Friday, November 26, 2010


Please visit to learn about my artisan quilts and yukata cottons.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

free fabric giveaway

Win eight yards of vintage Japanese yukata cottons [value $120].

To celebrate the launch of my new website, visit to participate in a Free Fabric Giveaway.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

a new home for okan arts

Instead of quilting, for the last two weeks I’ve been learning how to use WordPress and making a website for Okan Arts. Please visit my new online home: where I will be writing all future posts.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

empire quilters, nyc

We’re identical twins! (Just not with each other.) Me with Barbara Feinstein.

I visited the Empire Quilters guild meeting today and saw an inspirational presentation by contemporary art quilter Pat Pauly.

Using Maurine Noble’s name as a conversation starter, I had a fun time talking with Barbara Feinstein. Barbara and I are both identical twins and Japanophiles—so we had lots in common!

The guild boasts a whopping 375 members. The meeting room at the Fashion Institute of Technology was packed with 185 mesmerized quilters. Raffle tickets, show n’ tell, stash giveaways, and a member vendor made for a busy event.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

little sister quilt

Doodle Baby, 2010, 35" x 45"

For Liz Holland’s Baby Girl No. 1, I overly hand stitched her baby quilt for five months. For Baby Girl Number 2, I hand stitched this whole cloth quilt with hot pink and orange threads over a four-month period. Then I doodled, with SetaSkrib dye pens, on the black and white top fabric for almost six hours.

Both the top and backing fabric are vintage African fabrics that Maureen Noble picked up in South Africa 20 years ago.

Monday, September 27, 2010

a huge success

Ellen Hough of Bremerton at the Trunk Show.

Number of shoppers: 51 shoppers purchased fabrics
Shopper profile: passionate fabric lover
Average purchase per customer: 6 yards
Favorite fabrics: bold colorful ones with interesting repeats

Friday, September 24, 2010

setting up my first trunk show

Top left: Stacie Baumeister, store owner, and Chardel Blaine, store manager.

Unpacking bolt after bolt of yukata cotton at QuiltWorks NW tonight caught the attention of the store staff. They bought over ten yards before the show starts tomorrow!

I thought I’d need six tables to set out all my merchandise but there was only room for three. Remarkably, the set up worked just fine.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

mom’s latests

My mom credits me with inspiring her to make her asymmetric black and white quilt. At 83, she admits that she has a hard time “coloring outside the lines.” Good work, Jane.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

that’s not a quilt!

Girl-sized 7, this dress features vintage yukata fabrics that I imported from Japan. I bought the Asian-inspired pattern, by modkid, at Fabric Crush in Wallingford Center.

The dress is made with four different fabrics—two indigo ones that match perfectly for the body, a third one for the obi, and a fourth for the homemade double-fold bias tape used to bind the edges.

In the coming week, the dress and mannequin are heading for QuiltWorks NW to promote my trunk show in late September.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

every quilter needs a covered bridge

For my birthday, Michael made me a sign for our almost-finished covered bridge. I was a little taken aback at the name he choose: Pretty Patty Bridge.

Covered bridges typically have cute names, he told me. There’s Blind Suzie Bridge, Blow Me Down Bridge, and Turkey Jim’s Bridge, to name a few.

Our 24-foot king truss bridge, at our cabin in Wauconda, is made from timbers salvaged from all over Washington and Oregon. The recycled wood make it a “green” project. All the same, we’ll need to buy new roofing material.

Currently there are five authentic wooden covered bridges in Washington state. Upon completion, ours will be No. Six.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

yukata quilt no. 1

Metro Baby, 2010, 37" x 41"

Finally I’ve made something with some of my Japanese yukata cottons. This baby quilt, made with five differently patterned indigo and white fabrics, is scissor-cut and pieced by machine. The backing is plush white corduroy.

For finishing, the machine quilting follows the valley of the corduroy wales in nine straight lines. The binding is the predominant striped fabric, on the bias.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

communicating through quilts

Top left: Mariko Kanazawa, top right: Noriko Koyama, bottom right: Kumiko Nakamura

Today I met some of the charming and talented Japanese quilters at the La Conner show. Mariko pointed out her first machine-stitched project. Noriko shared the fairy tale behind her fabulous free-motion quilt. And Kumiko proudly showed me her fastidiously appliqued quilt. All the work is world-class and inspired.

japanese quilt show : la conner

Today the biennial Japanese show opened at the La Conner Quilt Museum. Fourteen ladies, a floor of incredible quilts, and coffee service with yummy treats welcomed the media and public. I will be back later this summer to spend more time at the show!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

quilt encyclopedia

The Quilters Ultimate Visual Guide, From A to Z—Hundreds of Tip and Techniques for Successful Quiltmaking

Never a kid who wanted to read encyclopedias, I’m proud to say that I finished this 275-page volume on just about everything about quiltmaking.

This book is like a ten-year subscription to good magazine filled with great how-to articles. All in one place, I like knowing I can easily find the information again.

I highly recommend this book for a beginning or intermediate quilter. With short articles by many experts and over 700 helpful illustrations, it’s a great resource.

Monday, June 14, 2010

walleyed dachshund

At Spring Market I saw fun little stuffed chicks by Joel Dewberry and a cute puppy by Bari J. They made me want to try a 3D project.

This full-sized dachshund is made with an online pattern designed by Japanese dollmaker, Runo. Although Runo’s pattern didn’t include full instructions, her pictures made the pup straightforward to make.

Using cotton that I “dab dyed” in Goldendale last Fall, I produced a double dapple dachshund. I finished the doll with mismatched buttons. Once I find two dark buttons, I’ll perform eye surgery.

Friday, June 11, 2010


“Quilts” beside “Japan.” Finding my two favorite interests side-by-side makes Anacortes my kind of town!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

wiley’s quilt

Passport, 2010, 52" x 88"

Today Plymouth Church recognized its high school graduates in the late morning service. Five of the eight seniors showed up and were wrapped in quilts produced by Plymouth Piece Makers. My quilt was given to Wiley Wilkins, a free-thinking and creative young man.

Best wishes, Wiley.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

day 4—spring quilt market

Can fairy tales come true for grown-ups? My trip to Minneapolis was definitely a whirlwind of wonder.

Another remarkable group of folks I met is in the publishing industry. This framed photo of me was taken by my new friends at Martingale—a book publishing company. I also met an Editor-in Chief and an Editorial Director of two major media groups. And lots of authors. And bloggers.

We all have ideas and stories to share!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

day 3—spring quilt market

Quilters are very generous and patient people. And, so it seems, are the pros in the industry.

In the last three days I have met CEOs, presidents, VPs, and creative directors of fabric manufacturers who have listened to the Patomi story and looked over our collections. Happily, the overall response has been exciting and encouraging.

Friday, May 21, 2010

day 2—spring quilt market

Today I collected feedback on Patomi’s three fabric collections. Between informal focus groups at the espresso stand and talking with manufacturers on the show floor, I’ve received honest and thoughtful insights.

Younger retailers, especially online ones, liked the non-matching Origamee Collection. Established store owners preferred the Edo Rising Collection, especially the Sumi colorway in charcoal and citron yellow.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

day 1—spring quilt market

Schoolhouse Series is like speed dating quilting pros. The day-long event had 15 sessions, each with 20 choices of presentations. The following six speakers represent only 2% of this year’s Schoolhouse!
Who can resist a dad with four kids who designs lifestyle fabrics? FreeSpirit veteran Joel Dewberry charmed us with his Modern Meadow fabric collection inspired by his new home in Utah.
Direct from Australia, designer Leesa Chandler showed her business side with great tips for cultural marketing. She knows how to add energy and education to the retail experience.
I was thrilled to see Debra Lunn and Michael Wrowka again. Their video presentation transported us to Java to see the production of the Robert Kaufman batik line.
FreeSpirit designer Verna Mosquera of The Vintage Spool is a genius. The Noel quilt made with her Heavenly Peace line uses her fabrics in remarkably detailed blocks.
Margo Krager of Blue Hill Fabrics showed Little Pink Stars, a quilt featuring 432 star blocks made with fabrics from the 1840s to 1890s. The antique fabrics have been faithfully reproduced in Margo’s newest line of mostly double pinks.
Scatter Joy by Kathy Davis is the culmination of a life of learning and sharing. Kathy endeared us with her story of becoming a recognized painter and lettering artist—first in the greeting card industry and now with fabrics for FreeSpirit.