QKO Notebook

March 14, 2012

Serenity XVI Series is Here!

All our loyal and fantastically smart Cara  Serenity Daiwabo fans will be excited to learn that the brand new Serenity XVI series is here and in stock in our store!

The new Serenity series contains five lovely prints, in from 4 to 8 colors each, for a total of 33 new fabrics. As usual, these are EE Schenck’s premier fabrics, manufactured under exclusive contract by Daiwabo of Japan.

11955-E from Serenity 16 Series

11955-E from Serenity 16 Series

Several times a year, the Schenck executives meet with Daiwabo and decide which of their finest prints to have printed on the finest 75 square long-staple cotton fabric.  These fabrics are printed with care and finished to the highest standards for that ultra-luxurious hand.

The Serenity XVI series contains 5 very lovely prints, including two really nice non-directional (or is that omni-directional) prints. Also returning is the popular extra-large floral, this time in four different colors.

These are heirloom fabrics, printed in limited quantities, and when they’re gone, they’re usually gone.  Occasionally, EE Schenk will select one of the prints to join their “Serenity Basics” lineup and have them reprinted and kept in stock.  Two prints from the Serenity 15 series, the 90037 and the 90044 prints, have now been “promoted” to basics, and we’ve got them back in stock.  All the Serenity Basics are now flagged on our webstore as such, so you can be sure those will be in stock for the foreseeable future.

QKO is one of the few stores that keeps in stock all of the Serenity Basics. We also buy all of the limited release Serenity fabrics.  So, if they’re availab.le, we probably have what you’re looking for in Cara Serenity by Daiwabo.

We soon will have some of our popular in-line collections available (i.e. 1/2 yd of each color in a specific print) and we will also be putting the new Serenity 16 Fat Quarter Towers on our site in the next day or so.

If you haven’t tried some of these beautiful, luxurious fabrics, you owe it to yourself to do so.

See all the new Serenity 16 series fabrics now by clicking on our “New Fabrics” link, or CLICK HERE.

See our entire Serenity selection by clicking on the Serenity link under the Fabrics Pulldown on our store, or CLICK HERE.


October 21, 2011

New Serenity 15 Series is Here!

90066-D from Cara Serenity 15 by Daiwabo

90066-D from Cara Serenity 15 by Daiwabo

We’ve just put on our website the latest Cara Serenity series by Daiwabo – Serenity 15.

This edition consists of 5 prints each in multiple colorations, 29 fabrics in all, and they’re as lovely as ever. We think these are some of the nicest Serenity’s we’ve seen in awhile, many of them hearkening back to the more traditional Japanese look.

Serenity 15 marks a change in the fabric that Serenity is printed on, as well. Due to a shortage of the fine 60-square goods that it has been printed on in the past, EE Schenck was forced to change base goods.  Rather than cheapen the quality as so many manufacturers have done, they opted to change to an even higher quality 75-square goods and keep the prices the same as the two previous releases.  EESCO’s commitment to quality is one of the reasons we’ve become one of their largest Serenity dealers, and we admire the way they are maintaining and even improving quality in the face of shortages and rising prices.

We love the new fabric, it has a somewhat silkier feel to it, and we know it will work as easily and be as beautiful in your projects as Serenity has always been.

We have the new Serenity fabrics on our website now, check either in the “new fabrics” area or in the Fabrics by Collection under Serenity.  We’ll be putting up our popular single print half-yard collections soon, and hopefully we’ll be receiving our fat quarter towers any day now as well.

April 4, 2011

Daiwabo XIII Prints Are Here!

The UPS guy dropped off a bunch of big boxes today, and it was our eagerly-awaited, all-new Cara Collection Serenity Daiwabo – Series XIII prints!!!   And OMG are they beautiful!

90030-G from Serenity 13

90030-G from Serenity 13

About every 6 months, our friends at EE Schenck meet with the folks at Daiwabo of Japan and pick out a half-dozen or so of their best taupe’ offerings, then contract Daiwabo to print them on the highest quality 100% quilters cotton goods.  These great Japanese screen prints always represent a true Japanese aesthetic, their muted tones work so well together you can almost mix and match at will.  This issue is  6 fabrics, in 5 or 6 colors each, for a total of 32 new fabrics.

Several of the new prints have an exciting new feature, part of the print is a “screen-door” look, like you’re looking through a screen door at the print. You could also say it looks like a loosely-woven cloth, but it’s actually part of the print! Pretty cool, and even more impressive up close.  Another great print in this issue is something we’ve never seen before, an irregular multi-stripe over a contrasting fern or floral outline print. This is a unique print, and one we haven’t seen before. It’s in 5 different color combinations.

These prints are only printed once, and when they’re gone, they’re gone, so take a look and make your selections, as we have a limited supply of these.   Unfortunately, due to the increasing cost of top-quality cotton goods and transportation, our wholesale prices on all our fabrics, including these fine Daiwabo prints, have gone up dramatically. Our supplier, like us, has made the commitment to maintain the highest quality possible even though it will cost more.

We’ve had to pass at least part of the price increases along in higher prices, but have absorbed as much as we can. Unlike many stores however, we’re only passing along part of the increases we’ve gotten, rather than adding additional markup to the increases.  Also unlike many stores, we’re not marking up our older goods either.

These Daiwabo prints are now selling most places for up to 12.95/yd.  Our price on the newest goods is 10.30/yd, which we think you’ll agree is a real bargain on these new prints.

For you fat quarter lovers, the new Serenity 13 FQ towers are on order, and we’ll let you know as soon as they arrive!

QKO is proud to be the largest dealer of fine Serenity Daiwabo Taupes on the internet, and here are 32 more reasons to shop with us!

Shop for all our Daiwabo prints by clicking here.

December 29, 2010

New Daiwabos!

For all you Daiwabo Taupe lovers out there, (and if you’re not, you should be),  we have just received and put on site 31 new prints of our fabulous Cara Serenity fabrics.   This brings our current offering to over 180 of these fine Japanese screen print fabrics, possibly the largest selection on the interweb.

90044-A from Serenity XII

90044-A from Serenity XII

For those of you not familiar with these fine fabrics, a little background.  Daiwabo has been making traditional Japanese taupes for many years. Taupe in this case refers not to a specific color, but a style of fabric that uses a soft color palette and subtle designs.  These prized fabrics have a subdued look, with multiple colors and shades blending together. With the taupes, you can mix and match almost at will as most of the fabrics will work well with all others, since the fabrics, although typically having a dominant color, have shades of many other colors involved in them.   Truly, these fabrics demonstrate the genuine Japanese aesthetic, bringing that culture’s love of harmony to fine fabric.

Traditional taupes were made in many materials, but for the past few  years, EE Shenck, the parent company to Maywood Studios, Cara Collection and other lines has contracted exclusively with Daiwabo of Japan, originator of fine taupes, to print Daiwabo’s lovely designs on the finest quilter’s cotton. Daiwabos lovely designs and stunning quality, combined with the fine highest-quality yard goods selected by Schenck have produced some of the most stunning fabrics we’ve experienced.  We’ve gradually stocked more and more of these fine fabrics to where we can now offer you all the newer prints plus all of the basics.

And even though the prices on these fabrics continue, like all fine cotton goods, to rise, our prices continue to be most reasonable on these fine fabrics.   If you haven’t experienced these treasured, heirloom quality fabrics, you owe it to yourself to try them.

The newest prints include some lovely soft florals as well as some very nice new fern, leaf and even feather patterns. Pattern numbers on the new Serenity XII offerings are 11813, 90037, 90041, 90044, 90046, and 90050 and as usual, we offer each of these patterns in multiple dominant colors.  We also have the new Serenity XII fat quarter towers on order and they should be available soon.  Additionally, pattern 90032 has now been made a Serenity basic and 6 new colors have been added to this print, so make sure you take a look at those as well.

Shop all of our Daiwabo taupes by clicking here.

May 2, 2010

More Daiwabos Coming!

Our Customers Love Daiwabos!!!    And We Love them Too!!!  Just ask Marilyn!  We’re featuring a couple of her quilts in this post, more about them later.

Marilyns Daiwabo Quilt

Marilyn's Daiwabo Quilt

So, since we already have a large selection of Daiwabos, we decided to become the “Go-To” place for Serenity Daiwabo Taupes on the Interweb.   We currently have 68 or 69 print/color combinations in stock, and we’ve just ordered 45 more.  This will give our Daiwabo fans over 110 different fabrics to choose from, including pretty much every Daiwabo basic print and color, all the ombres. We’re also expecting our new 2010 fat quarter collections real soon, as well.

This will give you the ability to create to your hearts content, while not being limited by color or print, and not having to shop around to multiple stores to get the prints and colors you want.  We’ll have it all right here for you!

Well, I can feel that some of you are saying: “What the heck is a Daiwabo?”  The answer is, only the finest Japanese silk screens, in fantastic colors, some more muted and some brighter, on the highest quality quilter’s cotton.  These are all made by Daiwabo in Japan under contract to EESCO, owners of Maywood fabrics and Cara Collection, and the line name on these is Cara Collection Serenity.

These prints are the true Japanese aesthetic, extremely elegant prints and blenders, and each one has multiple shades so that you can literally mix and match at will across the entire line, old or new prints notwithstanding.  We really love them! Can you tell?  :-)

As an example of what you can do with them,  our friend Marilyn H. from

Marilyns Hubbys Quilt

Marilyn's Hubby's Daiwabo Quilt

Oklahoma, USA sent us some pictures of her latest Daiwabo creations.  The first is a quilt she made for herself, and the second, a more masculine quilt she made for her hubby.  Each of these quilts were made with just 3 or 4 Daiwabo prints.  In the first quilt, she used a leaf print in three different colors.  And in the second, she used  a beautiful fan-feather print in several colors.  These two quilts were both backed with one of the prints from the tops.

And we think they’re both fabulous!  Nice Work, Marilyn!

November 18, 2009

New Daiwabo Taupes

Several of you have asked us for some of the larger print Daiwabo’s from Maywood, and we’ve listened!  We’ve added three new taupe prints, all of them in larger print sizes. The large leaf or fern

Daiwabo Taupe 11069-C

Daiwabo Taupe 11069-C

prints are popular with pursemakers and will also go well with some of the newer patterns out there.

Two of the new fabrics we’ve added are actually that same large fern print in two different tone-on-tone colors, mauve and blue/green. The product numbers on those are 11069-C and 11069-F.  The other new one is product number 11135-E,  a very attractive leaf and berry print that is done in shades of light olive and overlayed with a beautiful tiny check pattern or texture.

We’ve also added these three fabrics to our wonderful Daiwabo half-yard collection, which is thus increased to fourteen fabrics.

You can see our growing line-up of beautiful Maywood/Cara Daiwabo Taupes by clicking here.

November 5, 2009

Daiwabo Taupe Fat Quarter Collection ’09

The latest release in Cara Collection’s Daiwabo Taupe fat quarter towers arrived yesterday, with all new fabrics in these lovely collections.

Maywood/Cara releases one new tower a year and it is quite popular among collectors

Daiwabo Taupe Fat Quarter Tower VIII

Daiwabo Taupe Fat Quarter Tower VIII

of these fine fabrics.

This year’s tower is a little smaller than last year’s, containing 26 fat quarters. Consequently it’s priced a bit lower as well.  We are, as usual, giving you the best price we can on these.

Note: the picture here is of the ’08 tower, we haven’t yet taken a picture of the new one, but it looks similar, just a bit shorter.

Here’s a link to the ’09 (the new collection of 26 fat quarters.)

We’ve also gotten a couple more of the ’08 collections in stock, so if you missed out on these the first time around, we have a couple more of them. We don’t know how many more are available though, so don’t miss out again!

Here’s a link to the ’08 (last year’s collection of 37 fat quarters.)

September 26, 2009

Daiwabo Taupes from Maywood

When we first saw these subtle prints, we walked on by them. They really don’t jump out at you.  But then we looked at them again, and kept looking, and looking. What we ended up seeing were some of the lovliest, soft-toned, subtle fabrics we’ve yet seen, anywhere. And the quality, the first thing we look for in fabrics, was astounding.

So, we asked our Maywood rep to sit down with us and explain these fantastic

Serenity - Daiwabo Taupes from Maywood

Serenity - Daiwabo Taupes from Maywood

fabrics to us.  Since she lived for several years in Japan, and made a study of Japanese fabrics, aesthetics, and lifestyles, we figured she would be well-equipped to answer our questions about these intriguing fabrics.

She explained to us that Daiwabo is a very old Japanese fabric mill and design house that has been designing prints to appeal to the real Japanese aesthetic for many many years now, long enough so that many of their fabrics are now considered antiques. The Taupes are Daiwabo’s unique fabric line that are very popular with Japanese quilters.  Here’s a description from Daiwabo’s own website:

“In Japan, Daiwabo is known for the antique look of its prints that is realized by delicately mingling colors. The Taupe’s prints take their inspiration from nature — with a twist. Stylized plant and leaf motifs, reinterpreted from antique designs from the 1870s to the turn of the 20th century, feature muted hues that gracefully change to blend with two or more color families. For instance, Taupe’s smoky pink that lends itself to either the gray or the rose palette. It is Daiwabo’s proprietary coloration technique that allows quilters to create more freely — without being limited to a single color palette.”

11505-D from our Taupe Collection

11505-D from our Taupe Collection

Most of the Daiwabo Taupes are printed on highest-quality cotton but in a lighter weight than that preferred by US quilters. Many of these fabrics are used for garments, such as kimonos.  And most of the Japanese prefer a lighter-weight fabric with less give than we prefer for quilting. If you see other Daiwabo Taupes, or increasingly, copies of them, they are likely to be printed on this lighter weight, stiffer fabric.

Maywood Studios has made a special arrangement to have Daiwabo print a number of their taupes on luxury quilter-weight fabrics. These fabrics are outstanding in every way, in quality of goods and quality of execution. They have the fantastic feel, finish and sewability that you’ve come to expect from Maywood.

Well, after we learned about the fabrics, we were looking through the many prints available and wondering just exactly where to get started on choosing our beginning collection. The fantastic thing about the Taupes is that everything works pretty well with everything else, so the real problem is in choosing what to start with.

Our rep led us through a process that helped us select a nice, coordinated mix of fabrics, 11 in all, for our first Taupe collection.  First she had us go through and select a bunch of our favorite prints, the ones that appealed most to us. As usual, we had a little trouble agreeing on them, but it really wasn’t too bad. Then we narrowed down our original set of selections for focus prints to just a few. That became the heart of the collection. We then did the same thing for various sized prints and complemented them with various tones of lighter and darker, picking up different colors in the feature prints to form a nicely balanced collection.  After all, the Japanese aesthetic is, if anything, to strive for balance.

We hope you like our opening collection of Serenity Daiwabo Taupes, we sure do.  And we’ll most likely be adding new ones as time goes by.  Cindy has a lot of plans for small and very pretty projects using these fabrics, she’s already grabbed about a gazillion patterns to look at for them.

Our rep Lynn, who’s an expert not only on these fabrics but also on quilting in general and has had many of her own patterns published, tells us these fabrics will also work incredibly well in patterns made for batiks.  So,  grab your favorite batik pattern, get some of these fabrics, and create a fabulous new look!

We also managed to get a few of the “Sweet 16′s” bundles of various Serenity fabrics, and a couple of large fat quarter towers that will be going on to the site in the next day or two.

Take a close look at these fabrics. If you ever wondered what true oriental fabrics were like, and what quilters there prefer, you might be pleasantly surprised.

See these fabrics on our web store by clicking this link.

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