Monday, August 30, 2010

My first bee blocks

I am participating the Flckr group [3x6] Sampler Quilt Mini Bee. This was my first time to attend a bee, and I needed to be in Japan in the middle of the term of that. So I was a kind of nervous if I could make it in time. But I finally managed it. I finished all blocks even earlier than I expected.

These are the six blocks I made. The members in each beehives (there are 7 people in a hive) can request their favorite colors and everyone make 6 blocks in the same pattern for others according to their requests.

I used the simple version of Bento Box Quilt pattern. Because I love that pattern and making a Bent Box Quilt is the next thing on my list of the quilts I wanna make. I thought this Bee experience would give me some ideas to me. And also "Bento" is a Japanese word which means lunch, especially packed lunch for taking out with you. We call a lunch box "弁当箱 Bento-bako" in Japanese.

It was very fun to make these colorful blocks. Some of these color combination are that I usually don't pick for myself. But I found they work very nice and I love them.

This cheerful block is made for Jessica. She requested orange, white and yellow.

For Amanda. Gray, pink and white.

For Molly. Green, Make it rainbow.

For Dawn. Gray, yellow and white.

For Adrienne. Red, white and aqua.

For Monika. White, make it rainbow.

I am going to send out all of them this afternoon! I already received two blocks. They are so pretty and surprising. I can't wait receiving all blocks and putting them together. I enjoyed this Bee activity so much. I will do this again sometime next year for sure!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The very first day of school

Yesterday it was the very first day for Nina to go to Kindergarten. She has been so excited about going to be a kindergartner since she graduated her preschool in May. Eventually the day has come! She went to bed so early the night before that day, and she got up so quickly when I turned on the light in her bedroom in the morning. Here is the picture of Nina the kindergartner in her brand-new school uniform.

We went outside like ten minutes earlier than the time bus was supposed to come. But, you know, it was the very first day. Some kids would deny to ride on the bus and fuss around or many parents would have a few questions to ask the bus driver. That made the bus went slow. We probably waited for the bus for a half hour.

It was a fun time for us to wait the for the bus talking about Nina's new school life and how many friends she is going to make from now on.  I am so glad she really seems enjoying riding school bus.

In Japan, on the first day, schools have a ceremony for celebrating new students' entrance to school. Parents and students attend to the ceremony wearing formal clothes. School years start in April in Japan. At that time of the year it is the high season of cherry blossoms in most regions in Japan. That makes the ceremony more memorable and it could be a kind of emotional moment for many parents. That feeling must be similar to the one I and other parents had when we saw off the bus which our kids riding on to school on the first day.

This is the moment Nina came home from school in the afternoon. It was a big day for us and I am so glad we got over it. The first word she said when she saw us was " I made a friend! ". How cute it was! It was a happy happy day for us.

Thank you Nina's school bus and see you tomorrow morning! Bye bye!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Summer in Japan 3

I visited my sister's house. And eventually (really waited for long time!) I gave her the quilt I finished in May.
I could have send that via airmail, but after we decided to go to Japan this Summer I thought it would be nice to hand it to her from myself. She and her family members loved the quilt and they hung it on the wall in their daughter Momo's room. The wall is peachy pink and the quilt has some peachy colors in it. They picked out a perfect place for it. The quilt looks so pretty in Momo's room.

By the way, my sister has a part time job. The first day we stayed at her house she had to go to work. And she asked me to sew something for her living room while she went out to work. That sounded interesting to do that using someone else's sewing machine and fabric stash. So I consented to do that.

This is her "brother" machine. It was purchased recently. It was very compact, light and smart. Worked very well, but I felt it was a little too light for me.

These are cotton prints I picked out from her stash. I made kleenex box covers.

This is what I made. I liked my choice of fabrics. It fits very well in the interior of their home.

I had more time to sew. So I made another one with this fabric.

This project was really easy. I might make some more for my home. It could be done in 20 minutes to make one. And looks good doesn't it?

One more photo of the quilt in the peachy princess room.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Summer in Japan 2

Hello everyone! We came back from Japan on this Wednesday. I am so sorry of my absence from blogging. My trip schedule was so tight and it was pretty hard to find the time to face to my PC over there. I'm still suffering from this bad jet lag (There is 13hours time difference between here and Japan!), but I think I should start writing about my trip a.s.a.p before my memories get weathered.

Then, where should I start? There are so many things I wanna tell. Well, I guess many of you are expecting something about Japanese craft and sewing. So I think I wanna start with the crafty side of my trip in Japan.

One day I went to Tokyo to see my dear friends I had been missing. And another thing I was really looking forward was shopping fabrics and other crafty stuff in Tokyo. The picture above is the view of Shinjuku. I went to Yuzawaya in Shinjuku for finding treasures.

Yuzawaya is one of huge crafting department stores in Japan. They have more than twenty branches in Japan and they sell all kinds of craft supplies on a large scale.

These are the fabrics I purchased at Yuzawaya. There were so many more I want. But I had to consider about how much luggage we could carry back to US and how light my wallet was, after getting air tickets to Japan for three of us!

It was busy time of the day so I had to wait in this long line to get my fabrics cut. I was almost late for rendezvous with my friend. (We had delicious Indian cuisine after this hurried shopping.)

I am very happy about what I got. Here is the list of my acquisitions.

Linen cotton polka dot and flower print. These are processed to produce washed feel and touch.

Linen cotton botanical print from LECIEN.

Cotton double gauze mermaid print from Kokka.

Cotton "Little twin stars Kiki & Lala" print from Sanrio. This one is for my daughter. These Sanrio characters were so popular when I was a little girl. That's amazing. I remember my sister had a pencil case of Kiki & Lala.

Japanese themed cotton prints. Wonderful thing is that they are all made in Japan!

I am going to write more about  fabrics, shops, and books of Japanese craft next. Stay tuned!