Happy 2014 to you! I hope your dreams will come true this year.
Last month I was reading a post from one of the quilting blogs I follow and was very surprised to see the name of an acquaintance on the fabric right in the center of one of her apple quilt blocks. (You can see the post HERE. Fabric with text and writing on it is all the rage in quilty blogland right now.) I have not met Mrs. Ito personally, but recognize her name from my AFWJ foreign wives group. We are a small group and I mail out our bimonthly club journals so I have come to know everyone’s names.
I set out to search online for this fabric and was doubly surprised to also find my little town in Oregon listed on there, as well as some other antique-y newspaper ads from Oregon. What are the chances of ever seeing fabric with so many things related to my life on it all at once?
The fabric was out of print and I could only find bits and pieces on Etsy at high prices, what with that crazy international shipping. I thought to do a search in Japanese and lo and behold I found a shop from my old Japan hometown offering it, another coincidence! Her price was reasonable so I got two colorways, red and white. I’ve been using it as the background for my shop photos lately because I like it so much.
The Japanese shop, Cotton Garden, sent me an e-mail this month informing that they were going to open a traveling shop for the weekend in Osaka so I bundled up and headed out to Osaka to see them in person.
The owner was a lovely lady who had been to Portland many times and loves it. She was happy to hear my story of coincidences, too. I even found a set of matching prints from the same designer with a bit of that fabric in brown so I bought that pack too, along with a number of other unique prints. As we were talking, lots of people came to look at her shop and she thanked me for bringing in customers. When I was ready to leave, she was busy with people so I couldn’t say goodbye. I looked in the other shops on the same floor and then when I was ready to leave, saw that she was not busy anymore so I went to say goodbye. She gave me two packs of scraps as a thank you for coming. I will definitely stop in at her shop when we visit my in-laws next time.
Last week I finally had some time to sit and make up some bags for Jill. I hope she likes them and will get a kick out of having personalized bags now. :-) She used to write a cooking column for the newspaper here, so it is just funny that the fabric designer chose that particular column, and a free antique shop paper from Oregon to use for her fabric. Now I’ll have to make something from the Oregon part for me!