Monday, October 11, 2021

Project updates, and out and about


Last week I ventured solo to Tomato in Nippori, to find some fabric to try (heavy emphasis on TRY, because sewing garments is just not my thing) making a myself a tunic.  I've been having some issues keeping me from outings, but really trying to get back into my walking habit again.  

I chose out some inexpensive light blue cotton/linen - 

My pattern is from Grainline Studio and the instructions are very clear, for beginners like me.   Still ... hours and days later... I'd rather be quilting;).   I'm more or less stuck at this point because of a dart issue - no pun intended;).  I'm thinking of this as practice.  My mind has a hard time with 3-D things.  Quilts are flat - clothing is not;).  

And today my friend Julie W and I went to Sakurahorikiri, a washi paper and craft shop in Asakusabashi.  We drove and it was a short walk from the little parking spot.  I'm in awe of my friends who drive here in Tokyo.  Grateful, too. 

Isn't it hard to believe this is paper, not fabric?  I picked out two of two sheets for a little project.  

Only after returning home, did I notice on the map that we'd been very close to a shop called Cotton Family. It might be a good resource for ordering fabric online (!) at least from within Japan.  

Meanwhile, at home...  in the evenings I am steadily making progress on my hand appliqué projects... 

Poppy's Polka Dot Garden (free patterns each month from Sentimental Stitches)

And Barbara Brackman's  Ladies' Aid Sampler 

I've also decided to call it quits and go ahead and make a quilt top with the blocks I've already made from Barbara's Hands All Around pattern posts.  I'm alternating my stars with various blue and white tenugui, with some simple blue sashing in between.  It's going to be a simple graphic quilt and will hold good memories from Tokyo.   

I love organizing projects in drawers like this: 

My sewing area gets messy (here's some napkins waiting for ironing;)).... but I'm so grateful for it! 

Also grateful to quilting friends.... local (I'm starting a little "stitching with friends" interest group at our church)... semi-local over a recent Zoom meet-up... and long distance over blogging.  I know I'm not alone in just simply loving quilts!  



  1. So many beautiful projects. I am behind on mine so I really enjoy seeing yours. Hugs

  2. So happy to hear you are getting out a bit. Fabric does help to motivate us. And, those papers - wow!! I am so proud of you for venturing out on your own. I'm quite sure I would not be as brave. For walking, yes but taking public transportation in a foreign city scares me and it has nothing to do with Covid. Guess I will never be a city girl! Can't wait to see your tunic. I know it will come out beautifully. I'm not sure if my machine knows how to make clothes. I'll have to look at the manual! Enjoy the process!

  3. Oh, my goodness, I can't believe that is paper. I completely believed it was fabric when I looked before reading and it took time for my mind to adjust to the idea that it could be paper.
    Each of your projects is delightful. I enjoy seeing how you make use of your sewing space.
    I look forward to seeing the tunic. I used to sew lots of clothing in a past life, but avoid it with great effort now. LOL

  4. Like you and the other commenters, I am GOBSMACKED that the gorgeous stuff on the shelves of that shop is PAPER!! Incredible! Kudos to you for exploring a huge city that speaks a different language. And your appliqué blocks are looking lovely!

    1. Thank you Gladi. I will be back to that washi paper shop for sure. Tokyo, like any other big city, is really a series of manageable neighborhoods;).... once you figure out how to get from one to the next;).

  5. I love how you've chosen to feature all those star blocks from Hands All Around. That will be a beautiful memory quilt for your time in Tokyo. I haven't sewn clothing since my first pregnancy and that was 46 years ago! And absolutely no interest in starting up again either!

  6. I love the idea and look of alternating your blocks with tenugui! I might borrow that idea.

  7. Maybe someone you know can help with your tunic? I think sewing clothing is so challenging, especially getting the fit just right when you're (I'm!) not a regular size.
    Paper?! Really, those are bolts of paper? Amazing. And beautiful, too.
    Your applique pieces look perfect.
    I love the hearts in the corners of the BB blocks. They always add so much interest when the blocks are sewn together.

  8. Wonderful post, so many pretty things and places!

    The washi paper sure looks like fabric! I read the post a couple times, couldn't imagine a paper shop.

    Lovely applique blocks, esp that Flag.

    I wanted to say, Can I be of help w sewing the tunic? I trained as a garment designer, have experience w clothes...but then I thought, Oh how useless. Thought of You Tube! Look up Sew a Tunic with Darts...many choices, basic skills. Or ask me?



  9. The blocks you have made for the Ladies aid quilt and the Poppy quilt are beautifull so are the other blocks. The shop with the washi paper looks incredible

  10. Good luck with finishing your tunic! I too am not a garment sewer; I've had a pattern and fabric for something like your tunic sitting in my sewing room for two years - have yet to cut it out! Saw the washi paper on your IG feed. It's amazing! Thanks for reminding me to work on Poppy's Polka Dot Garden!

  11. I gave up sewing garments a long time ago. Hope you forge ahead. The paper bolts are amazing. It would be hard to show self control in that beautiful store. Your applique blocks are wonderful. It's nice to have a continuing project like that.

  12. Great to catch up with your projects. The BB sew along blocks are so pretty. LOve the blues.
    what a nice quilt shop.

  13. You have certainly been busy! Good of you to start that stitching group.
    Yes aren’t the paper shops in Japan amazing!?
    Darts are tricky! Mine has a tendency to get too sharp and pointed.
    Your appliqué is as beautiful as you other work. I love the colour choice , too.

  14. Thanks for the link to Cotton Family. I've saved it. I really need to find a good place to order fabrics in Japan. Also yarn... Any ideas?


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