Tiny Punky Needle Book

After paying proper respect to my old sewing needles at the harikuyou 針供養 festival, I started to feel bad about how I treat my other needles. Usually they are scattered on my desk, with random bits of string left threaded to help me find them when they drop to the floor. They deserve a happier place to live.

tiny punky needle case

I whipped up this needle book using the new Kokka fabric Candy Party Tsuzuki, a gift from my friend Miss Matatabi. I bought the button months ago because fancy zebras are awesome.

needle book, needle bed

candy party!

I am really excited about this fabric. Triangles and neon and sparkles. Yes! It’s like Harajuku wrapped up in a little fabric bow: super sweet and a bit punky.

kokka candy party

I put a pocket in the back to hold my Japanese needles because their packaging is just too lovely not to keep. They are from my friend Inna who really knows her needles. They be fancy.

How do you store your needles?

Polka Dot Picnic Quilt

This past weekend I attacked the picnic quilt. I sat and sewed with wild abandon, if wild abandon means straight lines.

Most people probably iron things before they take photos of them for the Internet. Not this girl. While piecing I didn’t use any pins, either. I feel like a rebel.

I made this quilt using fabric I already had in my apartment, piecing as I pleased until it was big enough to sit on. I bought the toile-ish fabric (300 yen per meter) and the neon orange cotton (210 yen per meter) in Nippori, and used an old cotton sheet as batting. I didn’t want it to be too thick — since it’s a picnic blanket, I want it to roll up to carry easily, but it needed something in the middle. Also, with every quilt I make I try to use some fabric that is reused or recycled. It reminds me of a quilt’s origins, of stitching together bits of old clothes until you had something big enough to keep you warm during the winter.

I chose the toile mostly because I liked the way it contrasts with the polka dots but still follows the blue color theme (it’s a very dark navy). Also, its heavier weight and dark color will hold up well to being thrown on the grass. And, it was really cheap.

I’ve been drawn to the neon colors popping up in fashion recently. If something has neon yellow and gray on it, I will buy it. It’s a bit weird when suddenly your pot holders and shoes and throw pillows all match. When I saw this neon fabric, I thought it would be a fun to way to make the polka-dot quilt look a bit edgy, and worthy of a Tokyo-style picnic. Even in the fading afternoon light of my apartment, the orange is bright. I love it.

OK darling, now I’m ready to picnic.