Thursday, July 26, 2012

Texting while Sewing Conest

"Texting while sewing" is definitely something I love to do; in fact,
I rarely ever sew anything without texting! Typography fabric has
become really popular among quilters in the past few years, and I am
loving the fact that the availability of the fabrics with text designs
just keeps getting better and better!

Amy of During Quiet Time came up with this fun contest where
she invites you to enter a 12" block made using some text
prints creatively. You can enter it by blogging about your block and
the contest and linking up via a Linky post on Amy's blog which
will be up August 27, 28 and 29, 2012!

A great thing about this contest is freedom! You can use whatever
method you are comfortable with; normal piecing, paper-piecing,
English-piecing, applique, and whatever! You can go ahead and
create your own text fabric (printing on fabric? stamping?) if
there aren't perfect text fabrics. Also, you can enter more
than one block if you wish! (Separate blogposts will be necessary.)

And of course there are lots of awesome prizes! Check them out here!

Amy will choose top ten, and Kerry and I (!!) will be the
judges to pick the top three entries among the ten! I hope
you will consider entering your texty block to this contest!!
I am so dying to see what everyone will come up with!!!

Here isthe flickr group for the contest if you are anxious to share your block ;)
Text prints can be found in a lot of stores now. (I have some in my shop too ;) )

Hope you are having a great day!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Call me a Lucky Duck!

Caramels made by Sam
I admit I have been such a lucky duck lately! I have received lots of lots of lovely gifts from both my lovely real life friends and sweet blog friends am feeling like I already had a Christmas! Most of the gifts were for my birthday (thank you girls!), and others are something that had arrived way before and I had been meaning to share with you! I'll be focusing on only handmade gifts and vintage gifts just because I know that's what many of you are most interested in ;)

Those caramels above were made by the lovely Sam! I literally had no idea how HUGE of a difference there is between store-bought caramels and handmade caramels until I had her caramels! They melt so nicely in the mouth and taste just delicious. Both Joe and I became such a big fan of her dessert instantly! In case you are curious, the cups and the saucers are from Afternoon Tea shop, one of my favorite shops in Japan! I have a record of never leaving a store without snatching up something, which I don't know if I should state this proudly lol.

Tote made by Claire

This tote was made by the sweet Claire. How clever is it to iron-transfer the nice crown on the tote and add the beautiful fabric flower and the ruffle! I love the English-ness so much! I have never been to England but it sure has become one of the top countries to visit for me! I have 'met' many lovely English people, enjoy so many movies/shows that take place there (The Game of Thrones to name one), and just love the designs that come out of the country that are everywhere in Japan! Silly of me, but I feel that I am one step closer to being in England if I carry this bag around. A girl can dream, can't she?

Here is another creation of Claire I am so lucky to call mine! She has such a beautiful blog where you can find a tutorial on it here. I love everything she makes and am dying to see the projects she has been working on for her etsy shop's re-launch! This bunting has already found a place to be hung in our apartment. So lovely!

I have been wanting to talk about my friends Kerry and Penny's new patterns launch! I am sure most of you know about their Sew-Ichigo already and how cute of paper-pieced block patterns they have come up with! Not only are they both uber talented, they are such sweet sweet people! Kerry and Penny made my heart sing by using my tutorials to showcase their cute blocks in projects! What I didn't know until I checked the mail today was both their cute projects made ways to my little apartment!!! I had NO idea that they were heading my way!!! I am so happy!!! The fabric box above was made by Kerry. Can you see how she did such a lovely way to showcase the buttons inside the box??? Every one of these buttons are just precious!!! I'll have to think of a way to use this box without covering up the bottom completely ;)

This is a fabric basket Penny made! See how cute it is to see the spool, button, spool, button... on the basket?? How stinkin' CUTE?! I just love that their patterns are so versatile! I can think of so many projects using these patterns! I would really like to make a sewing cover with these blocks and a mini quilt!! If you have yet to snatch up your copy of Sew-Ichigo's new patterns, you can do so here on their blog!

This is how they look together. So cute, aren't they?

Here are such fun gifts from my friend Mary! She has made me so many nice things!! I treasure every one of them because everything she makes shows that she knows my colors and my taste in fabric/designs and everything!! I can't believe she re-purposed those thrifted boxes into such beauties! Inside the sewing box was a penguin necklace among others, that is even too cute to wear!

Elnora is absolutely amazing. She is such an inspirational person for me for so many reasons! She is so encouraging, supportive, thoughtful, and most definitely extremely creative! I have always admired her works as all her projects are very eye-pleasing, made with lots of thoughts, and executed professionally, which I am sure you can agree if you see this house pouch and the coasters!! I swear I'll never be able to place a cup on any of these cups for even a second.. ever!!!!

Last but not least is this mini quilt that was made by Kaelin! Ever since she posted a picture of this quilt on her blog, I was drooling over it and getting jealous of whoever it was destined to. Joe suspected it could possibly be mine, but I told him to stop teasing me so I won't get my hopes up. So you can imagine how I had a big squeal when I opened the package and found this lovely in it!!! Kaelin and I have talked about our love for Japanese cherry blossoms before. How lovely is she to remember that and to make a quilt for me to hang in my craft room!! I feel so lucky that it is sooo mine!!!

One of the things I am very much looking forward to when I see Kaelin in person is to hear her say my name in the southern accent! She did an awesome job to change the last letter from i to m so to reduce syllables in my name! I am so loving my new name!! Joe and I were talking about what would happen if we moved to the south in America today. (We give each other this kind of random questions all the time.) I told him that the first thing I would is to introduce myself as Ayums, hehe ;)

Before I head bed, I want to show you some gorgeous vintage goodies that made ways as gifts!

Beautifully hand-stitched coffee grinder tea towel from Krista!

Lovely apron from Penny!

And this adorable embroidered seven dwarfs from Kerry!! They are all so special!

Thank you for reading such a lengthy blogpost ;)

I hope you are having a lovely week so far! I'm off to bed!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The winner!

Congratulations goes to gccmom whose comment was the 28th!!

Congrats, gccmom! I will contact you shortly ;)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Christmas in July: Mini Fabric Tape Tutorial

Welcome to the third stop on the Christmas in July blog hop!

Thank you Elizabeth for hosting this fabulous blog hop and for inviting me to take a part!
If you are anything like me, you'd wait til the last minute to get working on
Christmas gifts and realize a few days before Christmas that you totally
underestimated the time it takes to finish up gifts. Then you end up rushing
into stores to pick up store-bought presents for your loved ones. You are
apologetic that you are giving the store bought stuff rather than handmade
gifts that you had dreamed about making for them. Your new year's resolution
would include "Start making Christmas gifts WAY earlier!!" Can you relate?
Then maybe it's time for us to start doing something perhaps!!


Today I would like to share with you a very simple fabric tape tutorial.
I like making these because it is a great way to use up my fabric scraps,
and I enjoy using the tape for packages I put together. If you live in the
country that double-sided tape usually comes with backing, this tute
may not be very useful. I remember in the US the simple double sided tape
rarely had backing on it. This tutorial is for those who want to turn those
double sided tape without backing to fabric tapes!


I used parchment paper as a backing of the tape.
It is called "cooking sheet" in Japan, but it is the same thing as parchment paper
or bakery paper which is used to line baking pans as a non-stick surface.
Here I have a sheet of parchment paper measuring approximately 2" x 12".


I put on double-sided tapes throughout like this, being careful
not to create air bubbles in between the paper and tape.
(It's ok for the tapes to over-wrap a little.)


Then I placed it the sticky side down on the wrong side
of this fabric scrap that is a little larger than the paper at all edges.


Then I used pinking scissors to cut along both long edges.
(Make sure to cut along the paper so that your finished tape
will not have any surface with no parchment paper (backing).


Then I chopped it into pieces like this so the result is a lot of mini tapes
backed with parchment paper!


When you want to use the tape, remove the backing and place it where you want it to be!


It would be nice to have these made by Christmas! We know we never
have enough tapes for packages and cards and all!

I hope you'll turn your fabric scraps into some fun tapes!

Here is a schedule of Christmas in July! Don't forget to stop by
all these lovely stops for Christmasy inspiration!

Monday 7/16 - Don't Call Me Betsy
Tuesday 7/17 - Sew Crafty Jess
Wednesday 7/18 - Pink Penguin
Thursday 7/19 - Freshly Pieced
Friday 7/20 - Sew Sweetness
Monday 7/23 - Happy Quilting
Tuesday 7/24 - Comfort Stitching
Wednesday 7/25 - Diary of a Quilter
Thursday 7/26 - Felicity Quilts

Oh I almost forgot the best part! I have a great giveaway for you!
The fabulous Kathy of Pink Chalk Fabrics has generously donated
a $20 gift certificate to one lucky winner!


To enter the giveaway, leave a comment by the midnight Thursday!
One comment per person please ;)

Good luck and have a great day!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Popsicles Pattern at superbuzzy!!

Hello everyone! Remember me? It's Ayumi of Pink Penguin here! How have you been? If you are in the US, did you get to do something to celebrate the Fourth of July? (I miss the sound of people screaming for joy and the fireworks from everywhere!) It's been so Hot and Humid here in Japan. What's keeping me alive and not melting away is my daily intake of popsicles. I looove them so much, and Joe hates how much I eat them in the day. However much Joe says it is excessive, I have a special place for popsicles in my heart and stomach. I am not going to resist therm if I know they are waiting for me in the freezer, hehe!

Ringo Pie - Anna's Dessert Block

I'm so excited to announce my very first paper-pieced pattern debut today! Popsicles!! You may have seen this popsicles block above that I made for Anna for the Ringo Pie bee about a year and a half ago. I really enjoyed making the block and have always wanted to have this pattern available for friends! This pattern I wrote up is basically a simplified version of the popsicles block above (plus a watermelon bar as extra!)

The lovely Kelly of superbuzzy contacted me about a few months ago and suggested a superbuzzy/pink penguin collaboration where I make a block of the month around some theme for the superbuzzy shop and class! I was stunned! First of all, I have known superbuzzy for years for its BEST Japanese fabric selection! (I bet most of you have shopped there if you like Japanese fabrics!) My very first Japanese fabric I got in the US was a bundle of Atelier Akiko fat quarter prints from superbuzzy, which I used for the chocolate part of this block ;)

We will be offering you one block pattern a month starting this month! All blocks are to put together to make a quilt in the end! Yes, so this is basically a quilt-along! Would you let me call it "Super Penguin Quilt Along" or "SP QAL"??

I knew I'd want my first paper pieced block pattern to be popsicles! Not simply that I am a popsicle addict, but that I can highly recommend this pattern for anyone with any level of sewing experience. All four popsicles, except for the penguin one, are very simply constructed so I say they are very friendly to newbies. The penguin one is for anyone up for a challenge ;) If you are new to paper-piecing and want to save heartaches, I suggest you skip the penguin and make the watermelon one instead, which is super easy peasy but is equally fun!

Speaking of the watermelon popsicle, it looks like this in real life. It is very popular among kids in Japan and shows up everywhere during the summer. When Kelly suggested I include this one for our July block, I found myself questioning her "But don't you think folks will find it weird?" And then I realized it couldn't possibly be weirder than the penguin popsicle that doesn't even exist!! LOL!

All popsicles are finished at the same size, so if you are following along the QAL, pick three of your favorite and put them together, which will be your July block. Three watermelon bars? Three penguins? Two napoleons and one chocolate? Whatever you like!

The theme of the quilt along is most likely going to stick with "sweets", but we would love any suggestions or ideas if you have any!!

If you just want to try out one or a few patterns only to incorporate into your other projects along the way or maybe just want to try out paper piecing for a little bit or whatever, that would be completely fine too! We'd be just grateful if anyone could discover the joy of paper-piecing from our patterns!

For anyone who is a neighbor to her shop (in Ventura, California, USA), we would LOVE to invite you to a monthly class Kelly offers there ;) I am unfortunately not very close (I WISH!!), so I just have to imagine myself being there meeting crafty people and having tons of paper-piecing fun.

Oh can you imagine how excited I was to find out when the first class for this QAL is going to be held? It will be July 22nd (1pm - 4pm). That is, July 23rd (5am - 8am) in Japan, the morning of my 30th birthday!!!! So I'll wake up thinking about the people playing with my block pattern with Kelly. I already know I'll have a great birthday!!

Could I show you my friends' lovely work??


This was pieced by the awesome Doe! It's hard to believe this, but this is her first time trying out paper-piecing! How could that be possible???


And this is my lovely real life crafty friend Tamiko's popsicles that will turn into a pillow soon!!

Seeing these made me teary for joy! Thank you so much Doe and Tamiko for letting me share your yummy popsicles here!

The block of the month will be available at superbuzzy in both instant download and printed version at the beginning of the month. (Popsicles block (July block) are now available!)

If you have any question, please go ahead and leave it in the comment so I'll reply directly there as it's likely there are other people who have the same questions.

Thank you for allowing me to talk a bit! It's always nice to be back! I'll be back very soon!!

Instant Download  ♥  Printed Version  ♥  Class (July 22nd!)