My name is Emi Wakayama, and I am Masako Wakayama’s daughter and business partner. I am so proud of my mother for all of her accomplishments.
She has published a number of books, but Stitching Classic Americana is her first book in English.
As someone who has been inspired by her passion for quilting my whole life, I am honored to have the opportunity to share a few stories about her with you.
Masako started sewing at a very young age. After years of enjoying sewing, one day she visited a friend and came across the quilt that led to her discovery of the joys of quilting.
In 1987, she opened her own shop and named it Crib Quilt after the baby quilt that she made for me.
Opening day, me in front of the shop. Her first large quilt, a double wedding ring quilt, is on display.
I was a really active kid, and I loved playing outside with my friends all day. My mom, however, loved staying home and quilting. She quilted every chance she got.
I remember one summer our family went to a water park. We were all having a great time, and at one point, much to my surprise, I looked up and found her quilting by the pool!
When I was a teenager, she began making annual visits to the United States to attend workshops in order to hone her skills and forge relationships with other quilters. The profound influence these experiences had on her artistic vision is evident in her distinctive use of the American flag and its colors. One of the main projects from this book, "Thank you, America,” is even being made into a jigsaw puzzle!
Her quilting life changed in exceptional ways in 1999 when she published her first book. She soon realized that her book enabled her to connect with quilters all over the world, and she greatly appreciated the opportunity to share her love of quilting with others. With each passing year, we made more and more trips abroad to give workshops and attend shows, meeting new people, and learning about new products.
Masako’s mission is to make quilting simpler. Her tried-and-tested methods and tools are designed for quilters of all levels. Nothing makes her happier than helping others have fun while realizing their own artistic vision.
One of the featured products in the book is our original Appliqué Paper.
Masako always uses this paper with Apliquick rods. If your paper is too thin, it will fold easily with seam allowances. If it is too thick, it will make it difficult to sew. That's why we decided to create our own solution, an appliqué paper with evenly distributed glue that will ensure you never waste another piece of paper.
Sadly, the pandemic has put all of us in a very difficult and disheartening situation.
Quilting is therapy, and taking a break from the stress we are all feeling is cathartic and uplifting. Masako and I sincerely hope this book will inspire you to find your own inspiration and joy in quilting.