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December 12, 2017
Kogin Institute, Hirosaki, Aomori, Japan from The Ardent Thread

I visited the Kogin Institute in Hirosaki on January 31, 2017 after visiting the Tokyo Quilt Festival, Takayama, and Osaka. It was a pleasant flight from Osaka to Hirosaki, with the view of snowy mountains most of the way, and many, many empty seats. My companion Toyo looked around the plane, counted the passengers, and said in a low voice, “We’re the Seven Samurai.” Five men in business suits and the two of us, plus a very cheerful and friendly flight crew, happy to practice their English on me. I shared fresh strawberries from Osaka with the crew, and ...

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December 5, 2017
An Anniversary, an Open House, and a Sashiko Subscription from The Ardent Thread

Wow. Ten years. When I started selling online in 2005 I had my own website and an eBay store. Both are gone now, I closed them after starting my Etsy shop. There have been a lot of changes to Etsy–they went corporate awhile back–but some changes have been helpful and we’ve seen my tiny business grow to something exciting and much bigger.

Our Open House will be on Saturday, December 9 in Alameda, CA. Details are on our Facebook Events page and Eventbrite. No need to print a ticket, just show up. All the inventory we can ...

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November 21, 2017
Sashiko Subscription Box Beta coming soon! from The Ardent Thread

What is the Sashiko Subscription Box (beta), you ask? The beta part refers to the first box being a limited release which will also come with a feedback questionnaire so you can tell me what you think needs to be improved or what works well. The goal is to have a presentable subscription box that will launch in January with a seasonally appropriate project and/or set of nifty items every month. Prototypes are in the works right now.

Over the past year a few magazines approached me to design projects for them, and I couldn’t do it. I ...

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November 7, 2017
Boro and Sashiko from Humble Quilts


These first few are pieces the teacher, Becky from Shibori Dragon brought to class this week.

I love everything about this vintage Boro bag!
Here is her sashiko sampler.

And here is the start of mine. The photo is completely washed out. The fabric is a lovely cotton linen blend.


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October 9, 2017
Pardon the long absence, it’s been a busy year from The Ardent Thread

Hello, dear readers. It’s been a while.

  • In January & February I traveled Japan. More about that coming soon
  • In March we launched our wholesale import business and showed at the San Francisco Quilt Guild Show
  • In April I wrote a bunch, then stopped because there was so much more work to do with the wholesale business
  • In May we showed at the wholesale Quilt Market in St. Louis, MO
  • In June I did a guild lecture and sashiko class at River City Quilt Guild in Sacramento, CA
  • In July… I visited my son who is working in Europe!
  • In ...

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minimalist patchwork pillow from Sotak Handmade


I am a huge fan of Louise Gray's beautifully modern quilts and home decor. So, when I was trying to come up with an idea for a new pillow cover for our living room I decided a Louise Gray inspired pillow was finally in order :)



Super simple, isn't it? That's what I love about it.

I turned the pillow top into a small quilt sandwich by adding thin cotton batting and backing fabric, and did a bit of hand quilting using sashiko thread.


And then I used this lovely striped fabric from my stash for the pillow ...

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April 13, 2017
Textile Trading in Osaka from The Ardent Thread

Tokyo has the biggest quilt show in Japan, but many of the fabrics in those quilts start out somewhere else. Home to the bulk of the Japanese cotton trade for the past 300 years, Osaka is where next year’s trends are designed and next season’s designs are sold.

In 2016 my husband and I decided to take the plunge and move into the wholesale business. Our retail shop online is chugging along nicely and growing at a steady pace, but it felt like time to expand. This has opened up opportunities for me to visit companies where some ...

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