Friday, January 25, 2019

Makers Gonna Make, Japan Style!

No matter where our feet are - 

Our hands MUST create!

And create we have.  Our time in Japan has also included mini workshops where we could try our hand at traditional Japanese art forms such as Cloisonne, Yuzen dyeing with stencils (shown above) Japanese folded fan panting, a kaleidoscope workshop and then my own intro to English Paper Piecing workshop!

Busy hands are happy hands!

Our Cloisonne experience!

We each got to choose a copper shape covered with a white enamel, and we brushed on what felt like colored glass "sand" to make our designs which were then baked in a kiln at extreme temperatures to melt the glass beads and seal the design.

It was harder than it looked! LOL!

But it was fun to get OUT of our comfort zones and try something we had ZERO skill at.  Much appreciation for the artworks we would see later was already happening with each shaky brush stroke.

From there we moved on to painting watercolors on paper folded fans.  And that was not as easy as you would think it would be either!

Get out of your box, and try something unfamiliar!

This also gave us time to get to know one another as we are from EVERYWHERE across the USA and also from Canada - As I go through these photos from nearly a week ago, I am so glad to travel with these ladies and get to know them even better.

I have compiled the above workshops into the following video clip. Click to play:

While the Cloisonne and Fan painting were fun - I think by far we all enjoyed the Yuzen dyeing the best!

I'm not sure they knew what to do with a group as large as ours!

We donned dye-spattered aprons and settled in to try dyeing with stencils.  I remember painting with stancils "back in the 90s" when that was the decorator's IN thing.  But it's been decades!

Yuzen dyeing has been used on kimono fabric for centuries!

Our mother/daughter team building memories in Japan!

Even Jill's hubby Bob got into the act!

(But don't tease him about his floral apron! LOL!)

Click to play:

Thursday's Intro to EPP workshop:

Photo courtesy of my Australian friend Lynette Anderson who is also here in Tokyo for the show!

We were given a corner of the restaurant which had amazingly adequate lighting, and threaded up our needles for a bit of hexie piecing - my thanks to Paper Pieces for gifting us with 40 starter kits for everyone!

That's me in the center in the purplish shirt!  

What's better than coffee, cake and some hand stitching!?

It was a quick 90 minutes, but they dug right in!

I think we've got some converts here!

Well, except for Jill's hubby Bob - we gave him a pass to go explore the area instead of hand piecing.  Good call!

A Little Bit Hexie 
from the Free Patterns tab at the top of the blog!

We have fueled our creativity in so many ways - and now the real excitement happens - we've got 2 days to spend at the Quilt Festival here in Tokyo.  

Our weekend will be packed full with quilts, fabric, notions, food, and making memories on this trip that we will never forget.  

If you would love to travel with me on future excursions, please check the variety of trips lined up - each with their own tab at the top of the blog.  I would love to meet you and travel with you!

I do believe there are still a few spots left on our Kenya, Africa adventure this coming fall, and our trip to Germany/Bavaria/Austria for the Christmas Markets and more in December.

2020 is wide open with travel to Poland, Ireland, Guatemala and these trips are filling now.

2021 will include Viet Nam, and I am SO excited about that trip.  There are a couple more in the works, we will add them to the top of the blog when destinations are settled.

Every day is an adventure if you look for little bits of wonder! 

Yesterday was full of color and texture as we traveled 2 hours from Tokyo to a Kimono museum. No photos were allowed inside, but outside there were textures and patterns galore. 

Photographed with the feet of my Quiltville travelers! 

Have a wonderful Saturday, friends!


  1. I will be a tthe Tokyo Quilt Show tomorrow (Sunday) and I will look for members of your group.

  2. What are you standing on?

    1. The ladies are standing on the floor at the entrance to the Kimono museum. I have been there. It was stunning.

  3. Wish my Mom and I were in those open chairs at the EPP workshop! What a dream!

  4. What an exciting time you're all having!


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