October Newsletter: Let's Get Acquainted
Meet the quilter behind JDreamQuilts
Hi lovely quilters!
It’s October and it’s more than a week since the Free Motion Quilting Summit opened. I hope everyone is doing great and enjoying quilting time. For those who were able to join the summit, thank you so much for your patience and kindness.
In this newsletter, I want to introduce myself as I didn't have the chance to do so in my 10-minute video presentation. And as a thank you gift, you'll get another FREE worksheet to start your FMQ journey.
My name is Judith Diaz Kudo, I live in Osaka, Japan together with my husband, our 8-year-old son, and my quilting buddy, Tobie(my lovely cat). With my English first name and Spanish middle name, you could probably tell that I am not a Japanese person. You're right. I'm originally from the Philippines, a warm country just below Taiwan and Japan, whose culture is heavily influenced by Spanish and American culture, particularly language.
We (with my Japanese husband) moved to Japan 10 years ago after we decided to raise our young family here for so many reasons. As for my childhood, I was born in a small farm village to a humble farming family and the eldest among 5 children. As a kid, I was always a quiet little girl who loved to read and study, which helped me learn English at a very young age. I became a crafty girl around ten years old when I became in charge of mending old clothes and making pillow covers by hand sewing, tasks that my mother didn't like much.
In high school, I was very lucky to attend an all-girls high school, founded by an American priest who helped poor students get quality education. The school offered vocational courses to young girls such as dressmaking, pattern drafting, computer, etc. In our first year, we studied garment construction and sewing machine operation starting with the old Singer sewing machines. In the 2nd to 4th year, we transitioned to a high-volume sewing production workshop. And I tell you, at first it was quite scary for most of us 14-year-olds to operate high-speed industrial sewing machines, but later we would race to our favorite machines in excitement. I believe in some ways that this foundation knowledge and skills at an early age allowed me to be more confident in using a sewing machine, which has helped my experimental approach to free motion quilting.
HOW I STARTED QUILTING
While the girls landed their sewing jobs in the apparel industry, I continued college through the encouragement of my mother. In 2005 I completed Electronics Engineering and proceeded to work on several technology-related jobs before moving to Japan in 2013. For 15 years, I would sew occasionally when needed like making my school uniforms and remaking my older clothes. And to be honest, I had no idea what a quilt then until 2021 when the lockdown happened during the pandemic. So when the facemasks shortage became evident at the time, I knew I had to help my community, especially the children.
However, after sewing hundreds of facemasks, I needed new challenges, so I looked up on Pinterest for sewing projects. Then I found those beautiful Dream Big panel quilts, which ignited the inner artist in me. I was fascinated with the idea of making art using a sewing machine, so I started learning free-motion quilting on my own by practicing on panels. And so far I was happy with how they turned out. In 2022, I learned to make my own FMQ designs so I started this JDreamQuilts blog.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM ME
For me FMQ is not just a hobby, it’s a passion I discovered during the hardest of times. The process gives me lots of joy, from the time I’m looking for ideas until the time I can touch and feel the texture of the quilt. It means FREEDOM to me, to just be myself embracing and exploring my unique creativity, and not wanting to be like someone else but just being inspired by others. In this blog, I want to share this joy I found in FMQ by helping you become confident in your quilting skill and creative ability. To do this, I would focus on breaking down big processes into small steps so that those who are struggling can have a better grasp of the process, and beginners will have a good start.
GET YOUR FREE WORKSHEET
To begin with, I have created a drawing worksheet of FMQ patterns that I highly recommend for beginners. Check out the link below to my blog post, and scroll down to the bottom to get your FREE worksheet.
In the next email, I will seek your suggestions on how we can improve the FMQ Summit next time based on your experience. I hope you’ll be interested in taking a survey.
If you need more resources, check out the blog section.
Let's stitch our dreams.