Thursday, 11 October 2012

kai no kuchi - D.I.Y intro

Hey Hey.

This is an intro for a  wee tut so hang on to your knickers

Kai No Kuchi are little purse thingys.  The japanese craft mags tend to be filled with them and all working on the assumption that EVERYONE knows how to make them.  Took me a bit of digging but when I worked it out it's sew simple, my nutty cat could do it with one paw tied behind her back.

The fabulous CLOVER company have just bought out a set of plastic Kai No Kuchi shapes in 3 sizes (Small, Medium and Large) which can be bought in all good stores that carry clover products.  The link is for the Japan site, Clover USA can be found here.

Before I kick the tut off I wanted to say a couple of things about Clover.  I swear, swear, swear by this company and the fantastic tools they make.  The quality of the tools are streets ahead of anything else on the market.  The rotary cutters in particular are very good.  I use their delicate little applique pins all the time, anyways, my sewing bag is filled with all sorts of clover stuff.

I have been getting a little frustrated tho, because there seems to be a bit of censoring being done by Clover.  There are some fantastic clover products available in Japan that we can't get here in Aus, or europe or the US.  Things like this:

This is for "Boutis" or "Trapunto" as well as this:

So these tools and needles have been specially developed for Boutis (yes, I'm using the french term), and no we cant get them here.

Instead Clover USA has decided that we all would be interested in some pretty useless things instead.  A pincushion, some bag templates and a funny looking ruler that is supposed to replace a quilting ruler. All of these products are basically wheel inventing without the quality or the aesthetic that all of us have come  to expect from Clover Japan.  Here are a couple of other neat doobies that we are missing out on too:

This tool is for making mini rag rugs

These templates are for making origami pieces out of fabric.

All really useful and very exciting and no where to be seen outside of Japan.  Crazy Huh?

Anyhoo back to Kai No Kuchi.  Here is a wee pic and I bet you will think "ohhhh, THAT'S what they are!"

I am going to use them for cotton reels when I am out and about, but you could have anything in there and you could embellish them in anyway you want and have them look anyways you want.  They are being called "clamshell" purses by Clover USA but when you google that, you don't find them at all.  But google "Kai No Kuchi" and a bunch of stuff appears so make sure you check out the google images tab as well to see what's floating about in blog land.  I'm going to make one tonight and add the tut here in the next couple of days.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Stirling Help ...

 Sometimes the help you get when you sew, is just too good.

Green Tea and Sweet Buns is THE funkiest sampler quilt.  How cool is this?  I bought the pattern from my fav quilt store in Sydney, The Cottage Quilt Works and the fabric I am using to make this quilt is my precious precious Denyse Schmidt Flea Market Fancy that I got when it first came out.

I have to say that as far as quilt patterns go, I never buy them, I like to do my own thang but this pattern just sang arias to me.  So I am making this quilt when I go to class at the cottage quilt works.  There is something so cool finding a group of women who have similar tastes and pretty cool.  The lovely Natasha is doing it with me so make sure you check out her blog and see how she is going too.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Its Official ...

JAPAN HERE WE COME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm doing the happy dance.  Flights all booked and man in doors already primed, we are off in January and this little black duck is going to the Tokyo Quilt show.


So in preparation for the event, I thought I might talk about an amazing quilting magazine.  Patchwork Tsushin has to be seen to be believed.

It. Set. My. Head. On. Fire.

The ideas are original, the design and techniques are breathtaking.  Yes, its in Japanese.  Yes, the front of the magazine is on the back.  Who Cares?  It doesn't hurt to think outside the comfort zone and have a good hard look.  One of my favourite things to do is go into the city with my homies Ness and Jane.  We catch the train, talk the ENTIRE way there, go to the Galleries Victoria and head off to Kinokuniya to go get lost in the Japanese craft books.

Patchwork Tsushin is an amazing magazine.  If you get an issue and don't run around in circles after flipping through the pages, well, there simply is no hope for you :)

Ebay is a good place to find issues, there are quilt stores that carry the magazine but you will have to do a google search to find them.  If you have a Kinokuniya somewhere near you they will carry it (that's where I buy my copies) plus you could subscribe.  But please don't expect this to be the normal price of quilt mags. It isn't, it can be expensive so shop around.  You won't be sorry.  Next post will be about the jelly roll/charm square quilt.  Which I am working on while catching up on the new season of Downton Abbey.  Ahhhh yes.  Could it get any better?