Thursday, April 14, 2011

Kitchen Goodies Swap: Sent and Received


Thank you so much for all of you for lovely and
sweet comments and emails about us moving to Japan!
We still don't know exactly when we will be moving,
but I started packing up just a little and am already
overwhelmed. I've moved a lot in the past 10
years (Gunma -> Tokyo -> Seattle ->San Jose), but
this is definitely going to be the most hectic moving ever
because we have SO many things accumulated in last 8 years
including my TWO sewing machines (I bought a new one
recently which turned out to be much cheaper in Japan
because the manufacturer (Janome) is Japanese.)
And of course lots and lots of fabric, including a lot of
them I just brought from my last trip to Japan. Sure,
I am not the best decision maker ever. lol


Anyways, I wanted to share with you what I've sent
as a part of Kitchen Goodies Swap I'd joined as well
as what I've received from my secret partner!


This is one of the linen kitchen towels I made for
my partner. The linen used is really cool. It was
sold as "Pre-double-washed", so I didn't have to
launder it. Woohoo! And I just love how it looks and feels.


I picked fabrics based on my partner's preference.
I wish I could share with you what her preference was
like but she hasn't received my package yet, so I
don't want to ruin a surprise in case she reads this post.


This is a little extra I whipped up very quickly to go with
the linen towels. I hope she will be able to use this one to
hold some little things at her kitchen.


Another linen kitchen towel. Ever since I found
this linen and cotton blend fabric, I thought it
would make a nice linen towel, so I'm glad I
actually made a towel with it.


Although I don't think it was the greatest decision to
buy my new Janome sewing machine right before going
to Japan, I'm really glad that I got to learn about
a lot of different types of feet at the sewing machine
store. This salesperson spent one hour showing me
how to use some feet that I didn't know were existing,
which made me squeal like a little kid at a candy shop.
This very narrow rolled hem was done with a 4mm hemmer foot
which creates professional-looking double folded hem so easily.
Oh how I enjoyed using the foot to do this! I've been
crazy about learning what other kinds of feet are out there ever since.

Let me share with you what I got from the swap also.
Try your best not to be jealous although it might be hard.

Kitty placemat KGS
Photo originally uploaded by sonjaartsania

Can you believe Sonja read my entire blog to research
my likes to make a set of placemats for Joe and me?!
When I first saw this picture on flickr, I was like
"Oh My! Please Please Please come to me!" Then the next
second I realized the cat reminds me of my cat Oto
in Japan so much. If you've read my blogposts about
my latest trip to Japan and you like cats, you might
recall this photo I shared here to introduce him.


So I became very sure that it was coming my way.
You have no idea how thrilled I was. The night I discovered
this photo, I couldn't sleep well because I was overly excited.
How sweet of her to think of me like this.. I am so touched!

sushi placemat
Photo originally uploaded by sonjaartsania

And this is another placemat she made with paper-pieced
sushi which is Joe's favorite food!!! And to share with
you my selfish aspect, these are the only three different
kinds of sushi I can eat - cooked eggs, cooked shrimp,
and rolls, so it was really thrilling to see these three!
Joe eats any kinds of sushi, so he is as happy as I am.

I must have annoyed Sonja by shooting three long emails
explaining why I love these placemats so much, but I
just couldn't help it.

I usually hesitate to join a swap just because I tend to be
way too intimidated by the thought that I may not be able to
make something that would satisfy my partner. And also,
deadlines for swaps come too fast in general. But after receiving
Oto and sushi placemats made my lovely Sonja, I am determined
that I should join more swaps from now on. Sure it scares me,
but look what great things you might receive in return!

Oh in case you want to make your Oto or sushi,
remember to check out Sonja's pattern shop.
They are coming soon.. :)

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


  1. these are great! i saw them on your flickr page earlier~
    and oto's so super cute!!

  2. I love that cat block!!!! Too cute!
    And I have a current obsession with machine feet--I'm trying to just buy the ones I know I will use. Like the free motion quilt foot I just bought this morning :)

  3. Okay, first of all, I think I need to hear a recording of the adorable Ayumi squealing like a kid in a candy shop. Secondly, your kitchen swap items are amazing. I have never been successful using a rolled hem foot (it all goes crazy when I reach the end of the thing I'm hemming, too much gets sucked in and well, yuck). Yours looks incredible!!! And third - LOVE Sonja. She's a major talent. What a wonderful swap for you!

  4. Just found your sweet blog...oh how happy it makes me...I adore all your sweet items. That kitchen towel is to take a peek in your shop right now. xoxoxo hugs

  5. I was given a vintage machine recently, and now I am buying new feet. It came with a hemmer foot! I know about the squealing. I am now saving up for a circular sewing foot. Truly cool. Apparently, there also something called a flower foot...

  6. Otto is just too cute in quilt form! I'll have to try making a cat block sometime.

  7. Oh the cat quilt just blows me away. To begin with, Oto looks so darling in that picture already. And Sonja's quilt replica is very close...very's no wonder you'd swoon over it, sure is a keeper!

  8. so what do we call him? otosan? lol!

  9. Konnichiwa Ayumi san! As usual, all your sewn creations are so lovely. I have the same yellow fabric that you used in the 2nd set of kitchen items. I have the same print not just in yellow but also in green background & in dusty-pink too!!! I think anyone who sews & goes to Japan, would definitely buy loads of fabric! Next time, you won't hv to travel far to stock up anymore!

  10. Wow. Everything is so wonderful. I can't wait for the oto pattern! That's right up my alley! I want place mats just like your towel. So lovely!

  11. Wow! The place mats you received are so cool! I love them. Your cat is beautiful and the place mat looks just like her!

    I also love the towels and basket you sent to your partner. I've looked at tutorials on how to make those baskets but I just can't seem to get it. I just kind of sit there and stare. Help?

  12. What a fabulous swap, both the sent and the received.

    I especially love how the sushi placemat is quilted. The "rays" of quilting emanating from the red center of the tuna roll remind me of the Japanese flag!

  13. Awwwwwww! The kitty has me melting all over my computer desk.
    Lovely, lovely stuff and because someone went to all that lenght to personalize it it's priceless.

  14. Wow, the cat block is amazing, no wonder you love it. I love what you did with the towels too, great idea.

  15. What lovely goodies- nthe ones you made- that linen looks wonderful to tuch and the ones you received- what thoughtful makes from Sonja, so cute!

  16. a month ago, i found your blog here and it has inspired me so much that started sewing!
    i never had something i am good in, but when i started sewing i had to make more and more!!
    so thank you for your inspiring work, ayumi!

    and these goodies are wonderful!

  17. Ah, your little baskets - I've made many of them following your instructions and was making them at a retreat and other gals there tried to make copies (without knowing there was a tutorial) because mine were so popular among them. So thank you for sharing the tutorial with us! Best wishes on your future move to Japan.

  18. I just wanna let you know that I am a big fan of your blog I love sewing. I've followed your blog since I lived in Brazil. I live in Nashville now with my hubby. Thank you for your ideas! Love,Waleska.

  19. What fantastic tea towels. I particularly love that toaster fabric you've used squares of on the grey towel. You really shouldn't be worried about disappointing your partner, I think anyone joining a swap who saw your name would be intimidated and would start praying you were their partner straight away!

  20. Nagyon ügyes vagy,a cica annyira hasonkít minha fénykép lenne!!!:))Nagyon szép!!!

  21. Your tea towels are so soft and cute! The patchwork squares in the border are so fun!
    The kitty is incredible! It looks just like in the picture.

  22. Oh, my! The Oto placemat is so wonderful! Don't worry about being good enough--I am quite sure your swap partner will be delighted with what you send.

  23. Love your log cabin slippers in the latest issue of STITCH!

  24. Just curious which model Janome you have and if you're happy with it. I have two Janomes now but it's about time I get another new machine...too many miles on the old ones.

  25. love your items ayumi, they're just stunning. wish I was in the swap. :) I'm sure your partner will be more than thrilled! and the placemats you got are too cute as well

  26. The Oto mat is Genius! I may send Sonja an email myself! Your towels are so cute, Ayumi, and they look like they have a really good feel too. DId you find the pre-washed linen in the US?

  27. Thank you so much for lovely comments everyone!

    I bought Janome DC 4030 which is available only in-stores. It's just got basic functions, nothing fancy, but I like it very much so far :)

  28. Thanks for blogging your crafts. You're so inspiring. And Sonja: respect!

  29. Oh Dear, never, ever wonder if your work is good enough!! First of all, you do your best ... that should be good enough ... secondly ... HELLLLOOOO!! Your stuff is amazing :) How very sweet of Sonja to do up kitty and sushi for you, very thoughtful ... she must be very kind and thinks highly of you too. Happy packing ;)

  30. how adorable!! and sonja's placemats are amazing!!

    yayy to your impending move! :) another blogger in tokyo! xx

  31. who do you like better: The cat, or Joe?

  32. I just discovered your blog through a link at Lily's Quilts. You are one talented lady. I am inspired!

  33. *hugs* Ayumi it was such a pleasure making these for you!! I'm thrilled that you love them, I would happily swap with you any time!!

  34. What a great swap, I love your kitchen goodies, then receiving those placements, wow!

  35. very cool placemats you received.

    You are such a natural for precision sewing, those fancy feet aren't that easy to get perfect result, certainly not first go and for the corners. I can just see you squeeing in the sewing machine shop ;-) I must send you a picture of my collection of feet sometime, I have sooo many for my Husqvarna Viking.

  36. You provide enriched information for us,thank u.


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