Thursday, April 23, 2009

Japanese Mini Quilts

I've been reading (quite sympathetically) over the past few months about the mutant stomach bugs that have been making their way through so many of your homes.  Well, it seems that we here in the Quilt Dad household are not immune.  My son brought one home from school last Friday and it's been making its way around all week ... leaving a wake of cancelled birthday parties and missed deadlines in its path.  Mrs. Quilt Dad and I have been tag-teaming childcare duties, and I'm home with my son (who hasn't been able to kick it yet) today.

Grrrrr ....

Anyhow, I thought it would be good time to post about one of my recent mini quilt swaps.  In March, the Swap 'Til You Drop group traded mini quilts with a Japanese theme.  Here is the awesome loot I received from Andrea (aka quiltedoma).

Besides an amazing quilt (which I'll get to in a minute), Andrea sent some beautiful Kaffe Fassett fabrics, stuff from the United Nations (where she works!!), and a bunch of great stuff for my kids (including some U.N. teddy bears that aren't in the picture because they were already snatched up and in their beds!)

And now, the quilt:

How cool is this?  It's a double-sided quilt!  On one side is a coin-like design with beautiful Asian fabrics.  And on the other side is a really creative design featuring an origami crane.

I'm always looking for creative label ideas, and Andrea's is truly original.  Because the quilt is double-sided, she created a dangling tag featuring all of the quilt info!  Now it can hang on either side.  I love this quilt so much -- thanks again, Andrea!

When I found out it was a Japanese-themed swap, I of course turned to my trusty Japanese Block book.  I decided to create a small Japanese block sampler, and pulled a palette of brown, pink and cream fabrics from Amy Butler's Midwest Modern line.

Here's my pieced back:

This pictures gives a little bit of a better view of the four blocks.  I really enjoyed making this quilt, but in retrospect wonder if I should have stuck with solids or smaller prints.  I think some of the design gets lost because of the large prints on some of the fabrics I used.

As always, I had a great swap experience.  For those of you who have been asking me in the comments about how to get involved in swaps, I encourage you to come over to Flickr and jump in to the many active swaps happening over there!


  1. They both are amazing quilts!

  2. I have and love that Japanese Quilt Blocks book too. It was especially handy in a swap a few months ago when I got paired up with a male quilter.

    The best part, to me, is that I can make one block in a fairly short period of time, and then I can make another block that's totally different, and yet they still go together. That doesn't make much sense, but....

    Plus, I'm pretty much convinced that since I made pillows with blocks from this book that coordinated with our downstairs paint, and our house sold about a week later, that they're the magic ingredient. :)

  3. What a FUN swap. The quilts are BEAUTIFUL!

  4. Lovely! People forget that swastikas are an ancient symbol and are still used in some cultures to mean positive things.

  5. Poor you guys - that scares me though - we've been free of that nasty stomach thing so far. Hope you are all feeling better soon. Your received quilt is fantastic - love that it's double sided. I've read through the Japanese Quilt Block book - lots of inspiration

  6. Both quilts are gorgeous. How in the world do you find the time. I just can't fing enough time to sew these days. I am just a beginner so I really need to be in the sewing room. I hope your son gets better soon.

  7. Lucky guy, that quilt you received is so cute! I have that same book and love it. I love your AB version. Great job!

  8. Lovely Japanese quilts--that was such a great theme!
    Hope everyone is feeling better soon:)

  9. Konichiwa...Gorgeous quilts and such fun extras;) Hope everyone is feeling all better soon.

  10. Love the double sided quilt - what an awesome idea for a label. The swastika quilt is great too - I remember a blogger debating about whether they should use the symbol - I told her she should, because it had been a symbol long before Hitler, and that Asian cultures still use them to represent good wishes. I think she decided not to though.

    Hope the virus leaves your family soon.

  11. Oh, retrospect nothing, cut that out. The pattern is visible- it isn't jumping in your face, but it's there, easily found. I love it. :o)

  12. The swastikas are wrong. Can you not come up with something else? Disappointing that such creativity had to go there just because "ancient cultures blah blah blah". So what? Fact is Hitler changed that symbol. Boo on you.

    1. Thanks, "Anonymous". Would be happy to have an open discussion with you if you're willing to quit hiding behind the anonymity ... especially if you want to immediately degrade the conversation into insults.