End of January

I’m sorry I didn’t get to posting this after they were made, but it’s been super crazy after going to NYC for the New York Comic Con. (Which was fun, if exhausting…It’s a sign I’m getting too old for this crap.)

January’s final weekly quilt is of “kadomatsu” or traditional New Year’s decorations which represent Heaven, Humanity, and Earth. They are placed at entryways and at gates in Japan, and are literally translated as “gate pines”. I have seen some “plush” versions of kadomatsu, but my little graphic one is cute too. They make fake plastic ones that you can put up year after year, like the holiday decorations of your choice. I wanted to make this closer to the beginning of January, but couldn’t figure out what to decorate the bamboo with.

I really enjoyed learning more about Japan for this month’s theme.

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Good Fortune and Long Life

Both of these designs were made in my sketchbook next to one another…

The “Maneki Neko” or “beckoning cat” is very popular in Japanese culture. I could not resist making my own very cute, wide-eyed cat.

The owl, or fukurou, is a good luck symbol in Japan as well. The sounds of the Japanese word for owl also mean “no trouble” which means the owl is lucky. It also symbolizes old age, and owl themed gifts are often given when someone turns 60. I wish my owl was on a lighter background now, because you cannot see just how adorable he is.

Only one more week of Japanese culture weeklies to go.

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Weekly Quilt Series- A rabbit jumps over the moon

Where we westerners see a “man in the moon”, the Japanese see a rabbit in the moon. The rabbit and moon together is a popular theme. My usagi (rabbit) is jumping into the moon for the night.

I absolutely love this background fabric by Lakehouse Designs. I wish I had more than the little fat quarter I have of it (or what is left of it). When I put the moon on the background, there was a design problem. You could see the flowers “through” the moon, and they were very distracting. I quilted over them quite a bit, and it still didn’t “knock them back” (as Pokey Bolton says). So, even though the piece was quilted and bound, newly confident via Judy Coates Perez and my recent class with her, I dragged out the Setacolor black paint, and painted over the flowers. The “cool” thing was that Lakehouse outlined the flower with a thin shimmery rim and metallic gold, which the paint didn’t really cover. In the end it was so much better for having “shadow flowers” inside the moon. I really like the new piece. This month’s theme has been fun so far.

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Weekly Quilt Series- January 2009

It’s time to show my first piece in my 2009 Weekly quilt series. This year, I changed the size, and I’m still going to do Monthly Themes. This month’s is “Cute Japanese Culture”.

This is a “nengajo”, or a new years wish postcard, celebrating 2009 as the year of the cow (or ox). My cute cow was drawn on New Years Day in my sketch book, and then I blew it up to be the size needed for the quilt, which is 8 inches by 5 inches (the new series size). In Japan, nengajo are sent to the post office before New Years’ Day specially marked as nengajo, and all delivered on New Year’s exactly.

I picked the size because I could put two week’s worth stacked into a plastic sleeve holder that holds regular sheets of paper.
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