Lighthearted Quilt : Blossom Heart Quilts for Kokka

I’m Alyce from Blossom Heart Quilts, an Aussie ex-pat sewing it up in Chiba, Japan for a few years while my husband does his science thing. I have loved the opportunity to really enjoy the amazing delights that the Japanese fabric industry has to offer, like Kokka’s scientist fabric! So I am thrilled to be here today to share some of that beautiful Japanese fabric and how much fun I have playing with it.

Lighthearted by Kokka quilt

When I opened up the parcel full of these beautiful fabrics, I admit I was a little scared of trying to mix them together with such a gorgeous variety of colours and prints! I normally work within a tight palette of colours, but when I took a step back, I could see the cohesion.

Lighthearted Kokka quilt

I wanted to create some space and movement, which automatically brings flying geese blocks to mind. The cuts of fabric I was sent were perfect to whip up 5″x10″ blocks, with some inverse blocks to create tails for some print geese using a lighter-saturated print.

Lighthearted Kokka scrappy backing

I pieced the scraps together for the back, roughly in colour groups, and got to quilting.

Lighthearted Kokka quilting

By straight-line quilting 1/4″ from each seam and randomly spread out in between, I created trails up and down the quilt to keep the eye moving around from each beautiful Lighthearted print to the next.

Happy hunting!

Blossom Heart Quilts
Blossom Heart Quilts patterns

Photo credit: Frances Arikawa

This post was written by Alyce Blyth for the Lighthearted collection, coordinated by Frances Arikawa for Kokka.
Lighthearted is a quilting cotton collection that will be shown at Quilt Market in Houston on October 25th 2014. If you would like to be able to purchase prints from the Lighthearted collection locally, please be sure to let your favourite fabric store know. If you are a store owner planning to visit Quilt Market do come and say hi at booth no. 656, 756.

Cotton Sateen One-Piece Dress

Size: 58cm (garment width), 97cm (dress length)

Huedrawer is echino’s new fabric which comes in soft and silky cotton sateen. From Huedrawer, soaring was selected to create a one-piece dress designed by a fabric artist named Kimie Shimizu. On soaring, a sea of flying birds covers the fabric. To make the fabric’s design shine, the style of the dress is kept rather simple. The treatment around the neckline and armhole with bias binding tape adds style. The accent of the dress is to make it look cute by putting a bow on the front neckline.

Design & creation :Kimie Shimizu(style of ile)

Fabric shown for this sample: echino Huedrawer soaring JG99900-902 (D)

□ Fabric: 2.1m (110cm wide)
□ Bias binding tape: 3m (finished width 1.1cm) cs75_2

We interviewed Kimie about her creation:
Kokka Fabric (KF): What did you think of the fabric you used for this project?
I wanted to utilize the modestly-soft texture of cotton sateen fabric. Though it is cotton, it drapes loosely which makes it suitable for making clothing.

KF: Can you tell us any special elements or ideas that you incorporated into this creation?
The shape of the design drapes down from the shoulder, making it an easy slip on/slip off dress. To create a beautiful profile around the armhole, a bias binding tape was used as an accent rather than cutting off the armhole in a straight line.

KF: What are some tips for making this dress?
Please carefully place the bias binding tape around the neckline and armhole before stitching.

KF: How should we wear this dress in everyday situations?
You can create a very stylish look with this dress. Coordinate it with a pair of tights and pumps or boots, add a long necklace, and with a turtle neck shirt or a blouse. If you use a different type of fabric, you could enjoy a casual style dress with the same design.

KF: Thank you very much, Kimie! Here are sewing instructions along with step by step photos from her. Enjoy crafting!

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Large Rectangle Bag in mori Fabric

Size: 30cm (l) 40cm (w) 14cm (d)

Today’s project uses kirigami fabric, with its design inspired from a paper mobile craft. The sewing instructions are exactly the same as the large square bag in Calendar fabric, which was introduced in the August 2014 column. By simply changing the fabric, you can create a completely different look! The base color of dark brown along with mustard yellow and chartreuse as accent colors add a warm feel to the bag.

Design & creation:Kokka Fabric

Fabric shown for this sample:
P32000-201 (D)

□Fabric (with pattern): 95cm (110cm wide)
□Fabric (solid color): 75cm (110cm wide)
□Fusible Interfacing (medium thickness): 75cm (95cm wide)
□Zipper: One piece (50cm) cs74_squarebag

Click here for Sewing Instructions (PDF format / A4 size)

One Handle Bag for a Quick Outing

Size: 12cm (l) 20cm (w) 3cm (d)

Today’s project uses Tricolor from a retro and bright print series, Lighthearted. A convenient bag perfect for a quick outing is created with two types of dot design fabrics of different color patterns. Mioko Sugino, a famous blogger who is also known as komihinata is here again to introduce her creation.

Design & Creation:Mioko Sugino(komihinata)

Fabric shown for this sample:Lighthearted HFG-105

Materials (for one bag):
□ Fabric: (Flap (cover)) 40cm×10cm
(Outer bag) 30cm×30cm
(Lining bag, Handle) 40cm×40cm
□ Quilt batting: 30cm×40cm
□ Magnet hook (sew on type) One pair (1.9cm diameter)


We interviewed Mioko about her creation:
Kokka Fabric (KF): What did you think of the fabric you used for this project?
It’s bright, cute and stylish! Depending on how you use it, it can create many different looks. So I came up with a small size bag that can fully utilize each pattern from a small print to large design.

KF: Can you tell us any special elements or ideas that you incorporated into this creation?
This bag is compact yet big enough to carry a wallet and a cell phone, must items for going out for a quick walk. With a quilt batting in every part, flap (cover), handle and the main bag, it keeps its shape.

KF: What are some tips for making this bag?
It is a very simple design and should be relatively easy to make. When sewing the top opening with a flap and handle, I recommend basting all the pieces first so that you can sew them together smoothly.
People sometimes ask me how to shape the curve cleanly. After turning the flap over, follow along the curve from inside to align the shape with a round tip tool, such as a back end of a ballpoint pen, to have a beautiful curved finish.

KF: How should we use this bag in everyday situations?
Besides using it for a quick outing or shopping, it can fit in a bigger purse as a convenient bag-in-a-bag organizer. It would be nice to use a matching wallet with a clasp opening or a small case made with the same series of fabric.

KF: Thank you very much, Mioko! Here are sewing instructions along with step by step photos from her. Enjoy crafting!

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Border with changing patterns

Enjoying the design combination in one fabric

When making clothing or bags, it is always fun to think about different design and color combinations. At the same time, we often hear people say, “I am unable to decide since there are too many options.” Today’s textile is perfect for such an occasion. It is a fun border fabric which allows you to casually enjoy different design combinations!

“The idea behind this series, which incorporate different designs in one fabric, is to make it possible for someone to create an interesting bag or a small case by using only one kind of fabric.” (by Kokka Creative Director)

The center part is for a big bag. The borders on both edges are perfect for a small case. A polka dots pattern can be used for a pocket…One fabric has a variety of possibilities. Why not create items to make your outing fun, like a matching bag and case?

Feminine Border P33000-300  Oxford (OX)

The design on this fabric combines large stripes and hand drawn polka dots that look like powdery snow. For making a bag, you may use the stripe for the main part, polka dots as a transitional piece and add an accent with a bias binding tape in a slightly different color. We hope you will enjoy the fun of combining different colors using only one fabric.

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Reusable Bag (Eco Bag)

Size: 38cm (l) x 30cm (w) x 13cm (d)

When you go shopping, what do you use for your shopping items? Recently some stores are starting to charge for the shopping bags. A simple handmade reusable bag (eco bag) can be personalized by choosing interesting fabrics or fabric combinations. Sewing aficionados can show off their talents! Today’s project allows you to combine your favorite fabrics in many different ways. A popular blogger Yuki Inomata, aka neige+ has returned to share her creative ideas!

Design & work: Yuki Inomata (neige+)

Fabric shown for this sample: Lighthearted HFG-105

□ Fabric: (Panels) Two designs 40cm×60cm each
(Gusset) Two designs 30cm×60cm each
(Pocket) 20cm×60cm
(Bias strip) 50cm×50cm


We interviewed Yuki about her creation:
Kokka Fabric (KF): What did you think of the fabric you used for this project?
This fabric has a charming illustration and a bold, vivid pink color. I wanted to create something that uses these elements extensively. The fabric combined with these also have cute designs.

KF: Can you tell us any special elements or ideas that you incorporated into this creation?
I used the plastic shopping bag that I had at home as a base for the bag’s design. While you can use only two pieces of fabric to make this, I divided the bag into four parts so that you can incorporate more fabric designs. It requires lots of piping. In order to keep it minimal, the handles on the panel use a curve with matching material. This way, it shows the same fabric when turned inside out. I also used 5mm French seams to hide the seam.

KF: What are some tips for making this bag?
I recommend using a fabric with regular thickness, something not too thin. If you use a thicker material, it will be challenging to finish up the seam.

KF: How should we use this bag in everyday situations?
It fits in its own pocket when folded and fits flat in your purse. As many places are starting to charge for a shopping bag, it will be convenient to keep in your purse for a variety of purposes.

KKF: Thank you very much, Yuki! Here are sewing instructions along with step by step photos from her. Enjoy crafting!

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Putting on colors from the drawer of hues

Popular series echino is introducing a cotton sateen fabric, perfect for sewing clothing. The name is Huedrawer. It is a coined word consisting of the words hue and drawer. This new collection was created with a theme, “feeling like putting on a ‘color’ from a ‘drawer of hues.’”

“Making you want to go out and feel the nature wrapped in a nice and silky fabric – that was the image I had when I designed this fabric. Different expressions created by various combinations of colors, and the process of selecting bright colors from the “Huedrawer = the drawer of hues” are the elements incorporated in this design. With these elements, Huedrawer is the kind of textile that makes you want to pleasantly contemplate which one to use for your project.” (by Furuya)

Bearing in mind that this fabric should be versatile for clothes making, the composition is simple by not having too many animal motifs or patterns. In every design, silver and gold prints are scattered in spots, creating a subtle yet delightful optical image. While echino normally comes in cotton/linen canvas, this collection is a soft and silky cotton sateen which is perfect for sewing a one-piece dress and tunics.

stag JG99900-900 60 Sateen JG99900-900_2

“stag’s design consists of a very echino-like combination of male deer and zigzag pattern. A distinctive stag motif is the accent of this textile. With small patterns, it is a versatile fabric for making anything from small items to clothing. Depending on the combination of the colors, the design could create a unisex image.” (by Furuya)

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Stylish succession of motifs like a paper cutout

The name of this fabric, kirigami, stands for the Japanese Kirigami, the art of papercutting. The aligned animal and tree motifs remind you of mobile décor paper cutouts. Doesn’t it look lovely like a Scandinavian wooden toy? With a simple design and limited use of colors, this thicker cotton/linen canvas fabric is perfect for making bags! Since the design idea originated from the mobile, a cut out of each motif will create a chic fabric mobile as a room décor item.

zou P32000-200 Cotton/Linen Canvas P32000_200_2

The zou features an elephant design, the most popular Scandinavian motif. The elephant, which looks like a paper cutout, is adorned with flowers on the body to create a cute look. With unbleached color as a base, simple color combinations of this fabric make it more versatile.

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Inspiration file 57
Super cute! Tiny Bag


Sometimes used for keeping coins, sometimes for carrying accessories…. A palm sized tiny bag tickles girl’s hearts; and no matter how many we have, we want more. Kaori Sawa, handicraft creator aka. Caunes+KaOriRi is among the diehard fans of such cute bags.

Above is a bag made from pink linen decorated with suede flowers. It’s an extremely lovely figure! A pop-arty flower print can also be found the inner lining of the bag.
“This size is suitable for point cards and credit cards. We can also use this as a name card case.” (Kaori Sawa)

This card case is inspired by the aesthetic of presents. Pale pink cotton with a purple velvet ribbon is used, with handles added in the same ribbon. We can create various designs dependent upon season and situation.

Sawa’s creation theme is ‘simple and kawaii (cute)’. Apart from ‘the tiny bag series’, she creates quite a few other sized bags and accessories. Each creation is made from unique fabrics and materials she is fond of collecting.

The bag shown in the photo above is made from mangle cloth; German antique linen creates a gentle atmosphere by adding an old doily. The shape of this bag is the same as the mini purse with a drawstring bag we introduce in the craft and sewing column.

The photo above shows circle shaped brooches which made of gathering fabrics. Brilliant pompom flower like colors would be fashionable accent for a chic and simple dress.


You can see Sawa’s creations at:


Pumps Shaped Small Case

Size: 8cm (w) 20.5cm (l) 

What a fashionable zipper case in the shape of pumps! #11 canvas material is solid yet easy to sew with a household sewing machine. A perfect fabric for making small items.
Today’s project is by Yui Tamaki, a creator of popular small handmade items filled with her stylish ideas.

Design & work:Yui Tamaki

Fabric shown for this sample: P30100-100 (A)

□ Fabric: (Front outer fabric, back fabric) 25cm×30cm
(Lining fabric) 15cm×30cm
(Toe outer fabric) 15cm×10cm
□ Coiled fastener (zipper): over 16cm in length – one piece
□ Ribbon of your choice


We interviewed Yui about her creation:
Kokka Fabric (KF): What did you think of the fabric you used for this project?
It feels modern with a crisp look, so I thought of something cool in mind: a pair of pumps.

KF: Can you tell us any special elements or ideas that you incorporated into this creation?
I was selective as to which part of the fabric to cut since I wanted to include as many colors as possible. It does not take a long time to make this piece as the edges are finished with a faster process using French seams.

KF: What are some tips for making this case?
Please be careful and sew slowly as most edges are curved. The design is asymmetrical, and please pay attention to sewing the correct sides of the fabric and pattern.

KF: How should we use this case in everyday situations?
It is flat and does not take up a lot of room in your purse. It is perfect as a pen case with a couple of pens inside.

KF: Thank you very much, Yui! Here are sewing instructions along with step by step photos from her. Enjoy crafting!

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