Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bee = Fun!

Union Jack for Erica - Ringo Pie

Here is the fourth block I made for Ringo Pie
patchwork bee
. This is the only bee I've
ever participated in, but it has been very
interesting. I didn't realize how fun a bee can be!

Erica asked for a union jack block made with
vintage fabric and solid fabric. I had great help
from a union jack queen Lynne to make this. She
is fabulous. This is the only block ever among the
four that I never used a seam ripper! Woohoo!
Mine is nearly as perfect as her union jacks,
but I am satisfied with it, and I hope Erica likes it!

Block for Kerry

This was the first block I made for the bee.
It was for Kerry and the theme was collection/hoarding.

Ringo Pie - Anna's Dessert Block

And this is the dessert block for Anna, the second
block I made for the bee. This is my favorite so far.

Ringo Pie - Door for Lisa

The third one is this door block for Lisa,
which I blogged about recently.

Now I've been contemplating the next block,
for Lucinda whose theme is Beginning of Spring.
That sounds interesting too, doesn't it?

Inspiration - Ringo Pie (May)

My month is May, a couple months away, but I am
so impatient. I've already decided on my theme
- Delivering letters/packages! (This mosaic is
to inspire everyone in the bee.)

I've always loved writing and sending letters and
packages. Something about the idea of whatever I
shipped being delivered has always fascinated me too.
I also LOVE receiving anything in the mail too.
(I'm sure you all do!) Sometimes Joe and I have
a little argument over who is to check the mail because
we both share the joy of receiving things in the mail.
Often Joe wins, but he gets disappoited almost every
time, because about 80% of stuff in the mail is for me :D

I hope your week started off nicely and the rest of
your week will be filled with laughter and crafty moments :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Stitch Magazine Spring 2011

Stitch Magazine Spring 2011

This is another thing I had been itching to share with
you! I can't believe how long I waited to post this!

Have you checked out the current issue of Stitch?
It's been about a month since this became available
on the bookstands, so you might have heard about
this a lot by now, but I still want to talk about it :)

This issue is, once again, packed with lots of
unique and fun projects that make me want to go
sit at my sewing table and start playing with my fabrics
right away. Did you know that, starting with this issue,
Stitch became a 'quarterly' magazine from a 'biannual'
magazine due to its growing popularity?!

I'm really glad that Stitch has been making lots
of progress to make this awesome magazine available
to many readers. For example...

1) We can now sign up for
Auto-ship program to receive this magazine
at a discounted price. (Free shipping within the US,
$5 international shipping.)

2) The mag became available for digital downloads here!
(Past issues are available too!)

3) A purchase of an individual project in
the past issues became available here.
They are now working on this - we'll probably
see more projects available for individual purchase soon :)


I don't know how, but I seem to be still surviving
as a Stitch's project contributor among such a creative bunch.
Coming up with projects for this magazine, making actual
projects, seeing them in actual magazines, and
hearing feedback.. each and every step has been
a bit intimidating, but I can't describe how happy
I feel about being able to experience all this too.
Stitch editors as well as many readers have been
very supportive of my work and I can't thank them (and you!) enough.

Stitch Magazine Spring 2011

This is a hot pad with chipmunk applique on.
Maybe letting this cute guy warm you up
isn't such a bad idea.. :)


Another project of mine featured in this issue
is the set of this kitchen towels! (Next to
my project is a felt pillow by Lisa that
made the cover of this issue! I love the pillow!)

Stitch Magazine Spring 2011

Making these was a lot of fun!
Of course you can find patterns for all the
applique in the magazine issue. I *might* have
some super exciting news about these towels
later, maybe in a few months... :D

Thank you for stopping by :)

I hope you have a great week!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Door Block

Ringo Pie - Door for Lisa

Before I have another super lengthy post about
the Japan trip (next one is going to be about
fabrics + etsy sales), maybe I can have a few short
posts so that I am not stealing too much of your time?

This is a block I made for Lisa for Ringo Pie bee.
January was Lisa's month and her theme was "Door".
When she told us about this theme, it
was around Christmas season and my mind was totally
set for a door with a window with a Christmas tree behind it.


But you know it's been over a month since last
Christmas. I even saw a dumpster with a big
Christmas tree inside the other day. So how about
a Christmas tree going goodbye... oh no..
that would be too sad.


Let's keep the tree. Oh how about adding
windows, packages at the door, and a mail box?!
Wait, the theme is Door, I am not supposed to
create a whole house. ok.. then..


No more packages and a mail box, but how about
a little welcome "OPEN" board on the door?
Hmmm.. the board might be more fun if it says "LISA"
How about people peeking from windows? No that's weird.


Ok, no people but a LISA board. Looking better.
How about her puppy Moose coming out of the door?!?!
I was sooooooo excited about the idea and spent
some time researching on Moose and seeing how
I can paper-piece him..... umm.. that'd be way
beyond my basic paper-piecing skills. Definitely
don't ruin the image of the cute Moose!


After all, this is the block I finished this morning.
I am just keeping my fingers crossed that this
turned out to be acceptable and that it is almost
up to quality of everyone else's door block.

Thank you for letting me share my creation!
Have a great day!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Suzuko Koseki Project + Meeting Suzuko Koseki

Thank you so much everyone for letting me know that
you enjoyed the post on Tokyo Quilt Festival 2011. It means
a lot to me that I can share the joy of discovering inspirational
quilts with you, because I don't have very many friends in
real life who are as crazy about this kind of stuff as I am.
The love is a gazillion times better when it's shared!

Like I mentioned before, this is going to be a ridiculously
long post again, but this is the post I was the MOST excited
about sharing.. it's about the Suzuko Koseki project that
were completed by 19 Suzuko Koseki fans in 9 different
countries! (I realized it was not 8 but 9 different countries
- so sorry for everyone in the project that I kept saying
it was 8.) Basically, each of us made a 4.5" x 4.5" coaster
featuring one of letters in "We Love Suzuko Koseki!" All
the coasters were mailed to my home in Japan were put together
by me and were gifted to Suzuko Koseki in person at the
Tokyo Quilt Festival. I thought this was a great way for
us to show our appreciation on how inspirational her fabric
and books have been to us. I thought it would be really nice
for her to know how she has many fans all over the world too.


After coming up with the idea though, I realized I might
have been a bit too adventurous. What if I don't have
enough folks to create "We Love Suzuko Koseki!"? What if
any of the coasters sent to me in Japan were lost in transit?
What if I don't get to meet Suzuko Koseki for some reasons?
What if my cats mess up these coasters while I was gone?
... I had lots and lots of things to worry about..

But you know what, I definitely worried too much.
I had more than enough folks to make this project
possible. All the coasters were delivered to my place
safely and on time. I did get to meet Suzuko Koseki.
My cats didn't mess up the coasters. (I kept them in
my suitcase zipped up completely.) So it all went well.

I'd like to introduce everyone who participated in
this project along with the coaster she made for Suzuko,
and then I want to tell you all about meeting
Suzuko Koseki as well as show you lots of pictures
taken at her booth at the festival.


The first coaster to kick off this project was
made by Saskia in Switzerland!
A very interesting thing about
this SK project was that you'll see a wide variety
of techniques used to express a letter on a coaster.
Saskia was the only one who used the silk-screening
technique to get her "W." Really neat, isn't it?!


This is by Hoyoyi who lives in Malaysia!
Her coaster is very original in that it was the
only one made with felt and was the only
coaster that flew over from Asia! My sister
was totally in love with this perfectly pretty
coaster - I had to make sure she wouldn't steal it!


What can I say about this coaster made by
Kerry? Kerry was the first person I approached
when I came up with this project's idea, because I
know she is a huge fan of Suzuko Koseki and she knows
the best way to put SK fabrics together! This coaster
was fully made from SK fabrics and the little bell is
so special because it is Suzuko's trademark!
(Suzuko's Suzu means "bell".) Check out her
Quilt-a-long for Circle of wonky stars quilt!


This heart coaster was made by Megan in America!
Can you believe that this heart is made of
teeny tiny squares of SK fabric that are neatly
and perfectly sewn on the linen background?
Such a lovely and innovative creation!


This "V" coaster made by Almut in Germany
reminds me of Suzuko Koseki's style SO much,
which I truly love!! The backing of this
coaster was SK's kitchen utensils print fabric
who was a perfect match with this!


And this is the E coaster I made. I came up
with this design to use as many SK fabrics
as possible. I messed up by making it a lot
bigger than it was supposed to be, so I fixed
it while I was in Japan.


Amisha had to be a part of this project because
she seems to be a big collector of SK fabrics!
Lots of fabrics she used for her coaster are
SK's and look how fun it is when they are put
together like this! Great coaster
to start off Suzuko's "S"!


This sunshine-like coaster was made by
Marit in Norway who's super good at piecing
fabrics together! I really like her quilts
that has pieced Norwegian words featured.
So happy that she agreed to join this project.


Everything about this Z coaster is very creative
and is very 'Amy' in Australia! She goes to Japan
quite often to search for fun fabric finds! I love
how she finds lots of SK fabric in Japan! If you haven't
checked out a great sale at her online store,
you definitely should!


Another coaster flown over from Australia is
this really stylish one made by Belinda!
She has such a great collection of SK fabrics
that makes me drool. What a great way to
use SK's typography fabric like that?!


Although I knew how busy she is, I couldn't
help myself inviting Jan to be part of this
project because she too has such an amazing
SK fabric stash! This breathtaking design
made many of my friends wow!


I really can't think of a better fabric combination
for the SK's buttons print fabric! Look how the
"O" echoes with the round buttons too!! Chawne
is so good at coming up with perfect combination!


Irene made a really cool K coaster to start
with Suzuko's last name! I love how the fabrics
she used are very contrasting with each other.
Very, very Suzuko-ish!!!


Logcabin, pink, Sk fabrics - it's like everything
I like! (Why am I sounding like it was for me?
it is of course in Suzuko's hands now!)
Linda makes such beautiful things!


Nanette has been so inspirational for me
ever since I discovered her blog in blog land.
A house with a door and a window
with a strawberry - what a fun way to play
with SK fabrics while featuring the "S"?!


This impeccable 'e' coaster was made by Sardaana in
Austria and she owns her shop where she sells
her super cute creations and lots of unusual fabric
(such as Suzuko Koseki's fabrics!) I really
loved how this coaster felt in my hands.


I think the first time I found Penny was when
she posted the famous quilt-along project.
No question how I became a fan of her instantly.
She too loves Suzuko Koseki styles and I was
just thrilled that she decided to join us!


Manuela came up with this perfect cursive "i"
coaster! The vintage style fabric she used
for the letter is a great match with the SK
polka dots fabric used for the binding!!


Last but most definitely not least is this
"!" coaster by Lynne that concluded our "We Love
Suzuko Koseki" just perfectly! I can almost
here you wowing at this. Have you checked
out her hexagon park quilt tutorial on
Moda Bake Shop? Have you entered the Sherbet
pips layer cake giveaway
on her blog yet? :D

Aren't these all so super creative?! I can't thank
everyone enough for how hard they worked to make
interesting coasters with lots of love for Suzuko.

Now let me tell you about my adventure to meet
Suzuko Koseki in person for the very first time!

I sent her an email beforehand to let her know
that I have something I made with her fans
overseas and that I would like to give it to
her on the 27th of January. Soon, I got a reply
from her staff saying that she would let Suzuko
know about me and that I should be able to see
her around 3pm at her shop vendor.

I was rather nervous than excited about this
opportunity coming up. Like I said many times,
Suzuko Koseki's sewing and quilting style
has been the most influential for me. I strongly
believe that I would not have developed this
much love for fabric and sewing without her.
A big statement, I know, but it's very true.

So I was tremendously nervous about meeting
her in person. Can I do a good job telling her
how inspirational she has been without freaking out?
Would I look OK and appropriate? Can I really tell her
how popular her fabric and books have been all over
the world? Wouldn't I bother her by trying to
take the time to present our gift (coasters) for her?

Meeting Suzuko Koseki

But once again, I worried too much.
Suzuko was such a sweet, laid-back and
approachable person who welcomed me so warmly.

She said she couldn't believe it when her
staff told her about our gift made by
folks in 9 different countries. She didn't
even know that there is anybody who knows
about her in America. I, of course, told her
how popular her textile and books have inspired
many crafters in not only America but other
countries. I also told her that I am very often
asked about where I got my SK fabrics and how
and where they can be found at.

Having our gift in hands, Suzuko was so happy.
I don't know how many times she said
"oh my goodness, I am so happy about this.
I can't even describe how much I appreciate this.
Please let everyone know how much I love this."

She said it was her very first time to receive
a gift like this and that made me so happy.
She also said that she is probably going to
decorate her room with our coasters too!

I got to chat with her about 20 mins there.
In the meantime, she took me to her booth at
the show that was, of course, the most
gorgeous booth there!


She was so nice to suggest that we take pictures
together in her booth. With her special permission,
I got some pictures with her with her newest quilt
in background. She also let me spend some time
taking close-up pictures of everything in the booth!


I know I said I really liked many quilts at the
show, but really, everything I saw at her booth
took me to a different level of "I LOVE THIS!"


We talked about a lot of things, but I remember
very clearly is that she said she has an extended
family who resides in Davis in California.
It was really exciting to know that she came to
see the family last year and traveled around
San Francisco. That is quite a bit close to
where I live - San Jose!


We also talked about my hubby.
I told her that I recently got married to
an American guy who even knows about her
because I talk about her too much. She was giddy.


I also brought up about her upcoming
that will be published in America.
I told her how excited we are about it.


We also talked about Seattle, the city
she loves and I used to live. She said
she really enjoys the nature in Seattle.


And of course I had many questions about
these amazing things at her booth. I thought
she made every single thing, but she said
her students (she teaches many quilting classes
throughout the year) help her with these a lot.
Fir example, all these flowers as well as
bread and macarons were made by her students.


It was really exciting to see some of her creations
that were featured in her books. I was really excited
to tell her that I tried to make one of the
pillows she had there but failed.


You might have seen this cushion in
one of her books :)


Oh another thing I learned there was that
many things she uses for her crafty work
come from American souvenirs from her friends.


She also travels to France very often. (no wonder!)
Every once a while I see some articles in Japanese magazines
calling for folks to join a trip to France with Suzuko.
One day, I want to sign up! ..one day!!


It was a lot of fun chatting with her and taking
pictures at her booth, but what I remember the most
from these pictures is my nerve tension and my
sweaty hands. lol.


Oh before I say a goodbye today, I want to tell you
how generous Suzuko was for me! She said she would
feel really bad about not being able to thank
each member individually, so she kindly asked me to
share these fabrics from her newest textile collection!
She didn't let me pay for them.


I was sooooo happy at the thought that all 19 of us
had something that went to Tokyo Quilt festival
and have something that we brought back from it.


I chopped off all the fabric last night to
share them with everyone who participated in
this project. I'm really excited about
everyone having SK fabric literally given from SK!!

Thank you so much for reading this LONGEST
post ever! I am so happy I finally got to share!
And a BIG thank you again for everyone who
made this project possible! I truly
appreciate your support and love!