New organic cotton fabrics from Cloud9 and Monaluna, and our latest quilt show

Last year we quietly launched our new Etsy shop, Blue Star Organic Fabrics. We’re still building inventory slowly and collections we ordered last fall at Quilt Market are arriving a bit at a time. Last month we got Haiku from Monaluna, and this month Morning Song from Cloud9 arrived. Both collections are gorgeous, and more grown up than the usual juvenile organic cotton prints so widely popular in the market.

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Cherry Blossoms from Monaluna Haiku Collection

Clover from Monaluna Haiku Collection

Clover from Monaluna Haiku Collection

There are six designs in the Haiku line, three with metallic accents. The colors are rich and bright, but also soft and subtle.

Cloud9’s Morning Song Collection features 14 (!!) different fabrics in muted, whisper soft tones from ice blue and smoke gray to bright popping orange and deep plum. I’ve put together a little sampler quilt, perfect for a new baby gift (I have a recipient in mind for this one and I hope she’s not too big for it already!).

Morning Song organic cotton fabrics from Cloud9

Morning Song organic cotton fabrics from Cloud9

We’ll be making a kit for this one, including bamboo batting, and listing it in the Blue Star shop when we get back from…

Eureka! We’ll be vending at the Heart of the Redwoods Quilt Show this weekend in Eureka, California. I hope you can join us! We’ll be scheduling late summer sewing classes when we get back, so if you missed the ones in May there will be more opportunities to try some fun sashiko projects and get you more comfortable with those huge needles, thick thread, and strange thimbles.

Silk Sashiko class registration almost open for Houston International Quilt Festival 2015

IMG_5222Class enrollment opens July 3 for the Houston International Quilt Festival! If you’d like to take my SILK SASHIKO class on Saturday, October 31, (#749 in the class catalog) be sure to sign up early as last year the class sold out by mid-August.

I’ve had all year to work on improving the class so it will be more organized and well-thought out (I didn’t have my templates printed on time last year), plus I’ve had an extra year to collect more beautiful fabrics to use in the class. The class supply kit include vintage Japanese tsumugi kimono silk, Fujix Soie et hand dyed silk thread, and my favorite Tulip sashiko needles. I’m still working on class details and planning out a great project for you to enjoy working on.

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Bring is a pair of scissors and a willingness to learn something new. The point of this class is not to finish a copycat project of something I’ve already done; this is a skill building class, not a finished project class. Creativity is key. We’ll play with stitch length, design, and finding ways to feel comfortable with sashiko and sewing with silk.

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Hyakka Ryoran Neko Collection

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Like cats? So do we! Our cranky, flighty Miss Lily sheds, scratches, and bites, but we love her anyway.

Like cat fabrics for quilts? We have ’em! This collection from Quilt Gate is playful and yummy, filled with cats, flowers, and fun. It comes in five different prints and five different colorways. The fabric is a high quality quilt-weight cotton with tasteful metallic gold highlights. Check it out in the Kimonomomo Etsy shop.

We’ve listed these fabrics by the half yard and fat quarter bundles, but you can request any size you like while these fabrics are still in stock. We expect this collection to move fast.
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News for June 2015

Shop news for June and beyond…

More videos! This one is about KARISMA erasable & washable pencils (available in the notions section of my Etsy shop). I’ll be talking about tools for the next few episodes, so let me know what you’d like me to cover.

 

Our next show is the Seven Sisters quilt show hosted by the Associated Quilt Guilds of the Central Coast in San Luis Obispo, California. Leah and I did this show last year and were amazed by the quality of the quilts on display. Thomas will be joining me this year, and we’re looking forward to the road trip.

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Coming to AQS QuiltWeek in Grand Rapids, Michigan in August? I am! Catch up with the latest Japanese import fabrics and notions on the vendor floor, or come see vintage textiles from my personal collection. Register for my lecture From Country Cottons to City Silks – Vintage Japanese Textiles here.

Oh, and by the way, Thomas and I got married a few days ago, right here in the shop! It was the only place in the house where we could fit everyone.

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See that baby? That’s Callan, my great-nephew. His mama, my niece Martha, is on the far right. The goofy (and somewhat adorable/weird/wild) child holding him is my daughter Mickey.

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Thursday was the last day of school for Thomas (he teaches grade school), so he’s all mine for the summer. :-D

Show your work!

I love seeing what my customers do with the fabrics I sell. Some turn them into personal diversions, while others use them in their own craft businesses. Here are a few that have been shared with me.

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Happi Babies

Fun bibs, happi coats, and accessories for babies, made using yukata and organic cotton fabrics.

 

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Queen Bee Essentials – Handbags and accessories made from vibrant fabrics.

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Diane S. shared her quilt from a pattern in Quilter’s Newsletter magazine from February/March 2014 using Kona Bay’s Tomorrow Morning Collection in blue.

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Linda R. shared a gorgeous kimono made from Kona Bay’s Lair of the Dragon Collection.

Do you have something to share? Let me know and I’ll post it here.

Sashiko Classes for May

When I posted the May 18 class I mentioned there would also be a May 24 class… then I forgot to make an event listing for it. And then I made the listing but forgot to mention it here. I suspect the 20 hours I spent driving from Alameda, CA to Portland, OR last week for the SAQA Fiberlandia conference melted my brain just a little bit. Now I’m sitting in a hotel in Denver, CO, on a trip to make something fun and fantastic that I’ll be sharing with you later this year. And yes, my brain is still quite melted.

IMG_6606What will we be doing in these sashiko classes? Working with fun Japanese fabrics, getting a feel for sashiko needles and thread, and (I hope) having a good time. This is not serious art, this is mingei, folkcraft. Consider the groups of women who over centuries have sat together and sewn beautiful things for their families. Life was hard, not frivolous, and warm clothing meant survival, but I still believe they laughed together, even as they also cried together. Sashiko today may not carry the same weight, but we can get a feel for the sense of community and joy, right?

Here are links to my May 18 class and May 24 class. The May 18 class is filling up, but there are several spots available for the May 24 class. I hope you’ll join us, and please bring your sense of adventure! (If you’re not feeling adventurous enough to pay by credit card on the Eventbrite site, I am also accepting checks. Email me for the mailing address or call me at 925-360-3375).

New look for the Kimonomomo Studio

Kimonomomo is an online Etsy shop and we also sell at several quilt shows throughout the year, mostly in California. For years my kids endured having all that inventory in the living room as we endured tiny apartments and cramped living conditions for the first few years of my business. When I moved in with Thomas in 2011 he wasn’t really prepared for the craziness that is my creative and entrepreneurial life, but he has adapted. In 2013 he built shelving in a spare bedroom to store my growing inventory of quilt fabrics, but by late last year we could see that I had already outgrown that space and my work was spilling into every other room in the house.

Imagine my shock when he offered to convert the living room into my new studio space.

A man of his word,Thomas removed the worn-out carpet, painted the walls and ceiling, and installed even more new shelves. All of this was done on his spring vacation time and on weekends. He’s a grade school teacher, but also spent 10+ years working for a large home improvement store so he’s handy with tools and lumber.

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The last time he built me shelves they were built from scratch, but this time we went with IKEA shelving and I think it looks pretty good. Nothing fancy, just functional, modular, and light.

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The above photos are from Sunday night. I started filling the new shelves Monday morning.

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So many of these bolts had been sitting in boxes for the past month! Many of them haven’t been photographed for my Etsy shop yet.

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The living room is full of natural light most of the day, whereas the old studio space (in a spare bedroom) was quite dark.

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I’m excited about the new space! We’d crammed so much inventory into the old studio space that there wasn’t enough room for creativity. Now I feel like I can breathe deep again.

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