Medetai by Hoodie - The Jolly Jabber Quilting Blog

Medetai by Hoodie

Today, Hoodie returns for a second round on the Jolly Jabber with Medetai. Medetai is the second collection we have from Hoodie for Blank Quilting and one that was on display at the Houston Quilt Market (see below!). Another eclectic and fun follow-up to Morning Call, Medetai culls its inspiration from Hoodie’s Japanese roots and memories. Each print (the fish, fans, and lucky cats) holds significant symbolism for her. The colors are bold and bright — red, black, and aqua. Read on, maybe learn something new about this Asian culture, and see her unique take on it!

The Meaning of “Medetai”
Using my Japanese heritage, I was inspired to design the Medetai Collection. The word “Medetai” comes from the Japanese word “Good news, Happy” and usually refers to a celebration. Celebrations in Japan usually call for eating a special fish called “Tai” – Red snapper. We use the color “Red” for celebrations.

This red colored fish, Tai, was chosen as a celebration fish; Mede-Tai. Fish has been a very important main dish for the Japanese throughout history. When the commercial fishing boats brought a big catch of fish to the market, it was good luck for everyone. Tai was also a symbol of luck and success.

The Inspiration For “Medetai”
I have realized my Japanese “way of thinking” more and more deeply since I have gone back to Japan twice a year in the past three years.

Japanese are “Engi wo Katsugu” = “to be superstitious”, and we try to bring good luck with a lucky item or charm.

When I moved to the US in 1993, my American roommate and I planned to have a moving party in our apartment. My roommate asked me to make our invitation card, so I drew a cat for good luck in my new life.

Two years ago, I started selling my sewing patterns at Quilt Market. On my business card I had made a drawing of “Manekineko” (Lucky Cat). A customer asked me, “Do you have this cat as a fabric print?” This year I was able to get my lucky cat on my own original Hoodie fabric!

If we need good luck, we need to get rid of bad luck. The Uchiwa (Fan) is a most useful tool. It can make fire bigger, make you cooler, and fan away dust (bad luck).

Once we get Good Luck, we need to celebrate with “Tai”. All good things that happen are called “Medetai” in Japanese.

This past summer while in Japan, I took some pictures that relate with my “Medetai” group. One of the pictures is the restaurant where you can catch your own fish in the restaurant. They cook it right away. You can choose how you cook it; grilled, sashimi (sliced thin and served raw), or boiled with soy sauce and mirin (sake and sugar). My son caught a couple of fish. I found this restaurant to be very useful for keeping my son busy during meetings with my publisher. This worked very well but it wasn’t cheap!

In another photo you can see both Uchiwa beautifully displayed in a shop’s window.

Ironically, Blank Quilting won best booth at the Quilt Market in Houston, where a Medetai quilt was on display. Perhaps my “Medetai” brought “Good Luck”?


  1. These are gorgeous fabrics, reminding me of the year and a half I lived in Japan. I wish I could afford to do more than window shop right now. They’re definitely on my wishlist.