Sunday, January 22, 2012

Learning to Stitch

She had me with the jacket. I can't sew, but I can't resist textiles and her jacket drew me in like nectar pulling in the butterflies and hummingbirds.
Julie Fukuda holding her quilt diary
Arriving late to the Japan Women's Conference, I dived into events and conversation. I kept meaning to read the program guide that listed the workshops and information about the participants but real life moments kept happening. Unaware that Mrs. Fukuda was a quilter and giving a workshop for which I had signed up for, I had to know about her lovely jacket- it is an Ainu design. Later at the "Patches" workshop, she taught us how to tie a knot and how to stitch small blocks together for each participant to sign and then stitch onto the quilt she put together for the event. See it on her blog: My Quilt Diary.

She pulled out her quilt diary; I pulled out my camera. I drag my camera about and often don't use it, but a woman with her own homemade book! I couldn't resist. All of her sewing and quilting is done by hand she says it is because there is no room for a sewing machine, but she seems to have the Zen thing going- she can stitch and think or stitch and talk. I managed to incorrectly stitch my blocks four times and finally managed to get three of them together during our time. What a lovely opportunity to learn new things, to meet new people, and to spend time together.

She did teach me the way to tie a knot on the thread of the needle. You make an "X" with the threaded needle and the ends of the thread. Wrap the thread three times around this "X" and then pull it down to the end of the thread where it should form a knot.

Thoughts for keeping a "Project Diary" should include name of the item, the number, where you were when you made it, anything special about the event or fabric, as well as a photo.


  1. I find hand-stitching humbling, gratifying, and time-consuming. To make a jacket like Mrs. Fukuda's would be the pinnacle of my sewing career.

  2. Oh my, what a surprise! I'm glad you found something interesting at the workshop. I shall have to post a picture of what has been done so soon as the dust settles...I love the results so far and nothing needed to be re-stitched. My camera went too but the only picture I took was Mt. Fuji on the way home! Much too busy having fun.

  3. Thank you for sharing your time and talents. It is so exciting to see what we can do with a little help from our friends!


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