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Here is a little sneak peak of my second and sadly possibly last  Christmas gift from me this year. (Can you still call it a sneak peak  when you show 90% of it? lol)  I totally underestimated how fast time flies.  I was told at the post office that it's too late to send Christmas gifts overseas via standard airmail now. So my gift list went from 20 to 2 since all my recipients-to-be live overseas. So sad, but this is a great lesson - I will start VERY, VERY early next year!  Christmas is not celebrated in the same way in Japan, so there is no gift exchanges between family here usually. (I have never given Christmas gifts to any of my family, nor received one, but we have a perfect relationship :) ) Christmas is rather a romantic day for couples and people enjoy a nicely decorated cake and KFC.  Can you imagine what Joe's reaction was like when  I told him we have to order KFC for Christmas this year? haha He said he would accept the idea if and only if he could have eggnog, wh

Secret Gift Making #1 GRUPEN WALLPAPER

Here is a little gift I whipped up for someone, hehe. I know the recipient of this little drawstring bag reads my blog, so I hope I am not ruining a surprise too much  by posting this..! I made this using the same method in this tutorial , but instead of 2 1/2" squares, I used 1 3/4" x 2 3/4" rectangles, which makes a 7 1/2" x 7 1/2" drawstring pouch. I also sewed the patchwork panel onto thin muslin to stabilize it. If you are anything like me, you had a longest list of to-make-for Christmas gifts to begin with, but now you are finally realizing that  1) Christmas is just in 10 days, 2) you don't have time to cross off everything on the list, and 3) you need a Plan B - switching your initial ideas to something a lot  quicker and simpler. At least for me, this happens every year, haha. Here are some tutorials of small things you can whip up little quick and can be great gifts for your friends and family just to name a few: Scrappy organizer by Leila  of Wh

Kerry's Winter Woolies Pattern - Giveaway! GRUPEN WALLPAPER

Thank you so much for everyone who left comments on  my organizer baskets tutorial !  It's been so fun and rewarding to see your  baskets popping up in the Pink Penguin flickr pool . I also enjoyed hearing about your plans for your baskets' use in the comments. I'll make a list of your ideas for the baskets and add it at the end of the tutorial post sometime soon. I wanted to share with you a few projects I whipped up  in this past few weeks. The mittens above were made using Kerry's first paper pieced pattern for sale!  Isn't it the most adorable thing?! Have you seen Amy's take on it ? Such loveliness! I especially love those mittens, so I am making  a tea cozy with these blocks for my new small tea pot.  (I enlarged the pattern quite a bit.) The pink mitten is mine and the other one is Joe's. When I saw the  creature fabric, I had to snatch it right away because  it was the Joe-est fabric I have ever seen! Joe doesn't like the fabric, but hopefully

Mini Cross Quilt + Pinnie GRUPEN WALLPAPER

September 30th was my fabulous friend Kerry 's birthday! I whipped up a mini quilt and a matching pinnie for her earlier last month so that my gift for her would get there on time. I surprised myself by finishing them up way before the deadline - a week before her birthday. Unusual of me :D She gave me such a pretty pillow for my birthday/house warming gift. (which I'll show you how wonderfully it looks in my craft space once I am done setting it up!) It is the cutest and most meaningful pillow I have ever owned! I knew I would not be able to make anything comparable, but I still wanted to send her handmade love :) Choosing fabrics for this quilt could not have been more enjoyable, because each and every fabric used here is what I know Kerry likes! Kumiko Fujita , Suzuko Koseki , Denyse Schmidt , Lori Holt , cooking, sewing, typography, vintage fabric, and linen - so ya, we share the love for lots of fabric designs! And you know it makes quite a big difference when you are ma


Are you guys in some Christmas mode by any chance? Well I am because my small craft space's got Christmas fabrics everywhere now that I just finished two Christmas blocks! They are for Amber in the Ringo Pie bee. Her theme is all things Christmasy, so I pulled out all my Christmas-related printed fabrics and had so much fun sewing with them while singing some Christmas songs ;) The block above features 6 Christmas gift tags - two for parents (Amber and her hubby) and four for her four beautiful children. She has two girls and two boys, so I tried to have two tags boy-friendly and the other two girl-friendly. It was so much fun sewing this for Amber. I love reading Amber's blog partly because she has such a lovely, lovely family. If you have not read her love story with her husband, you are missing out! Reading her posts about her husband is such a great reminder to myself that I need to treat Joe nicely. Joe loves it when I read a blog like hers and I am all of a sudden super

Echino Bag and Baby Booties GRUPEN WALLPAPER

Thank you a million for your lovely comments on the birds + a teeny quilt block!! You know it makes your day when something you thought didn't turn out great gets so much compliments. I love it when that happens :) I would like to share some projects I sewed up for my friend today. My friend is expecting a baby boy, and she has asked me to make a diaper bag and booties for him a while back. She wanted this bag to have strong and long handles and a zipper closure on top. I picked up Echino fabric from my local fabric store because the quality of this linen blend fabric is absolutely perfect for bag projects. There was a day where Tokyo was hit by a crazy typhoon last week, so that gave me a great reason to stay home and cross off one thing from my never-ending make-to list. I came up with this bag pattern as I went. I would make the outer bag, watch Kitchen Nightmare with Joe, come back to made a lining, cook dinner, and come back to sew up handles, etc. I didn't really make not

Block for the Partnership Quilt GRUPEN WALLPAPER

Hi there! I wanted to post this little quick before my friend comes over for lunch today (yay)! Here is my block for the Partnership Quilt at the Tokyo International Quilt Festival. Remember I talked about it here ? Maybe most of you have forgotten about it since it's been a while. Totally understandable. I even almost forgot about it too, but finally pushed myself to get working on it yesterday because the deadline is literally around the corner (August 31st)! I am so happy I have it done now so I can pop it in the mail today! This turned out a bit simpler than I had planned, but I am really happy that I squeezed in one of my favorite prints by Suzuko Koseki. Have you looked at the blocks everyone has made for the Partnership Quilt here ? They are all incredible! I can't wait to look for them at the festival in January. Have a lovely week everyone!

Pieced Cakes and Grocery Sacks GRUPEN WALLPAPER

I joined a new virtual quilting bee called Patchwork 318: The Bee . In this bee, we (six of us) create one block a month using patterns in the Japanese book "318 Patchwork Patterns" by Kumiko Fujita. (It is unfortunately out of print.) This is my month and I asked everyone to pick whatever block she likes from the book that is related to a Sweets shop. Kerry kicked off this month with this super cute Sweet shop , and Leila made a yum yum green tea ice cream cone . Charise is working on an ice cream truck with one of my favorite fabrics ever! Knowing Tamiko and Amisha , I know they will make ridiculously cute sweet blocks as well! If you know me enough, you know I am already going nuts picturing my small quilt made of six yummy sweet blocks! I am already saving a nice spot for it in my living room. I made three cake blocks - one of them will be chosen based on consistency with blocks from everyone. This is the first one I made. My favorite part of it is the chickens helpi


So you all know this cutest fabric line, Sew Cherry by a super talented textile designer Lori Holt by now, right? When I first saw this line, which I believe was in the pictures of Lori's booth at the Quilt Market a few months ago, I almost passed out. I thought, "Gee why do I have to find out about such pretty American fabric coming out when I am about to move out of the States?!" Lori was so super nice to surprise me with a package full of her fabric, patterns, and other goodies which arrived just a few days before my flight to Japan. You know I went insane absolutely! I can think of so many things to make with these fabrics, but for now I want to focus on small projects using them just so that I get to enjoy seeing the lovely stash in my fabric shelf for quite some time. I made these cases this morning to.. organize inside a drawer in my tiny kitchen. But while shooting some pictures for this post, I started feeling that maybe these should be used like this for the di