Sunday, December 11, 2016

Yumiko Higuchi Embroidery

I tried to choose just one embroidery book to buy in Japan, but that was impossible. Three of the ones I bought were by Yumiko Higuchi.  Once I get through Christmas and finish some quilting that needs to be done I have plans to try something from each book.
ISBN 9784579114917 - beautiful two colour embroidery.
ISBN 9784529056373 - embroidery that incorporates fabric and felt scraps.
ISBN 9784579115389 - embroidery through the year.


Saturday, December 10, 2016

I Love Churn Dashes

I'm so excited to be part of this great new book from Martingale - I Love Churn Dashes!
I made two giant Churn Dash Quilts for the book. They are both 36 1/2" x 36 1/2" and can be made with jelly roll strips.

Martingale is having a huge give away - you could win one of 15 eBooks!
I've also got a copy to give away to an Aussie which I will get to you before Christmas. Just leave a comment telling me what you're sewing this weekend and I will choose a winner on Tuesday.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Fabric Shopping in Kyoto

The great thing about fabric shopping in Kyoto is that there is a fantastic fabric shop right in the middle of the main shopping area - well two actually as there are two branches of Nomura Tailor close to each other. The smaller one in the mall has more quilting cottons and lots of those lovely linen/cotton blends. There is also great notions and yarn. 
The main store is out of the mall around the corner and is three stories of amazing fabrics and notions. Cotton, silk and wool in all colours and patterns. There are also great remnant tables, worth a rummage though if you have time I may have popped in a couple of times before I made any decisions. 

A couple of my buys, a spotty wool that I hope becomes a coat for me next winter, some cotton/linen and a lovely textured cotton that I plan to make into a dress.
I managed a couple of hours to myself to wander the streets while everyone else found a playground. I headed straight to Sou Sou - an amazing collection of shops close to each other. Each one stocks a different collection of things from women's clothes to split toe shoes to bags (I may have come home with one of them). Up the stairs in one shop (it might have been the bag shop, it is a bit of a blur now) were Sou Sou fabrics to buy. There was also a collection of lovely remnants. 

I managed to find Linnet, which was tiny, but oh so lovely, everything in there was beautiful, such amazing linens. 
I didn't manage to get to any yarn shops, I went searching for Habu, but unfortunately it had closed a few months before. On my search I stumbled across a lovely antique shop and spent my yarn money on some wooden moulds instead.


Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Japanese Craft Books - Patchwork

I managed to come home with only one patchwork book and one patchwork/bag book. 
The book on the left as 12 different fonts to piece or paper piece (ISBN 9784416616468). This is a really fun book and I can't wait to find some time to play around with some ideas. 
The book on the right is full of patterns for little pouches and purses (ISBN 9784766129298). Perfect for all those scraps of your favourite fabrics.


Monday, December 05, 2016

Japanese Craft Books - Sewing for Children

I really thought I didn't need any more Japanese Craft Books until the second I walked into Kinokuniya and then of course I needed to buy a few (ok my backpack came home full of them). 

 I bought two children's sewing books. The first on the left is Cotton Friend Kids - Autumn-Winter 2016-2017 (ISBN 9784834743036). The sizes range from 90-140 cm and a cute selection of coats, dresses and accessories. I'd really like to make one of the coats next winter.
The second book (on the right in the top photo) is A Sunny Spot - Girl's Simple Clothes (ISBN 9784529054607). The sizes range from 100-150cm. I'm not sure my big girls will want anything out of here, but Olive has pointed out a few things she wants. Of course it all has to be in pink. 


Sunday, December 04, 2016

Needle Shopping in Kyoto - Misuyabari

While searching for fabric stores in Kyoto I kept reading about a tiny needle shop that was quite tricky to find. Of course that meant I had to find it. I am so glad I did. Misuyabari is located just off a shopping mall down a passage way, luckily a few people gave quite good instructions. I followed these ones. 
At the end of the short passage way is a beautiful garden and at the back of it is a tiny little shop.
The family has been making needles for over 350 years. The owner was very helpful and patient and with the help of google translate we managed to work out what needles I wanted. They make all sorts of hand sewing needles and there are samples of each one to feel.

The detail on the decorative pin tops is amazing. They are so tiny that they hand you a magnifying glass so you can get a good look.
They also make these lovely sewing boxes.
And pin cushions that are full of wool so your needles don't rust. 
I bought a selection of needles, I really should have written on each one as I have no idea which ones are which now. There are quite a few needles in each packet and the packaging is really lovely.
Some of the needles have a round eye which I believe is easier to thread. 
It is definitely worth finding it if you are in Kyoto.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Fabric Shopping in Tokyo

If you visit Tokyo and you sew you really need to go to Nippori Fabric Town. It is an entire street of fabric shops! I was a bit worried about finding my way there, but it was very easy. Take the JR Yamanote line and get off at Nippori Station and follow the signs. Find yourself a map of all of the shops - it will make things a lot easier. I found a stack hanging outside one of the shops, so I assume most of the shops would have them. 
Inside Pakira where I bought the Liberty Hello Kitty fabric
A great shop with lovely linen/cotton fabric and great notions.

 I bought both of these there.
So many shops, some specialising in cottons, some knits, some dance fabrics and costumes and also shops full of buttons and notions. 

 And of course Tomato. This is the main shop and there are a couple of other branches on the street.
Linens at the Tomato on the other side of the street. So much beautiful linen. Still regretting not buying any of this. 
 On the top floor of the main Tomato branch is all the quilting cotton. Lots and lots of pre-cut fat quarters as well as bolts of fabric. Tomato has great notions and the girls chose lots of fun coloured zips.

 I only had a couple of hours to browse, but if I went back I would plan a whole day to look and shop!