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One of my favorite quilt magazines is Quilts Japan. I have since acquired issues from several Japanese quilt magazines, including Patchwork Tsushin and a couple whose titles are in kana and kanji that I can even read.

The first tea cosy I made was a bit small

That’s okay by me because I have found that the photography and illustrations in these magazines are so detailed and precisely planned that I really don’t need to read what they are saying. (Although that would be nice!)

Since I can only recognize a few Kanji and groups of kana, it will be a while before I can read Japanese.  (Even longer since I have not been learning these things in a systematic way!)  I still love the magazines and gain much inspiration from looking at them.

As someone who has been quilting a while, I am pretty much able to figure out what to do. My problem major problem is the measurements. The first project I made was smaller than I expected because I was not as precise as I should have been in the conversion from metric to English and rounding (to quarter-inches, etc.)

This cosmetic bag was fun to make but probably would have been easier for me if I had been able to read the directions.

It was, of course, cute, but only fit over my individual serving teapots (like the ones included in the “tea party” sets from Fiestaware.)

So, the second project I attempted I traced right out of the magazine, an appliqued cosmetic bag for my friend, Katie.

This time units were not a problem, but I could have used a bit more detail on how to put it together.  In the end, I was happy with the result, but I might have been more confident if I had been able to read the directions.

This time I deliberately scaled the house up to fit over my friends’ big tea-pot.

But, back to the house.  When I went to my friends Kris and Dick’s for tea and scones (I brought the scones), I noticed they had a large teapot which they wrapped in a dish towel.  I figured they needed a cosy.

Now, they have an enormous tea-pot, so I scaled the small tea cosy up and used the same quilting strategy: horizontal rows on the house itself and clam shells on the room to look like shingles.

I did a close zigzag on the windows for the window sashing when it was already sandwiched.  This cosy is much more cosy than the first because I used more batting for the quilting, and then I lined it with a pre-quilted fabric. (The original was just quilted but not lined.)

I just finished it a couple of days ago, and I can’t wait to give it to them to see if it fits!

I get my Japanese quilting magazines from Kinokuniyo in New York City, but you can also order them online through Quilter’s Express to Japan (and several other places) or find them on ebay and, sometimes, on Amazon.

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