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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Another year passes

I’m on vacation this week also, and have been enjoying the relaxing times I have spent at home with DH. I have not been sewing as much as I had expected, because my DH got a new video game for Christmas that I am enjoying watching unfold, probably as much as he is enjoying playing it. I have been doing a lot of thinking about the past year and am really looking forward to 2009.
I have decided to do another year of weekly quilts, but I have decided to challenge myself again with changing the size and continuing to do them in themed groups by month. The size for 2009 is 8 inches by 5 inches, landscape orientation. I have a theme already for January.
I got great presents for Christmas from the DearHusband, and he was even so thoughtful as to wrap my gifts in fabric! Plenty of things with which to make art this year, and some more Nohohon Zoku (Hidamari No Tami) for my office. I have the best collection of these now.
I have been doing plenty of Japanese culture research for some quilt themes this year. I love the idea of nengajo, New Year’s postcards that are supposed to arrive on Jan 1. This year is the year of the cow (or Ox), and it’s also the sign of my birth year too. I love some of the holidays and traditions of Japan.
Anyways, have a great New Years celebration, be safe, and see you again in 2009, with a lovely giveaway!

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On the mend

It’s rotten to be sick, and this cold really knocked me for a loop. I was so drained, I thought sewing this weekend would be impossible.

Luckily, I felt ok enough to sew a bit today, so I got a couple of things done.
I also found a few minutes to scan everything I have done lately for your viewing pleasure.
These monsters were so freaking cute to do. I can definitely see patterns for these in the future.

These ATCs are for trades I’m involved in over at

Lastly these are November’s theme, fall leaves. Anotehr topic suggested by the DH. Those perfect leaves are silk leaves bought from a craft store.

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