One of my very favorite things about blogging has been the fantastic people I have gotten to meet, friends from all over the world who bring me insight on not only quilting in their country but also daily life and culture. I couldn't have dreamed of the benefits and joy these relationships have brought my life when I started my blog. I feel so very lucky. One of the first international friends I gained through quilting and sewing was my friend Makiko O'Neil. She lives in Japan and is a huge fan of Kate Spain's fabrics. She and I have that in common. The very day after the huge Tsunami hit Japan in 2009 I was very surprised to see I had an order for a few of my aprons in my etsy store from Japan. I couldn't believe someone would be buying aprons in such a tragic time and I thought surely there had to be a story there. I decided to email my customer and ask her how she had been affected and if she was okay, and if there was anything I could do to help the people of Japan. She immediately responded with the most charming and heartfelt story of how they had been badly affected and how horrible the aftershocks where, how very scary it all was, and how she loved Kate Spain so much that her husband had encouraged her to order my aprons made out of Kate Spain fabric. It was just so sweet that my aprons were meant to cheer her up and make her feel better during such a horrific time. To say I was touched was an understatement. It started a beautiful friendship- and inspired Makiko to open her own fabric shop in Japan to bring the beautiful American fabrics she loved so much to the Japanese Market. She also sold my aprons out of her store too, so she became one of my best customers. We have stayed in contact and remain very good friends. When it came time to write my book I knew I wanted to include an ironing board cover. I make my own Ironing board covers and the one I have currently is made from fabric Makiko sent me from Japan, and it always makes me think of her. I thought it would be a fun surprise to name the project after her and use Kate Spain fabric. I just loved the DayDream line and new Makiko would love it too. I never told her and waited til she got her signed copy for a reaction. It was pretty priceless, an amazingly sweet letter about how she cried when she saw it... I knew she would. Makiko is such a special person and I am so glad blogging and sewing and quilting brought her to me. I only hope to meet her in person one day! She shared some pictures with me of her shop and some of her and her friends quilting... I thought they were fun and got her permission to share them all with you. Be sure to come back Friday when I ask Grandma if she has ever tried print tracking like I did to quilt the ironing board cover and dog bed in my book. Have any of you ever tried print tracking?
|this is an add for Makikos store called Red Coconut|
|Makiko's Japanese friend made this quilt... isn't it lovely?|
|Makiko made this quilt herself... I love it- and it is made with DayDream by Kate Spain, just like the ironing board in the book, knew she would love that collection~|
|This is a Japanese quilting magazine|