the first time.

Tomo and me
Tomo and me. Tomo is my buddy from a college in Japan.
It was so super nice to see her and her boyfriend and friends.

Tomo made these for us - thanks!
She is a crafter like me. Aren't these scarves beautiful?
She made them for me and Joe. Visit her Etsy shop!

The last day, which is yesterday, most of the time was
spent in the car - 8 hours of driving back to San Jose.

The trip was really good.

Printable fabric
Back to Sewing talk!
Some of you asked me how I made the fabric label for
Taihei Quilt. I basically created labels using Photoshop
and printed on a piece of printable fabric that I found in Joann.
Very simple. This book suggests to launder once you print
it out to make the ink stay and to avoid the labels shrinking
when ironed, but don't ask me if I laundered haha. I'm lazy.

penguin quilt completed
The greatest news is that I FINALLY completed Penguin Quilt.
I really enjoyed making it, and I appreciate all your support
throughout my process on this quilt. You are all so helpful
and nice to cheer me up and encourage me to happily work on it.
Thanks so much. I seriously think I might not have finished it
without your backup, so it's not only my creation but ours!!

penguin quilt completed
Joe's been using it to keep himself warm on the couch.

penguin quilt completed
So I decided not to hang up on the wall but leave it on the couch.

penguin quilt completed
I learned a lot of lessons by working on the two quilts.
And I see that I can make better quilts in the future by
learning from the mistakes. I love quilting now.
I have a feeling I am already going to start the third quilt.

Happy New Year!!

Thanks for reading!


  1. LOVE the quilt and the beautiful pictorial of So. California.

    Happy New Year!

  2. Your trip looked like it was great fun! I've been to that Universal Studios but never the Queen Mary.

    I love your penguin quilt. Beautiful!

  3. Kochira koso-- mata rainen mo yoroshiku wo negai itashimasu!

    No, I don't speak japanese (I wish), but my Hubby does! Wishing you the best. BTY I love your penguin quilt is gorgeous

  4. I so enjoyed the photos! I live in LA, a stones throw away from Universal, actually. It's neat to see my city through other's eyes. The quilt turned out so well. Looking forward to seeing more of your projects this year! Happy New Years!

  5. Love the pics, especially the candy shop, yum! And I'm so happy you finished the penguin quilt. It looks fantastic!

    Happy New Year!

  6. Oh, I love Solvang! Sometimes my hubby & I make the 2-3 hour drive from LA just to go get pastries! :) Now the real question is...will you do the drive along PCH again?? It's a long one!

  7. I loved all of your pics. You quilt turned out gorgeous! Can't wait to see more of your work.

  8. Your pengiun quilt is beautiful! You did a great job. I also love Solvang. I live on the east coast but I always try to visit Solvang when I visit my friends in CA.

  9. Happy New Year.

    My boyfriend would love the Water World feature at Universal. He loves that movie. lol. :)

  10. Happy New Year!
    Congratulations on finishing your quilt - it looks stunning.

    I have never been to USA so really enjoyed taking your journey with you - Thanks.

  11. Happy New Year for you too and thanks for sharing your beautiful photos. The Penguin Quilt is gorgeous! Love all the things you show us here! (and also your tutorials)!

  12. Looks like you had a great time in So Cal. You got to see so many great things. I LOVE your quilt. I can't wait to see what you make next.

  13. Happy New year to you too!
    Your trip sounds wonderful, and I love the penguin quilt now it's finished - the linen makes the other fabric pop right out. Beautiful.

  14. What a fun and wonderful trip! So nice to see the sun and colourful sites you went to. Makes me want to go and visit....
    The quilt is absolutely fantastic. Well done you!
    Happy New Year and best wishes for a creative year ahead.

  15. Happy New Year! Your quilt turned out lovely! And you take such great travel photos (LOVE the cat!)!

  16. Happy New year to you too! Looks like you have been busy! Congratualtions on finishing some awesome quilting projects. You must be really proud of yourself! I've been to the Universal Studios in Japan & it looks quite the same! Though didn't see any cats. Hope to speak to you throughout the year!

  17. The penguin quilt is awesome! I am ready to jump in to quilting. I am wanting to make a dachsund quilt for my husband. The penguin quilt is my motivation.

  18. Hi! happy 2009

    I was wandering, what camera do you have? cos you take very nice pictures,good quality.


  19. Thanks so much for lovely comments everyone!

    I use Nikon D40 ;)

  20. You're making me homesick - I was born in California; grew up in the Central Coast so I'm familiar with Solvang. Did you get to go to Thumbelina's? Great stitching shop.

  21. You live in San Jose? I lived in the silicon valley few years ago and we almost did the same trip than you in So California... I love your blog and now that I know you live in a area I love, it's gonna be quite special to visit your blog! Have a happy new year and continue to be very creative!!

  22. Your penquin quilt is adorable. Happy new year and thank you for sharing your tutorils with all of us.

  23. Happy New Year to you too! Your quilt turned out so beautiful! You have a natural talent for picking out fabric colors that go so well together. Can't wait to see what your next fabrics will be!


  24. Thanks a lot, everyone!


    No I didn't stop by Thumbelina's!
    If I had known about the place, I must have looked for it!!


    Yes I do live in San Jose. I find this area to be a quite bit boring, but I am glad you liked living here!

  25. OH...I used to live on Ocean Blvd. in Long Beach...I lived beach side just to the right of your photo's view from the Queen Mary...THANKS FOR SHARING IT! I loved living there!

    I can't tell you how many times I walked or biked down that beach path!

    I miss the SUN most of all!

  26. Wow, what a great quilt! Did you make up the measurements for it, or did you follow a pattern? I need one just like yours now. Thanks for the inspiration!

  27. Thanks everyone!

    I made the pattern by myself. Since many people have asked me for the pattern measurements, I will post the measurements sometime soon ;)

  28. That cannot seriously be your first quilt Ayumi - it is the coolest quilt ever, even if it was made today, so you even started off cool - you didn't even start off dorky and then progress to cool - that's cheating!

  29. OMG what a fabulous first quilt Ayumi, and you designed it yourself!
    I am in awe!


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