Bingata ~ A traditional dye method flourished in the south of Japan, Okinawa ~

Are you familiar with "Bingata"?
Bingata is a mixed technique of dyeing and stenciling developed in Okinawa which is an island located down south in Japan. They have had their own culture flourish for centuries by being affected by various southern Asian countries.

Masako has been in love with this dye method and finally could meet one of the craftsmen at her studio/shop on Sesoko island.

Benikichi. That's the name of the shop.

She was painting when we entered the shop. It will become a parasol which Masako was dying to buy, but unfortunately she didn't carry any stock of then.

She was moving around the studio.

They are creations for sale. It was so difficult to choose which to buy, as all looked so beautiful and special. 

This is what I chose! A pieced coaster and pincushion! 
I don't know why , but somehow it reminds me of Scandinavian design. 

Masako, the artist and me.

Here is a link of her website.

If you wish to learn more about Bingata, please visit this website which teaches you the history and its details. (click here)

I'd like to share some photos of the beautiful beach on Okinawa.

I was wearing a sweater as the weather was chillier than it was supposed to be.
But we had lots of sunshine and enjoyed terrific ocean views.



Our New Autumn Products Are Now Available

Our new autumn products feature "Halloween" and "Christmas".
All are simple and easy to make, so you can complete them in time for those special seasonal events!

15A-1 Pumpkin Quilt   29x35cm         3000 yen 
The witch and the pumpkin are done by applique using wool felt.
Use wool felt to applique them, which is much easier than usual applique!

15A-2 Halloween Ornaments        8cm in diameter          1800 yen
They look nice on the wall!

15A-3 Halloween Embroidery Ornaments      7cm and 3.5cm in diameter    1300 yen
They have a difference look from the wool felt one above.
Tiny beads around each circle accentuate your work.  

15A-4 Santa Ornaments      43x15cm          2700 yen
The Santa is actually three-dimensional!
He is wearing a coat and hat.

15A-5a  Pre-cut Christmas Fabric Set (red)      1600 yen
A set includes 6 pieces of pre-cut fabric measuring 30x36cm and a mini acorn accessory.
It comes with directions for making the mini quilt below (30x33cm)!

15A-5b  Pre-cut Christmas Fabric Set (blue)     1600yen
This set also includes 6 pieces of fabric measuring 30x36cm and rick-rack.
The fabric was designed by the famous quilt artist, Lynette Anderson.
How lovely it looks!
It comes with directions for making the mini quilt below (33x29cm)!

If you wish to order from us, please check our shopping method page by clicking here! 



My trip to Brisbane, Australia 3 -Nature-

This is going to be my last report about my trip.

First of all, let me show you where I was in the gigantic land of Australia.

Brisbane is located between Cains in the north and Sydney in south.

On the weekend Lynette and Vince took me to Great Sandy National Park.

Noosa river meanders through towns to Lake Cooroibah.
Mangrove trees grow in the saline river.

To get to the beach you need to cross this river.
The boat ride is only a few minutes.

It felt strange to be on the boat in a car crossing the river!

A few minutes drive brought us to the beautiful beach!

Driving on the beach was a new and special experience for me.

Even after a 30 minute drive, the unbroken beach view continued.

Turing left off the beach there was a completely different world waiting for us.

It was rainforest.

You see how big those trees are relative to the size of our car.

And now I understand why only 4WD cars are allowed to enter this area. The roads are very rough and uneven. I said to Lynette, "It feels like a real "Indiana Jones" to me!"

We had lunch in the shade of the trees, overlooking the beach. How beautiful it is!

The lovely couple, Lynette and Vince.
Thank you both, I had an amazing time!



My trip to Brisbane, Australia 2 -Animals-

Meet the wonderful animals that I saw in Australia!

There is a zoo called "Australia Zoo" (website) which is a 30 minute drive from Lynette's home. You see animals which you may also be able to see in your countries such as giraffes, rhinoceros and tigers, as well as Australian endemic species such as koalas, kangaroos and wombats.

I adored his sleeping face. It was so special to see him taking a walk on the lead.

There are two different types of free range kangaroos.
Their hair was much softer than I had imagined!

But you might not necessarily go to a zoo to see kangaroos because there are lots of wild kangaroos in town!

One evening, on the way home in the car .... Do you see him watch us in the distance?

When it comes to Australian endemic species, Koalas must top the list.

Drowsy eyes!

July is one of the best months to enjoy whale watching.
I have to admit that I was not sure if I would be OK on a ferry, BUT I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to see whales with my own eyes!

About 20 minutes off shore, we saw the first whale!
But then I realized that I was seasick. The ferry stopped and stood still to watch the whales, ( that's what they do) and that made me soooo sick.

This is the only photo that I could take.

I knew it would be a four hour cruise; and for the remaining 3 1/2 hours, I was longing to be back on land again.

But, Lynette, thank you for taking me on the ferry! I do appreciate it!

Let me introduce the animals at Lynette's!

Fat cat. That's what Lynette and Vince call him.

I just adored him. When he finds a hand, no matter whose one it is, he rubs his head against it. I can almost hear him say "Pat me!".

On the other hand, he prefers his personal space and we should honor that.

Hugo often appears in Lynette's works.
Every time I saw him he had different things, such as cushions, and sometimes shoes in his mouth. He is so precious.

 Lastly, I show you some examples of Australian wild cuisine.

Camel burgers

Kangaroo sausages

Crocodile curry

Which one would you like to try for your dinner?



My trip to Brisbane, Australia 1

Hello, Emi is here.

I was invited to stay at the quilt artist's, Lynette Anderson, from June 30th to July 7th. We gave our students workshops for two days last January when Lynette was in Japan.

The Sunshine Coast is where she lives. When I arrived at Brisbane International Airport, Lynette and her husband, Vince, were there to pick me up and then we headed home.

On the way home there were some big mountains in my line of vision because nothing to block my view.

Including the very popular site, "Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock", the mountains are monoliths, according to Vince, which symbolizes the mountains in Australia.

It is winter now in the southern hemisphere, but the weather in Brisbane felt like an early summer in Japan with extremely strong sunshine.

There is a man made river running through her town and this was the view from her terrace in the evening .
I found it very beautiful that the moon reflected on the water.

First on my list was to visit Lynette's quilt store called "little quilt shop". It's only a 10 minute drive from her home.

She designs fabric for RJR as well as buttons and kits, which are always popular.

I like her displays, each of which tells you the concept of her fabric collections.