Home » Akemi Shibata- Quilted Bags and Gifts

Akemi Shibata- Quilted Bags and Gifts

We are overdue for a Japanese Quilting Study Group adventure! I recently learned of a new-to-me Japanese quilter, Akemi Shibata, and got her book, Quilted Bags and Gifts. It’s a delightful book.

I LOVE how she pairs taupe fabrics with little pops of saturated color. It’s a gorgeous combination. She uses lots of red and turquoise especially. There are 36 projects in this book, each one cuter than the last.


And she features hexagons in so many of her projects. In the very first project description of the book, she says “In fact, I love English paper piecing hexagons so much, that I often forget to stop and eat lunch while in the midst of sewing these cute little shapes together.” Woman after my own heart!


I am working on several quilts with Lecien Fabrics for Spring Market (so stay tuned, that means some super-cool FREE patterns for you!), and I wanted to do something special with the leftover scraps.

So many fun choices, but I decided to make Akemi Shibata’s Two Way Hexagon Purse.


Once I had the pattern chosen, I couldn’t wait to start prepping hexies. Look how well the hexies fit onto the triangle scraps!! She uses EPP for this project, but I’m going to hand-piece them instead.

So excited to see how this starts that I forgot to eat breakfast this morning. .. . marking hexies and sipping coffee. My happy place.

If you’d like to follow my progress, please check out my instagram feed, I’ll be posting lots more there.



Now I’m ready to start sewing hexies together.  Even though it has an inset zipper, the pattern has lots and lots of diagrams and it looks achievable. If it works, I think I’ve got the fabric to make two! Now I’m off to find coordinating fabrics for the rest of the purse, and hardware.  Do you have a go-to source for purse supplies? Please share in the comments, I’d love to know!

Happy Stitching!


  1. Celtic Cate says:

    Looks like you have lots of fun ahead of you! I’m in the midst of a book deadline, but on my breaks I’ve been cutting out squares for a new snowball quilt I want to do (William Morris fabrics, but inspired by Kaffe Fassett’s snowball quilt in his “Museum” book)…and I’m working on getting started on the reproduction quilt with pieced hexies (I’ve had the pieces cut out for two years!). This is the year I’m going to try to finish what I’m working on instead of letting myself get distracted by new projects (I usually have about ten different projects of mixed crafts going at one time!). Hopefully, I’ll get to do at least some of it. LOVE seeing what you’re currently working on.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Oooo, I want to look through that book too 🙂 Go to for purse supplies – thrift store for handles. If not there, then Joann’s. 🙂 I cannot wait to see that purse in your colors.

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