Monthly Archives: December 2013

Tohoku Grannies

Tohoku Grannies

In March 2011 in tsunami ravaged Japan, Japanese born Swiss Designer Kazu Huggler wanted to do something to help the people of Rikuzen Tata rebuild their lives.

Born in Tokyo to a Japanese mother and a Swiss father, Kazu was raised in both Japan and Switzerland. Kazu’s designs, although inspired by her Japanese background – she uses kimono patterns and ancient printmaking – are all geared for the global marketplace and made in Switzerland.

Enlisting the assistance of Bernina International, Kazu founded the Three Cranes Association, and encouraged the groups to start sewing projects.

One of the groups Three Cranes supports is the Tohoku Grandmas, a group of women from the fishing community, who, by their own admission “are not used to such delicate work”

Example of pin cushions

Example of pin cushions

Using sewing machines donated by Bernina, Kazu encouraged this group of approximately 14 women, who were living in temporary accommodation, to take their sewing one step further.  Teaching these women to use these sophisticated machines allowed them to create simple and attractive objects using local textiles, as well as unique KAZU prints.

In the few short months since then, the Tohoku Grandmas have made a hugely successful name for themselves. They have taken hundreds of orders for their charming creations. These include delicate textile-filled porcelain sake cups that serve as pincushions, and a range of artistic tote bags. Practical yet beautiful items, they are a poignant symbol of hope following disaster.

The Three Cranes Association is about work, not charity. They believe that helping people in distress lies in rebuilding communities and infrastructures. Guided by the three fundamental values of endurance, longevity and prosperity, they aim to provide rich, ongoing support in the realms of fashion, textiles and art.

pincushion_pin_down_2

While the main focus is on rebuilding the community, and providing the Tohoku Grandmas with purpose and hope, Three Cranes is also hoping to bridge the gap between European and Japanese cultures.

Quilt Direct are lucky enough to have a small quantity of these adorable pincushions available for sale on our website. Help the Tohoku Grandmas rebuild their community by buying one now.

Visit our online shop here to purchase online.

 

 

Quilting not cutting.

"My first quilt made using the Acuquilt 6 1/2 inch die. Accurate cutting means accurate piecing!"

“My first quilt made using the Acuquilt 6 1/2 inch die. Accurate cutting means accurate piecing!”

 

The AccuQuilt GO and Go Baby can change your quilting life forever!

 

A bold and dramatic claim but pretty valid. Using an AccuQuilt fabric cutter can cut (cut – get it?) over 45 minutes off your quilting time. This means heaps more time for the exciting stuff – choosing fabric, planning the project, choosing fabric, discussing the project, and choosing fabric!

 

The smoother rolling action of the Accuquilt will especially benefit those quilters that have a hard time with manual methods due to sore joints or muscles.

 

But don’t take our word for it – have a look at some of the projects completed by Val Wass, a quilter who recently bought an Accuquilt Go from us.

 

 

Keep it up Val, we’re inspired by you

"What a wonderful machine this is. I have immediately noticed that shapes are cut SO accurately, making piecing so much easier, accurate and quicker. I struggled to get accurate cuts with a ruler and rotary cutter. I no longer suffer with back ache and it is so so much quicker."

“What a wonderful machine this is. I have immediately noticed that shapes are cut SO accurately, making piecing so much easier, accurate and quicker. I struggled to get accurate cuts with a ruler and rotary cutter. I no longer suffer with back ache and it is so so much quicker.”

"I made my first appliqué cushion using the Sunbonnet Sue die. It cut the shapes so cleanly and gave me confidence to machine the appliqué in place."

“I made my first appliqué cushion using the Sunbonnet Sue die. It cut the shapes so cleanly and gave me confidence to machine the appliqué in place.”

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