Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Introducing Japan Crafts

This month's sponsor of the Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew giveaway is Katie, who runs Japan Crafts, my online source for beautiful Japanese fabrics, kits and Sashiko supplies.

As some of you may not have come across Katie's lovely store before, I asked Katie to provide us with an introduction on how she found herself having to visit Japan several times a year to replenish her fabric supplies!

Here is how it all happened:

"I've been crafty from being a small child (I once asked for, and got, a roll of Sellotape for my birthday!), and passionate about Japan ever since reading Memoirs of a Geisha at the age of 18 and deciding that I HAD to go to Japan and become a geisha! Having my daughter a couple of years later put paid to that idea (luckily...?), and when she was at nursery, I took some silk painting lessons and started selling my silk paintings of Japanese ladies in kimono. The more I researched kimono, the more I loved them!"

Red Dragon, Tsumugi Cotton

I started Japan Crafts in 2006 with a few silk painting kits and some handmade Japanese 'washi' paper, and it snowballed over the next few years into a sustainable, full-time business, to the point where I now travel to Japan 3 times a year to buy fabric (I know, it's a hard life!).

Kanzashi Flower Brooch Kit

Over the years I have learnt and experienced so much and I hope to share this through my talks, workshops and kits. I love attending the major quilt shows and meeting customers, and being able to delight them with gorgeous, authentic fabrics.
Sashiko Sampler, Asanoha

In my personal life I study Japanese (speaking and reading), kimono dressing (I wear kimono regularly to shows and events, as it is a good excuse to have to buy more!) and iaido which is the martial art of Japanese swordsmanship. I also love knitting and traditional quilting and am currently working on a quilt for my daughter with 1930s style fabrics.

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Having attended one of Katie's workshops I can vouch for her enthusiasm and knowledge for all things Japanese!You can see the results of the Sashiko workshop here

2.5" Mini Charm Pack, Linens

Japan Crafts have just launched a new website so if you want to get your hands on some of these gorgeous fabrics or try your hand at Sashiko then now is the perfect time to stock up and benefit from the free shipping (UK only) on all orders over £25!

Don't forget to link up your Christmas and Holiday makes over at Practically Pippy too, to be in with a chance of winning this lovely Mini Rice Bag Kit, courtesy of Japan Crafts

So, there you have it, another great example of the entrepreneurial spirit of fabric lovers :) Isn't it lovely when you come across suppliers who are so passionate about their businesses?

Monday, 25 May 2015

New to Me in May

Welcome to another New to Me link party, where we celebrate the trying, if not the mastering, of new to you activities!

This month, I have tried a new pattern from a well-used book,

Lauren Bag, Making Vintage Accessories by Emma Brenna
and tried two new patterns from a new book

By the time you read this post however, I will, hopefully, be experiencing my latest New to Me activity!
 Seeing the sights of Moscow, on our latest holiday! Looks like there will be lots of quilt inspiration on hand :)

So, that's my New to Me activity this month, now it is your turn to share your New to You challenges. As ever please help to spread the word by linking back to this post in your post and/or adding the blog button to your sidebar.

Check out the other links too and, maybe, leave an encouraging comment along the way. The emphasis of this link party is to celebrate the trying of something new, whether it works out exactly as planned or not, so a little encouragement here and there would not go amiss! 

The link will remain open until 23.59GMT on May 31st, so you have some time to try something new and link up and join the party :)

Monday, 18 May 2015

Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew - the Snowflake edition

Welcome to another Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew Link Party!

As ever our mission is to have you all organised and calm by the time December 25th comes around, and to help us we have gathered together a great bunch of bloggers, who are posting tutorials for gift and home decoration projects throughout the year. This month, our guest host is Karen, who blogs at Practically Pippy. I first came across Karen when she lived in Germany, and was very grateful for her sage advice on the etiquette of mulled wine drinking on our first German Christmas Market trip. My daughters-in-law were thankful too :) A few months ago, Karen moved back to the US, so I am delighted that she has found the time to craft a Christmas Mouse tutorial to share with us for this month's Link Party.

Of course it wouldn't be a Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew Link Party without a giveaway for one lucky linker. The winner of last month's Alpine Skier cushion cover pattern from Bustle and Sew was Sandra, aka the Novelty Pouch Factory, who made the link up with her fabric baskets posts by the skin of her teeth :) This month, the giveaway prize is generously provided by the wonderful Katie of Japan Crafts, who I had the good fortune to meet when she ran a Sashiko workshop at my local Embroiderer's Guild meeting.

Katie has donated this lovely Mini Rice Bag Kit for one lucky winner, it is just perfect for gift wrapping a special present.

 Having made a similar bag from one of Katie's kits already, I can attest to the clarity of the instructions and the high quality of the materials!

So, if you want to be in with a chance of winning head on over to link up your Christmas and Holiday makes at Practically Pippy

My own Christmas make this month came about when I accidentally spilled a tube of beads all over my craft room floor! Whilst laboriously picking them up I remembered that I had originally purchased the beads along with wire blanks to make a beaded snowflake. So, once I was up off my hands and knees that is what I did, and here is the result!

I think that I might look out for some different coloured beads to make a few more before December.

I also spotted this book on a recent IG'ers destash, so needless to say had to snap it up straightaway :) Hopefully there will be lots of inspiration for future Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew projects in there.

Looking forward to seeing all your holiday makes and as always a big thankyou to all of our lovely giveaway sponsors.

Crafty Trimmings

Logo Sew Hot

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Quilting Fabric at the Fat Quarter Shop
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