OKAN ARTS BLOG


indigo: emergency harvest

indigo: emergency harvest

By Patricia Belyea WAUCONDA WA  This story started in mid-May when I soaked packets of Japanese indigo seeds from Elizabeth Merrill and Grand Prismatic Seed in warm water. The next day I dropped 200 seeds, using tweezers, into little soil pods. Those seeds were babied with heating pads, grow lights, and moisture covers. Once they […] read more +


soaring stitches: blog book

soaring stitches: blog book

By Patricia Belyea WAUCONDA WA  Over a year and a half ago, I started writing a book about creativity for quilters. Many early mornings, with a coffee in hand, I scratched out my thoughts about how to make a quilt. Once the manuscript coalesced, I hired one of the top book designers in the country […] read more +


colorful philippa naylor

colorful philippa naylor

By Patricia Belyea WAUCONDA WA  I was completely taken by Bird By Bird at the 2014 Festival of Quilts in Birmingham UK. Winning first-place in the traditional category, the 74″ x 74″ quilt was like something out of a candy shop—sweet as could be with delectable colors, rickrack trim around delightful details, and a scalloped edge. […] read more +


summer fun: koinobori

summer fun: koinobori

By Patricia Belyea WAUCONDA WA  Koinobori decorate the landscape of Japan from April to early May, culminating in the celebration of Children’s Day on May 5. Typically hung off a pole, a set of carp streamers represents a whole family. On top is a big black fish for the father; then a rmedium-sized red or pink […] read more +


my one-yard challenge

my one-yard challenge

By Patricia Belyea WAUCONDA WA  I challenged myself to make a baby quilt using just one yard of yukata cotton and stitched with the Aurifil Como Blue Color Builder thread set. Yukata cotton measures 14″ to 16″ wide. That means that one yard of this special Japanese textile is less than one third of a […] read more +


four garden quilts

four garden quilts

By Patricia Belyea WAUCONDA WA  On April 13, Jane Sassaman wrote this Instagram post: I have put together a few textile treasure boxes. These are 7 pound layer cakes representing 20 years of my fabric designs for FreeSpirit. Each box is unique and has the equivalent of 20 yards of fabric in fat quarter to half […] read more +


joe cunningham: quiltmaking as a way to be free

joe cunningham: quiltmaking as a way to be free

Editor’s Note: During our time of confinement, Joe designed an online workshop where you can join him from your home sewing studio! Workshop info is at the bottom. PB. By Joe Cunningham SAN FRANCISCO When I started making quilts 40 years ago I learned that there were certain techniques, certain color combinations and certain ways of […] read more +


allie aller: the happy quilter

allie aller: the happy quilter

Editor Note: I asked Allison Aller what makes her happy. Allie had lots to say about this topic! PB By Allison Aller, guest blogger WASHOUGAL WA  What makes me happy has always been right here at home: I’m a quilter, writer, and gardener—all home-based pursuits. I began quilting in 1972, studied design in college, and […] read more +


iron talk

iron talk

By Patricia Belyea WAUCONDA WA  Last week my iron gushed all over a quilt project. The good news—it wasn’t rusty water. The water dried and didn’t leave a stain. For my workshops and both studios, I’ve bought a bevy of Rowentas—the ones with 400 steam holes and lots of power! I contacted Rowenta Customer Service and asked […] read more +


yukata cotton devotees

yukata cotton devotees

By Patricia Belyea WAUCONDA WA  At Okan Arts, our big thing is vintage Japanese yukata cottons. We’re crazy about them! The luscious hand-dyed cottons inspire us to make out-of-the-ordinary quilts. And we’re thrilled to share our finds with other adventuresome quilters. Okan Arts sources the cottons from over 30 vendors in Japan—antique shops, vintage warehouses, […] read more +