Monday, November 29, 2010

Bento Stuff


I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving
(if you are in the US) and a nice and relaxing
weekend afterwards. I didn't do anything special
for Thanksgiving but I had a quite bit of fun
with Black Friday deals at some local and online
shops. I love bargains. I can't resist anything like
20% off everything PLUS free shipping kinda thing.
I bought lots of necessities at Joann like batting,
threads, and interfacing, and snatched lots of
ecospun felt from


Speaking of felt, I have been really crazy about
making things with felt these days. Making felt
food was one of the million things I've wanted to
try out for a while. After sewing the popsicle block,
I was feeling like making more yummy stuff, and
I found myself spending hours browsing felt food
online. Oh my goodness felt has such possibilities!
The food in the picture is some typical stuff for
Japanese bento box: rice balls with seaweed around them,
fried shrimp, meat loaf, and lettuce. I made all these
using this great tutorial by manimani mamagoto.
I will make some eggs, brocolli, and other stuff
to complete my bento set! yay!


The cool thing about these is this TINY size!
This is such an easy, quick, and
frugal project. You can even do this while
laying down in bed.(I did! lol) I have been
making these using standard acrylic felt
and found that it makes too much mess.
I did some research on felt and found that
ecospun felt might be a better choice, so
I can't wait to experiment with ecospun felt.

I bought this felt sweets last year for Joe's
niece Sarah's Christmas gift and was so pleased
with how happy she was with them. She wants more
now. Maybe I will make some dessert for her this year.
Handmade stuff is always better and they look
so easy to make! I am excited.. hehe!

Thank you for stopping by :)

Edited to add:

Look at Sarah's response to this post :D


Monday, November 22, 2010

Popsicles Block

Ringo Pie - Anna's Dessert Block

I had a lot of fun making this block for
Anna as a part of Ringo Pie quilting bee.
November is Anna's month, and she picked Dessert
for her theme. Awesome, was the only thing I could
say. I LOVE anything sweet and have wanted to make
something sweet and delicious with my fabrics.

I had tons of ideas for dessert, but when I
saw a package of popsicles at Costco the other day,
(that looked just so yummy), my heart was set for
popsicles. For one, I really love them. For two,
I really appreciate a lot of straight lines
on a popsicle - makes it easy to paper-piece!


It is extremely satisfying to see this finished
block because I wasn't sure if this idea was feasible
at first. I started off with a rough sketch of a
single popsicle. (The chocolate one) and then
searched for some popsicles images online for
inspiration to come up with a few more
popsicles to go with. One thing I like about
this block is that there is an ice cream man
in it. Really? You can't tell? Then I need to
have you Look and See!


I love this print by Heather Ross.

Oh by the way thank you so much for all of you
who took the time to tell me about your favorite
part of the day. I really enjoyed reading each
and every one of your comment. It was really
therapeutic to learn about a precious moment in
everyone's life. It seems that all of us treasure such
simple moments, like quiet time in the morning,
reading books to children, having dinner with
family, and a cup of coffee/tea. So nice.

The random number generator picked these
three winners.


Sara who said.. "Hello, my favourite time of day
is first thing in the morning, I say good morning
to each of my children (I have 3) and they all say
good morning back with such enthusiasm. It's beautiful."

And Annie who said.. "My most favorite moment
of the day is when I first get up. No one else
is up yet and this time is mine alone!!!
I am up for either the book or the fabrics -
both look really nice."


Carmen who said... "Oh Ayumi, what a sweet giveaway
- thank you! Please put me down for those beautiful
fabrics:) My favourite moment of the day is either my
morning coffee, or sitting down to eat dinner with my
family:) I think my day is pretty much book-ended by
these two events. Thanks again!"

Congratulations to three of you! I am contacting you soon..!
For those who didn't win this time, please don't be
disappointed, because I will have another giveaway for
Suzuko Koseki's new book next year too :)

Have a great rest of the day, everyone!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Patchwork Style by Suzuko Koseki & Fabrics Giveaway!

So I talked a bit about Suzuko Koseki in the
previous post. I thought I'd go over about
her book, Patchwork Style today and give you a
chance to win a free copy of the book and fabrics!!


In this book, there are 35 patchwork projects
ranging from a little coin purse to kitchen items,
handbags, pillows and quilts.


Suzuko shares with you several different
techniques including applique, logcabin, free
machine stitching, and quilting in her projects.


Every time I flip through the pages, I find something
in this book that I hadn't noticed before. The
more I look closely at each project in it, the
more I find out small details that make each
project so cheerful and special.. I just love it.

So today I'd like to host a giveaway for this book
AND Suzuko Koseki fabrics! Two lucky winners will
receive Patchwork Style book from its publisher
and one of you will win a set of two fat quarters
of Suzuko Koseki fabrics from me! (I'll pick
fun SK prints for you in Japan!)

To enter this giveaway, just leave a comment
telling me about your favorite moment in the day.
Oh and let me know if you specifically want
either the book or the fabrics. If you don't
say anything about it, I assume you are up to both.

I will pick three winners on the 20th of this month
and will announce them on the 21st - next Monday!

Good luck :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Suzuko Koseki Love

Suzuko Koseki New Fabrics

I thought I would share with you my love for Suzuko Koseki
today. You may not have heard of her name, but she is a
designer of really cool fabrics and an author of several
patchwork books. Her popularity grew exponentially overseas
so that now we can find her books in English including
Patchwork Style, Playful Patchwork, and Natural Patchwork,
of which the last two available for pre-order on Amazon.

Suzuko Koseki Fabrics

Since her fabrics have become more and more available
outside Japan, you may own some of her fabrics without
knowing they are designed by her, which happened to
me at first. Until later I never associated my favorite
stashes with Suzuko Koseki who happened to be the
author of some of my favorite sewing books.

Suzuko Koseki Fabrics

I love her fabrics/designs so much that there aren't
very many things I've sewn without her fabrics.
When I am stuck at picking perfect fabrics for my
patchwork projects, Suzuko's fabrics are often my
solution and when I need inspiration, Suzuko's books
are the first ones in my hands. I am always on the
lookout for her new fabrics and projects (which are
often featured in Japanese quilt magazines) because
they are one of the best sources of inspiration for me.

Suzuko Koseki Fabrics

Anyways, the reason I decided to talk about Suzuko
today is that I came up with a fun idea yesterday
morning. Too much coffee without any breakfast helped
me feel valiant to start something new and exciting.

Suzuko Koseki Fabrics

So I will be visiting Japan after Christmas until
the beginning of February, which means I am over there
when Tokyo Quilt Festival is held at Tokyo Dome.
There is no way would I miss the chance to go there.
And I will probably be able to meet Suzuko Koseki
in person for the first time there! I am so excited about
this already. I can't wait to tell her how much
inspiration she has given for me through her fabrics/books.

Suzuko Koseki Fabrics

My fun idea is.. to make some gifts for her, not just
on my own but with other folks who are also big fans
of Suzuko. Each of us will make a coaster measuring 4.5"
x 4.5" that features one of the letters in her name.
For example, I would make a "S" coaster and, say, Kerry
would make a "U" coaster. In the end I will have twelve
coasters, each of them made by different folks.
It's a very simple, quick project. Basically, once I know
who will be in this project, I will assign each member
a letter so that she can go ahead and start making a
coaster that has the letter in some ways. The letter might
be expressed in patchwork, applique, embroidery,
stamps, or printing, etc. The designs and fabrics used
are totally up to everyone, but I think it would be great
to use Suzuko's fabrics or reflect on her designs in her books.

Suzuko Koseki Fabrics

I would like each member to send the coaster to my home in
Japan by January 15th in 2011 so that I can put them all
together and hand them to Suzuko in person at the quilt
festival. I am also thinking about including an introduction
of each contributor in Japanese so that she'll have a
chance to know a bit about her fans overseas.
Doesn't it sound kinda fun?!

Suzuko Koseki Fabrics

So far I have 10 confirmed members for this but I think
it would be perfectly fine to have many more members!
Instead of 12 coasters that make up SUZUKO KOSEKI,
we could do "WE ♥ SUZUKO KOSEKI" by 15 of us or
possibly something longer if there are many more of us.

All the fabrics I photographed for this blog post
are Suzuko's fabrics. You can google her name to
search more fabrics designed by her. If you aren't
sure if any of your fabrics are Suzuko's or not,
feel free to send me an e-mail to ask me about them.

It's really not necessary to be a huge fan of her
to join the group. In fact, it would be totally fine
to join even if you just learned about Suzuko today
and realized that you've got some of her fabrics in
your stash. As long as you 1) like her fabrics/designs/books,
2) are able to make a coaster to be sent by Jan 15,
and 3) are interested in being a part of this :),
you are invited!! If you are interested, please
let me know (via email) by the end of this week so
that I can start assigning a letter for everyone
next week. I hope you'll decide to join :)
Even if you decide not to participate in this,
I will keep you posted on the project here in my blog,
so I hope you'll enjoy seeing everyone's coasters.

Oh and if you've made something with her fabrics
or from her books and have a flickr account,
you might be interested in adding your photos to
this flickr group called I ♥ Suzuko Koseki :)

Ok, I think I talked too much today.
Thank you for reading such a long post..!
Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Still on a pincushion mission


I have to warn you.. this post is once again going to
be about log cabin pincushions that I've been making
like crazy these days.. so if you are sick of looking
at my pincushions by now, it might be better off to
skip this post. If you still have patience to read
my tedious story about each of three new pincushions,
I thank you in advance for taking the time to do so :)


This is probably one of my favorite pincushions
I have made so far. So the story goes like this..
the blue bird (in the middle) is hungry and looking
for some veggies to munch on. But as you can see,
there is another bird flying in to grab the veggies
on the right top corner. I felt bad, so I decided
to leave him with two carrots on the left bottom.
Let's hope he'll find the carrots before
the other guy comes to get them.


I really really like this one too. I'm so happy
that I made it because this is my first project
ever that I used this many purple/lavender fabrics
for. I always thought I am not the biggest fan
of the color range, but I started liking them.
If the purple/lavender fabric is either modern
or vintage, I can enjoy it very much, which
I have learned pretty recently.


This mousy has a date tonight and he is planning
to take his girlfriend to a nice restaurant where
they can enjoy really nice red wine and hopefully
a bird or two out the window. He is not so sure if
he can satisfy her well, so he can't really
guarantee the quality of the date, but maybe qulity.


This turned out to be fun too, I think.
Remember the story about Mister Donut fabric?
The word "Mister" came from the fabric.
"Donut" part of the fabric couldn't really
fit in, so I included..


a real donut, well, not that real but
more fun than a word right? There is a truck
at the top that carried the donut. The gnome
is a bit confused though.. not sure why he
is included in the Mister Donut pincushion..
so to make him feel a little better, I added
the penguin and the cute owl.

Thank you to those of you who snatched my
pincushions - I will be adding more in my
shop in a few days :)

Have a great day/afternoon :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mary Mug Rug

mary mug rug

is a very kind, sweet, generous, and creative
lady I very much look up to. She has sent me
lots of packages full of yummy goodies including
truly precious vintage fabrics, her handmade
items, and her lavender which smells the BEST!

Knowing how skilled of a seamstress she is,
I feel embarrassed to make anything for her,
(because I know surely that she can make the
same thing just a trillion times better!)
but to me, there is no better way than creating
something personal to show appreciation from my heart.
I'm sure many of you can agree with me :)

I made this with her name in patchwork
not knowing what it was going to be. I thought
she might like to use it as a mug rug, so I
used insul bright batting but I also thought
she might be kind to decide to hang it, so
I added a few small loops on the back.

I really enjoyed making it and couldn't wait
to get this to her! Soon, I will have a post
on many handmade gifts I have received from
several blog friends over the span of a few
months and you'll see lots of Mary's
beautiful creations there.. :)

Pin Cushion

My most recent gift from Mary included
lots of lovely vintage fabrics/feedsacks.
All three pincushions I showed you in my
precious post as well as additional three
I am showing you today include at least
one fabric scrap that was from Mary :)


For example, this pink fabric with a ferris wheel
is one of my favorite! Isn't it so cute?!
I think this fabric made the pincushion
very cheerful. What is it about the vintage
fabrics (especially feedsacks from the 30's)
that are just unbelievably adorable?!


I picked this fabric for the back side.
Oh by the way, I've noticed that I've been
choosing lots of fabrics that I bought on my
last trip to Japan two years ago for my projects
recently. You know why.. I think it's because I am
going to Japan next month ! :D Hooray!!
I think I am subconsciously trying to use up the fabric
I bought there on my last trip so that I can give
myself a reason to buy more this time :) My entire
family thought I was going crazy by buying so much
fabric last time. (Last time I went to Nippori Textile
Town, I bought so much fabric that I gave myself
a bruce on my right arm where I was hanging
bags full of fabrics! lol!) Sure I was going a bit
crazy but don't mind the same experience again :D


I really like this one especially the naughty
look of the bird on the red tape. It's like
he is planning to eat up the pincushion or
something. lol.


Isn't the pot lovely? This is also the fabric
Mary shared with me. I think it is one of
my favorite fabric now. So adorable!


Yup, this is also one of the fabrics I
snatched in Japan two years ago!

cherry pincushion

This one turned out to be so American, color-wise!
One thing I like about this pincushion is..


This girl in the corner wondering where
she left her cherries and strawberries
that she needs for her cooking. The upside
down kettle there is fun too!


This fabric is just perfect for a pincushion.

The last two pincushions are available
in my shop now :)

Thank you for reading such a long post!
Hope your week started off good :)