Wednesday, 1 October 2014

International Inspiration and Meeting a Friend

It feels like it's been a right good while since I shared what I have been getting up to so here's where it's at....

School holidays are upon this household so lots of kid related tasks are on the menu in this house for the next two weeks. Not so happy kids at the momment though, the eldest has a cold!!!!  The weather has turned to beautiful sunny spring days and the couch is still in full use!!!! Man!!!!

Last week, before all this latest fun kicked in I spent a whole three days of me time quilting. Having the opportunity to meet and to quilt with the expert Yoko Saito was just such an awesome opportunity despite the language barrier. Yoko does not speak English, but she speaks a lot more English than I do Japanese! She was travelling with her companion Saitomi who speaks a little more English and so between us all we nutted it out. Besides the language of quilting is international!

It was fantastic to be able to see first hand all her techniques, her tools and to see how she works and there were loads of 'aha' momments over the course of the three days.

I'll let the photos do the talking....

She has such fine and dainty hands and fingers and not a single callous to be seen. She uses a heavy weight to stop the piece she is working on from slipping off the table. It works much better than trying to hold it all and stitch...I am converted when working at a table.

The reason her hands and fingers are in such pristine condition is that she always wears thimbles and lots of them. I always wondered how she kept the bigger ceramic thimble on her finger when she is quilting. Well it's because there is a rubber one underneath simple and so 'aha'....

Thimbles galore! and that gold coloured needle threader was  a beauty. Much better than any available here for small needles I reckon. I have ordered one off he website The Quilt Party

She also brought along two of her quilts and several smaller pieces for us to see her work in person. The detail is just amazing and the little applique pieces get so teeny tiny. The neatness of her work both applique and quilting is breathtaking.

I also got to meet my blogging friend Raewyn on the course. So it was  a win win all round. That's Raewyn staring in amazement at the work in that quilt just like I was. Raewyn has also posted on her blog about the workshop. Scroll to the bottom of the post to check out two very happy Raewyn Anne's in red!!!

And of course I had to take the opportunity to have my book signed by such an accomplished quilting artist as Yoko.

Just look at that signature. A work of art in itself.

So glad I partook of the opportunity to attend this workshop. I did manage to get a wee bit done on my own course projects....just a bit though and plenty more to do!!!

A few other things have also had my attention over the last little while....

I finished and completed a quick little stitch into a pin keep. This is the Hannah Birdwell sampler and the hand painted box that it came  with from Liberty Hill. 

I ran out of Patchwork of the Crosses hexies and so needed to make some more 'kits' up. Here's the production line....eight blocks awaiting glue basting.

I have been really enjoying doing a little primitive cross stitch of an evening of late. It's simple and goes quick and I am rocking the primitive theme seeing all that primmy goodness on the Prim Stitchers Society. This finished piece features the coolest witch called Fancey Blackett, and is a design from Pineberry Lane. Just need to put my finishing hat on and she will be complete.

Happy Stitching


  1. A great post. It was a pleasure to meet you last week Raewyn. Like you I came away from Yoko's class totally inspired. So much learnt and so much fun.

  2. Looks and sounds like an amazing experience! How wonderful you two Raewyn's got to meet, it's lovely to meet bloggy friends, even better when you really 'click' and become more than cyber friends.

  3. Your block is wonderful and how exciting to meet Yoko!

  4. Lovely to see your post Raewyn; the work you did in class is exquisite and a lovely photo of you and Yoko. It looks like you had plenty of more wonderful learning. Out of interest do you ever use a thimble with all the needlework you do? I've not been able to master one yet. I do like your ther projects as well. Hope the school holidays improve!!

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Thank you for taking the time out to look at my blog and to partake of my creative pursuits. Creating with textiles and fibres is a passion I embrace with abandon. Comments from those who understand this joy are food for the soul.
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