Sewing for our home and family ♪身のまわりのものをあれこれ作っています♪

Hello everyone from the humid and rainy Tokyo...☂

I'm happy to be back here after a long break from blogging... Yes we're doing fine, adjusting to the life in Japan as a family, day by day.  I've been busy with kids, work, home, and everything in between that I haven't had a chance to get back to daily/routine sewing mode as I used to do back in the U.S., but I'm hanging in there!



Despite the lack of sewing time, I still managed to sew a couple of things over the past several weeks for our home and family, such as...


Patchwork/quilt-as-you-go doormats/kitchen mats. I've made two of them and I'm willing to make more!


Backing is pre-quilted fabric in navy. 


 In between the quilt top and the pre-quilted backing, I sandwiched batting and heavy cotton (four layers of fabrics).  These layers make the mats really soft and cushion-y.


Above you see two handmade mats at our kitchen floor. These stash-busting mats are so fun to make! I enjoy sewing these everyday things the most, as there are no rules or instructions to follow to make them. Mindless sewing really frees up my mind and relieves every day stress ;)


Then I stitched up these wiping cloths or zo-kin (雑巾)by upcycling old towels in our household.  Hope you like the fussy-cut patches that I added to decorate the wipes! lol


I may make a bigger version of these to make bath mats.


I also made these quick and easy curtain for the shoe rack.  Gingham check fabrics are my all time favorite!


Using summer kimono fabrics, I stitched up this baby set (bib and shorts) for my youngest nephew who is nine months old.


For reverse side of bib, I used double gauze.


Japanese kimono fabrics comes in a roll like this. The width is approximately 14 inches (35 cm)
wide. I got this Japanese summer kimono fabric roll from my mom a while ago.

こちらが母から譲り受けた浴衣地です。海外の方にとっては、服地・生地がこのようなロール状になっているのは珍しく映るようです。浴衣地の幅は35 cmほどです。

I continued to sew more shorts for my young nephews and nieces.


The panda fabric (in olive green) is from the local dollar store, or 100 yen store. These fabrics are super lightweight, tenugui (手拭い)fabrics that are perfect for summer weather.


Well that's it for today!
I'm hoping to squeeze in more stitching time this summer (fingers crossed!)

この夏はもっとソーイングしたくてたまらない Amy でした☆ 皆さんもお忙しい生活の中でもほっこりできる手芸タイムを大切にしてお過ごしくださいね^^

Hugs from Tokyo,
***Amy Morinaka***

Find me on Facebook (Amy Morinaka) →☆
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Pixelated Heart Mini Quilt... Finished! ❤ハートのモザイクミニキルト、完成です❤


Finally... I ticked off one wip item from my to-do list. Yay!


Do you remember this pixelated heart mini quilt that I stitched up a while ago? 



Well, I was finally able to sit down and sew at my new sewing table, after all the hectic weeks of packing, moving, and unpacking.... 


Love this backing!


As long as I have a bit of time to sit down and sew, I am one happy girl! 
Hope you're enjoying your stitching moments♡


Hugs from Tokyo,
***Amy Morinaka***

Find me on Facebook (Amy Morinaka) →☆
Follow me on Instagram @chickchicksewing →★

Hello from my new sewing space in Tokyo♪ 新居のミシンスペース整いました♪

Hello everyone! 

Just dropping by to let you know that I was able to set up my sewing space here in our new place in Tokyo, upon arrival of our moving packages. It took more than a month to receive my sewing machine and the rest of our moving boxes via ocean from U.S.!! It sure was a long wait!!


While my sewing machine was still in transit, I started English Paper Piecing (EPP) project using these gorgeous fabrics from Lecien (Retro 30's).

ミシンが手元になかった間には手縫いでパッチワークなどをしていました。ご覧の生地はルシアンさんの可愛い Retro 30's のラインから。

Yes, hand stitching definitely takes more time, but it's really nice and relaxing...


I still have bunch of boxes to unpack and organize (our house is a huge mess!), but I can't be happier now that my sewing machine all set up and ready to sew♡

What have you sewn lately? Hope you enjoy your spring sewing!

家の中はまだ段ボールの山、山、山、でしっちゃかめっちゃかですが(^^); とりあえずはミシンスペースが確保できて大満足です♪ 皆さんもどうかソーイングタイムを満喫してお過ごしくださいね♡

Hugs from Tokyo,
***Amy Morinaka***

Find me on Facebook (Amy Morinaka) →☆
Follow me on Instagram @chickchicksewing →★

Good bye California... Hello Japan! さらばカリフォルニア~日本へ引越します☆彡

Cute embroidered applique patches from Japan

First off, I apologize for the non-existence... It's been quite some time since I blogged here and I truly missed posting about my latest handmade creations!


Fabrics from Japan

The truth is, I haven't had a chance to create for a while, because we are in the midst of our family move to... Tokyo, Japan!! The move is due to my hubby's business and we are moving in just a few more days!!


Colorful acrylic yarns from Yuzawaya, Japan

Our family stayed in Tokyo for over a month in early this year, to take care of our girls' school issues and to settle down in our new place prior to our real move (scheduled in end of March).


Sanrio World, in Ginza, Tokyo, Japan

Now we're back in California, packing things up for our final move and saying good-byes to our good friends (the worst part...)


Local shrine in Tokyo

This move is going to bring major changes to all of us, because we have enjoyed the sunny California lifestyle for too long! (Almost thirty years for my hubby and I, and for our teenage girls,  their entire lives were spent here.)


From the train station near Kamakura, Japan

We have been preparing for this move for the past few years. As a mom, my major concern was our girls' school issues, whether they can get into schools of their choice and to get accustomed to the school life in Japan. (In Japan, getting into high school is like getting into college in the U.S. - kids are required to study hard to get accepted in the schools of their choice).


Green tea ice cream parfait from cafe in Tokyo

There were emotional moments... but I am so proud of my girls for studying very hard and getting accepted at the schools of their choice (high school for our oldest, and middle school for our youngest). They are finally ready to start new school year in Japan, which begins from April in the Japanese school system.


Cold soba or buckwheat noodles and tempura dinner

We will badly miss our wonderful friends, the beautiful Southern California weather, and the In-n-Out burgers! For me, I will definitely miss the American fabrics...

カリフォルニアの温暖な気候や、近所のハンバーガーショップの名物バーガー(In-n-Out Burgers)、そしてこれまでこの地で仲良くお付き合いしていただいた友人知人との別れはそれはそれは悲しく辛いです(涙、涙…)。手芸を愛する者としては今後はアメリカの生地を入手するのが難しくなると思うとそれも寂しい~。

Me, in front of huge Buddha statue in Kamakura, Japan

However, we are ready to start our new venture in my home country. After all, it's great to be reunited with my hubby's and my family members in Japan. And more than anything, we wish that this experience will be a positive one for our girls.


Packing, packing, packing...

 I look forward to post about our new life in Tokyo. Wish us luck and see you soon!!

Oh and don't forget to check my instagram account @chickchicksewing - I try to post frequently than I do with my blog!

このブログも次回は日本から更新することになるかと思いますが、皆さま、引き続きよろしくお願いします♪ (スマホでインスタグラムをされる方は私のアカウント@chickchicksewing もチェックしてくださいね!)では皆さまもどうかお元気でおすごしください。☆彡

With lots of love from California,
***Amy Morinaka***

Find me on Facebook (Amy Morinaka) →☆
Follow me on Instagram @chickchicksewing →★

Raindrops pouch for my girlfriend♡ レインドロップス(しずく)のポーチ ♡

My girlfriend visited me with her cute little boy over the weekend. I stitched up a small gift for her just because she deserves something special from me!


The pouch design is my original. I call it the "Raindrops pouch" because it's the pouch version of the "Raindrops Tote" from my book :)


The "raindrops" are made from cut out felt and then machine appliqued on to linen panels. 


Friends are like stars... you can't always see them, but you know they're always there ☆彡 This is my favorite quote that truly describes my feeling for my friends.


***Love, Amy***

Find me on Facebook (Amy Morinaka) →☆
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♪Crocheting flower corsage and chair pads ♪ かぎ針編みのコサージュと円座をあみあみ♪

Lately I've been very busy with work, home, kids, and everything else that I hardly have any time left to sit down and sew... :(   Yet I try my best to squeeze in crocheting time whenever possible during my crazy schedule.


This is a crochet flower corsage I made last year end. The crochet flower pattern is from my book. For this corsage, I added several fake pearls in the center (instead of the covered button shown in my book).


I somehow managed to stitch these crochet chair pads for our kitchen chairs. I didn't follow any patterns here, I simply crocheted in rounds with double crochets and popcorn stitches.


I used these super soft and bulky Bernat baby blanket yarns. Great for making chair pads!


Here I'm stitching another chair pad while I waited at my daughter's doctor's appointment. For me, waiting time is a crocheting time!


***Love, Amy***

Find me on Facebook (Amy Morinaka) →☆
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Celebrating Japanese New Year in Southern California 2015 ♪カリフォルニアで日本ふうのお正月♪

Happy new year everyone!

As a Japanese family living abroad (i.e. Southern California), I try my best to celebrate our New Year's Day with traditional Japanese new year food, mainly for our girls who are born and raised here in the U.S. 

If you've been following my blog for several years, you've seen the same food over and over, year after year for the New Year's Day post and here I go again this year! lol  Here's is the list of prior year posts of New Year on this blog :


2010 →
 (*includes explanation of traditional dishes)



Every year I prepare new year food in abundance, pack them in several ju-bako(重箱)lacquer boxes (I own several of them), so that I can share the food with my friends and neighbors. This year I was not able to cook as much variety of dishes, so I prepared red bean rice to fill in the space. Red bean rice or Osekihan (お赤飯)is considered as festive food in Japan.


We made chopstick holders with these origami papers.


 The food is packed in  ju-bako lacquer boxes, then wrapped in furoshiki (風呂敷)wrapping fabrics like this before delivered to our friends and neighbors.


We feel blessed to be able to celebrate this new year with good food surrounded by family and friends. Wishing you all have a prosperous and healthy 2015 with lots of crafty time!


***Love, Amy***

Find me on Facebook (Amy Morinaka) →☆
Follow me on Instagram @chickchicksewing →★


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