Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Announcing the winner

Thank you to all of you who entered for the giveaway of "318 Patchwork Patterns"!
The random number generator picked 28, which means..

The winner is Angelia! Congratulations! I will contact you shortly!

Thanks for World Book Media for allowing me to give away a copy of this amazing book!
Just so you know, the book is already available on their etsy's shop here as well as other shops
such as superbuzzy here! (For some reasons on Amazon it says the publishing date is January, 
but that isn't true. Thanks for letting me know, Lindsay!)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Review and Giveaway: 318 Patchwork Patterns by Kumiko Fujita

You may have already heard about this, but this book, 318 Patchwork Patterns, by my awesome quilting hero Kumiko Fujita will be finally available to anybody! This is just such amazing news to anyone who loves quirky, cute, and creative patchwork patterns!!

I can't say enough how much I love this book. I have had this book for a long time but I keep going back to it because I can always find something new every time. Endless inspiration! I think Kumiko's way of utilizing beautiful fabric is just divine. She is just so talented and creative, and oh so funny and thoughtful too. I just love her! I don't think my love for patchwork would have been the same if I had not discovered her.

Years ago, my real life sewing friend Tamiko and I have decided to start a little patchwork bee and invited our lovely friends and we made some cute blocks from the book.

Scissors for Amisha ~ Patchwork 318 Bee ~

Cake Blocks - The 318 Bee

Living in Tokyo, I am often asked by overseas friends to look for particular Japanese sewing/quilting related things in Japan that are very hard to find. There has been nothing like the original version of 318 Patchwork Pattern that were sought out like crazy. It has been out of print for years, and there were literally hundreds of people who were looking for it. Because of its rarity, it was very hard to find in Japan too, and the market value has gone insane.
The most amazing gift ever!

And the popularity of the book even increased when my sweet friends made this baby quilt above for my girl! (I can never thank Krista for organizing and putting together this beautiful quilt! I still can't use it practically, worrying it may be ruined.)  Many patterns used in this book come from this book!

Thanks to World Book Media for republishing this book. Finally it is available to everyone at a reasonable price. And guess what? This time it is an English version!

I think the title of the book and the cover pretty much describes what this book is all about. There are 318 very unique and cute patchwork patterns that have vintage feels to them. Templates inside the book are supposed to be enlarged 250% to produce 6" x 6" finished blocks.

The first half of the book consists of blocks with straight line seams and the rest of it is about more elaborate patterns that have more curvy seams. All patterns are meant to be sewn by hands. You can paper-piece some of the blocks with straight line seams, but for most of them, you will need to break down the pattern by increasing the number of seams in order to sew by machine.

The book is available for pre-order here!

Check out this great blog hop along this book!

October 20th : Kerry from http://verykerryberry.blogspot.com

   House wall hanging from Home Sweet Home collection

October 22nd : Penny Layman from http://sewtakeahike.typepad.com

   Gardening apron with blocks from Vegetables collection

October 24th : Angela Pingel from http://cuttopieces.blogspot.com

   Wall hanging or bunting from Halloween collection

October 27th : Amy Sinibaldi from http://nanacompany.typepad.com

   Tote bag with applique blocks (288 or 285 or 261)

October 29th : Amber Carrillo from http://oneshabbychick.typepad.com

   Blocks from Christmas collection

October 31st : Latifah Saafir from www.thequiltengineer.com

   Baby blanket from At the Circus collection

November 3rd : Charise Randell from http://charisecreates.blogspot.com

   Make up kit and shoe bag from Girls’ Night Out collection

November 5th : Leila from http://wheretheorchidsgrow.blogspot.com

   Tea Cozy from Tea Time Collection

November 7th : Amy Friend from http://duringquiettime.com

   Table runner with blocks from Fruits collection

November 10th : Faith Jones from www.freshlemonquilts.com

   Mini quilt from Vehicle Collection

November 12th : Caroline from www.sewcanshe.com

   Tote or pouch with applique block

November 14th : Rashida Coleman-Hale from http://iheartlinen.typepad.com

  Paper piecing tutorial

For your chance to win a copy of this book, leave a comment for this post by Sunday November 2nd! I will have the random number generator choose a number and will be back to announce a winner! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Dresses designed for Patchwork Tsushin No.182

It's been a while since I last blogged, so it helps me if I let pictures explain themselves :) The dress pattern is for size 12-18 months. Thanks for all of you who bought this magazine from me through Instagram or my etsy shop. (It is sold out.) You may be able to find this current Patchwork Tsushin magazine at superbuzzy here!

Speaking of my etsy shop, I've got this lovely fabric in stock if text fabrics never gets old for you :) I love these so much I had to get them in all colorways!

Use a coupon SEPTEMBER to receive a 10% off on all items in my shop through the 15th Monday next week :) Thank you so much for taking your time to swing by! I miss you all. I hope to be back blogging more regularly soon!

Sunday, August 3, 2014


I apologize for the delay in announcing a winner of A Quilter's Mixology by the lovely Angela Pingel!

Thanks so much for sharing your favorite places to visit in the summer!

A Congratulation goes to cakegirl who blogs at white painted house! I will contact you shortly :)

Hope you are enjoying the summer!

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Quilter's Mixology by Angela Pingel Review & Giveaway

I am excited to be back here to share with you a really amazing new quilting book that joined my bookshelf. It is A Quilter's Mixology by the lovely Angela Pingel who blogs at Cut to Pieces!

By Angela Pingel
Interweave/F+W; $27.99

I have known Angela for years and she has been a huge inspiration for me. She is one of those girls who can make anything! Her quilts are crazy amazing, but she has designed all sorts of other things including children's garments and even zakka items that made my jaw drop to the floor. She has been big source of my inspiration, and I couldn't help telling her that she needs to write a book, so it was really exciting when she finally told me she was doing it! We chatted often while she was working on her book, which is over a year ago.  I feel I waited so long for this book! Angela's projects are always rich in colors and incredibly executed Her projects are great representations of herself as a person. She is so organized, posotive and oh just so lovely :)

Medallion Baby Quilt, Page 63

Her book was guaranteed to be one of my very favorite quilting books, and I was so right about that. I have had AccQuilt and Drunkard's Path due cutter, but had not have enough inspiration to actually use it until I saw this book. Now I am itching like crazy to tackle curvy seams so I can make a beautiful quilt using Drunkard's Path blocks! If you have been in blogland, you've probably heard about this book and have seen the pictures of all the beautiful quilts in the book on Angela's blog. If you haven't, you really need to check that out! Maybe you will have goosebumps like I did! :)

There are 16 beautiful and unique eye-candies made by her. Every project uses the Drunkard's Path block. OK, maybe I just need to shut up and have you hear Angela's voices now! I was able to interview her, so here you go!

Petal Pusher Quilt, Page 127

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1) You probably expected this was coming, but what is your advice for people like me who are a bit scared of sewing curvy seams? Which projects would you recommend for beginners?

Curved Seams are really not scary.  It's always a leap of faith to tackle a new skill but the reward is well worth it.  And though there ARE people who perfect a pinless curved piecing method, my advice for beginners is to use pins.  There is no shame in it.  I'm a pinner by nature and use pins in regular straight line quilting all the time.  So using pins here is no big deal.  But I know some people NEVER use pins and I'd have to tell you to get over it and grab a pin or two. ;)  Curved piecing is something I think every quilter should know how to do.  You don't always use it all the time but it's a technique you want to have in your back pocket.

The best pattern for the true beginner is probably the Ombre Drunkard's Path Pillow.  There are no seams to match up and the curves don't meet each other.  It's a small project that is easy to tackle.  And if you have a die cutter then life is even easier.  But don't stop there or even start there if another pattern is just calling you.  Go with your instincts.  Make a piece that inspires you!

2) How did you design these beautiful quilt patterns using only two types of Drunkard's path blocks? Did you use a software or design on paper?

I eventually get all patterns into the computer for technical purposes of sending them to the publisher, but truly...so many of my patterns really do start with sketches.  I find shapes that inspire me and I often have to sketch them out to break the pattern down into the curved blocks I need.  I can see an image and know that it can be made with these blocks but I still have to sketch it out by hand.  That puts it into my mind in a different way than designing straight from the computer.  But the computer is awfully handy once you have an idea of what you are doing with a pattern and just want to create alternate versions or flip flop blocks etc.  It's much faster for that type of work.  But yes, I'm old school.  I have lots of little notebooks filled with graph paper for sketching.

3) I think you are amazing at creating very original and modern quilt patterns, but what I think sets you to a different level as a quilter is your choice of fabric and colors. I find it very striking and eye-pleasing. I just love the way you make beautiful fabric design pop like a magic. What inspires you to choose colors/designs?

Well you are going to give me a big head with all that type of talk!  My goodness!  So first, thank you for that! And then to answer your question, picking out the colors and type of patterns I want to use is as vital as the pattern itself often.  I learned a lot about color and pattern when I was studying for one of my degrees, Interior Design.  I have to watch myself because I will tend toward a certain palette of colors for sure.  I wanted the book to have a diverse amount of color schemes but still feel like me.  I choose fabrics that make me happy and then pair them with something often that rubs me the wrong way a bit.  That way you get that extra bit of "pop" in your color scheme and keeps it from being too flat and predictable.  Like all of us, I have favorite designers and design companies.  I tend to use those as a base place to start and work out from there.

4) Probably most readers of this blog are rather zakka makers than quilters, so I want to ask a simple question about making a quilt. How long does it take to make a quilt, say Butterflies quilt for example?

Ah...a difficult question to answer.  How long did it take me? How long should it take?  How long COULD it take?  All very different answers and completely dependent on your ability to spend time making a single project.  But make no mistake, a quilt is not a "quick" project.  I can knock out a bag or dress in a day or two and that feels like a luxury.  Quilts take hours of cutting fabrics, sewing them together, lots of pressing and usually more sewing...repeat as needed.  And of course the size of the piece changes that time dramatically.  If you are nervous about tackling a large scale project like a bed size quilt, just look at some of the smaller pieces.  There are pillows (very accomplishable!), wall hangings, baby quilts etc.  In general, bigger projects take more time...but it really all depends on the number of seams.  I wouldn't expect to finish a bed size quilt in less than 2 weeks.  And it could take significantly longer.  There is no "right" amount of time to spend on a long term project.

Butterflies Quilt, Page 55 (My favorite project!!)

5) You made incredible 16 projects (14 quilts and 2 pillows) in such a short period of time for your book. And you did't even stop blogging while you were working on your book! You are awesome! How did you manage the time to work on your book when you had so many other things going on? Any tips to be very organized like yourself?

Well first of all, let's admit that it's a little bit nuts to do that.  I had quilt alongs going on and book reviews and swaps and other publications that I was doing all while writing the book and making those projects.  I had to put my creative life into two categories, the blogging world and the book world.  And never the two shall me until I can share publicly what I'm making.

It definitely takes some organization.  I had a list of the projects that needed to be completed and I stuck to a deadline for each one individually.  But it was actually important for me to do other sewing because I got tired of sewing sooo many curves for one and I also needed more immediate gratification projects.  Small dresses for my daughter were perfect for that...but the Super Mario Brothers Quilt along was probably a bit much. ;) I needed to make things that I could share though.  It's an important part for me of being a member of the online sewing community while sewing in isolation at my home.

6) What are you going to do with your quilts once they are returned? This is just from my curiosity :)

Well right now they are rather glamorously being housed in some large tupperware tubs in the middle of my living room.  But I hope to be able to display a number of them around the house.  I also intend to use them for trunk shows for lectures and teaching.  There is nothing like seeing a quilt in person to love it even more.

I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to give these away...but it does seem like a lot of quilts to hold on to! lol And I want them to be loved!!

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Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer these interview questions, Angela!

The publisher kindly allowed me to share a copy of her book with one of you based in the US! If you'd like a chance to win it, please leave a comment telling me about your favorite place to visit in the summer! The giveaway is open til the next Monday. I then will announce a winner!