Meet Daisuke Ikeda – the Patchwork Ninja

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There are so many interesting people involved in the world of craft; many found their way quite by accident, others grew into it. Meet Dai – the Patchwork Ninja
Dai grew up in Japan, spending most of his time in his mother’s patchwork store so it is no surprise that Dai is now a teacher, specialising in hand sewing beautiful Japanese designs.

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“Growing up in a patchwork shop in Japan, I became familiar with textiles and patchwork accessories in my mother’s shop and by 10 years of age I knew about quilting terms such as wadding, slipstitching, the ‘quilt sandwich’ and seam allowance from typing up my Mum’s patchwork instructions. That was my first paid job and I hated it! I remember my Mum had so many students for the patchwork classes and there were many people on the waiting list.”

“She was a single mother and taught me hand-sewing, and by the time I was a teenager, I was selling my mum’s patchwork kits and patterns at Tokyo International Quilt Festival, the biggest quilt show in the world!” he recalls.

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When asked if he dreamed he would become so involved in the business, Dai replies, “Not when I was a teenager. I was interested in 100 of other boy things when I was a teenager. The store was full of many floral fabrics because Mum loved Liberty-style prints.”

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Dai studied psychology in Australia and became a registered psychologist after completing a six-year degree.

“While working full-time as a psychologist, my mum asked me to help her at her first quilt show in Australia, which was AQC in 2008. I was so honored people just LOVED what our shop sells, our original patchwork kit for bags and pouches, Japanese textiles and our patchwork accessories that we brought from Japan,” Dai enthuses.

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“I enjoyed it so much and discovered my strong passion for sewing and sharing our cutting edge idea to quilters in Australia. I left my full-time job and founded Patchwork Mariko Japan in 2010, then started touring all over Australia at Expertise Events craft shows.”

He always wanted to become a teacher so it’s no surprise Dai is now a successful teacher and demonstrator of patchwork techniques. He is confident in hand-sewing – and his stitches are even.

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Dai’s ‘Patchwork Ninja Family’ has a goal – to halve the time it takes to finish your projects and create no room for mistakes. New Patchwork Ninja tools help stitchers achieve good results.

“I love seeing the results of students’ work – seeing their happy faces motivates me more than anything else”, he added.

What is the most rewarding and enjoyable aspect of being in the craft business? “We find the most rewarding when our customers buy our kits and finish making their bags from our kits and re-visit our stand next year and show it to us! And when they called me “a fantastic teacher” when I run my class!” laughs Dai.

And why does he dress up as the Patchwork Ninja? Because customers love it!

Patchwork Mariko Japan is a regular exhibitor at our craft events. www.craftevents.com.au    Meet Dai next at Sydney Craft & Quilt Fair where he will present a number of sessions in a Pop Up class to help you Sew Fast Like a Ninja!

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