Monday, November 23, 2015

My other life

 Not much quilting done this past weekend.

Our Cub Pack joined a district event and turned the weekend into a family camping occasion.

Rain had been predicted since last week BUT ... I do not camp in the rain and ordered SUN.
Of course, that's what we got.

While the boys tried their skills at a "shooting sports day", (darts, slingshots, b b guns, blow guns, and who knows what else) I was busy training leaders in outdoor skills.

This persimmon tree was full of fruit this year and greeted the trainees outside our classroom.

These are great to look at but probably the most puckery of any I have ever tasted. Even the birds seemed to be staying away.

Our pack gathered on "Fukuda Field" for the flag raising and opening ceremony.

Here is a picture of the best pack in Tokyo. Nikko and I are behind the camera along with three other adults

What I didn't know was that I was to be presented with an award. That was the best kept secret.

The award consisted of a medal and a framed certificate.

The "Centurion Award" does not mean I have been doing Scouting for a century ... or that I have reached the age of 100, though sometimes it may seem that way ...

With the Order of the Arrow (Scouting's Honour  Society) celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, a few members in each section were selected for this prestigious honour.

I was asked on the spot to give a speech. Oh horrors! Surprise awards come with challenges.

When the events ended, we set up our tents in the nice dry flat field and cooked foil dinners.

We were entertained by the cubs who had prepared skits, songs and even magic tricks.

The cubs made a large pan of brownies which we baked in a cardboard box. It turned out yummy and was decorated with candles to celebrate one of the cub's birthday.

Of course there were the marshmallows and poking in the fire ... a good night's sleep and breakfast before taking down the tents and packing up the gear. I think everyone had a good time and I was pleased with how cooperative and helpful the boys were. They are all looking forward to another campout in the spring.

Today is quite cold and the rain is making up for lost time. It is the Japanese "Labor Thanksgiving" and a national holiday. Our school was in session as were other international schools but many were off work and quite a few children were brought to school by Dads.  The best part of the holiday was that the usual sardine can of a train (where one is lucky to be standing above one's feet) had enough open seats that I could actually sit all the way to my station both going and coming home.

Friday evening I was able to put more stitches into the Christmas tree skirt and I think it will be ready to baste and begin quilting tomorrow.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Shichigosan ... an excuse for family time

After listening to the rain all night long and leaving in the morning for choir with my newly embroidered umbrella, I was so very happy to see the sun peeking out in the afternoon.

Each November, Girls three and seven and boys age five get dressed in fancy clothing and go to a shrine for a blessing. For one small girl, Leia was very well represented with both sets of grandparents and my sister-in-law in attendance.

The location of choice was Omiya Hachiman, in the neighborhood where we once lived. It brought back many memories of festivals visited, the wonderful nature of the adjoining park, and the countless Jungle Crows hoping for a dropped treat.

The "Hamaya" is an arrow given by the shrine to kill any evil that may enter your home. These are often presented at various holidays. Leia's hair ornaments were those worn many years ago by my four daughters

It was a pleasant visit with all the family, followed by a grand meal at a local shop owned by a favorite chef who had moved up in the neighborhood from baking other shop's pizzas to owning his own very popular restaurant.

Don't we all look festive ... wearing corsages and lined up for a photo. I was surprised to find Norie wearing a gown I had once had made from kimono fabric. (a great alternative to be encased in a kimono and unable to breathe). The next big occasion for getting all gussied up in kimono will be on coming-of-age day ... age 20 and still a ways off.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Happy boy ... Happy Grandma

This past week, the rainbow quilt reached Oregon and its new owner. Ben can now take the baby quilt off his bed and use his "Big Boy" quilt. I was so happy it had reached him safely as a former package had been returned to us as un-deliverable with the box empty. We have also had packages arrive that had been opened for inspection with box cutters which ruined the contents. This time I probably over-wrapped the box and sent it with a tracer. Unlike Japan, if you are not home to receive the package, you will have to go and pick it up within time limits unknown.
Attached to Ben's wonderful note was this picture I don't think he will mind sharing. Does he look happy? His sunny smile is catching.

We have been having rainy weather this week and it is getting colder.

I have pulled my down sleeping bag out of storage for colder nights. It is hard to believe how hot is was just a few weeks ago

The Toad Lilies are in bloom. Called "Hototogisu" in Japanese, the name of a bird, I think they are so beautiful.

When we lived in Suginami-ku, there was a house I passed on the back streets from the station to home. Every year I admired rows of these lilies along the front of the house.

Then one day, the house was being torn down and once the debris was removed, bulldozers  arrived and the lot was being turned into a parking lot.

Well, I just couldn't picture those lily bulbs covered with asphalt, so I went home and got a small shovel and a bag and dug at the place I had seen them growing. Sure enough, they were resting there un-knowing and I removed as many as I could locate. Some went home with my daughter and the rest were planted at the garden there.

When we moved back to Nerima, I remembered those bulbs.

The garden here is very small and has very little sun, as there is a wall and a three-story house to the South ... about a meter away.

I left most of the bulbs in the sunny garden but brought a small planter full, hoping they would survive here.

They do grow wild along the forest edges and they don't seem to mind the shortage of direct sun outside my garden door.

Aren't they charming?
I'm so glad they are not sitting under pavement in a parking lot.

Overlooking the lilies is this wonderful staghorn-fern.

The wife of a good friend died a few months ago.

She had been an avid plant collector and her husband had no idea how to care for her very large collection of exotic plants.

A few weeks ago, some of them came to Tokyo and after looking them over, ended up with a small collection of my own.

Right now this big fellow is hanging from my clothes poles. As it gets colder, I will have to rig a place to hand it in my little greenhouse. I do have one sitting in a bowl of rocks which once belonged to my #4 daughter. That one has fewer but larger horns. This one will have to be hung as there are appendages coming out in all directions.

Most of the other plants were exotic succulents from South Africa. I have quite a collection myself as those are the only plants that don't die from the heat of summer or the cold in winter (or the neglect while I am away).
I think my old cacti have perked up with the new members added to the family. Maybe they are practicing Afrikaans or teaching a bit of Espanol or English. One thing for certain, I will have to stop collecting, as there is hardly room to hang my laundry.

The Christmas tree skirt has been on hold waiting for promised snowflake patterns.

I have decided to wait no longer and need to get this finished and in the mail. If I hadn't waited, it would have been done long enough ago to be in the box with Ben's quilt.

I still have a door hanging to start and I really will do anything not to be caught in a deadline.

Tomorrow is a big family day as Leia will be all decked out in a beautiful kimono for "Shichi-go-san", the festival where boys and girls of the ages three, five, and seven go to visit the local shrines.

It will mean dressing up and taking pictures and eating a fancy meal. I hope it will stop raining. My rain shoes are anything but dressy and today someone took my umbrella!

In Tokyo there are two choices on a rainy day. One is that some stores have a dispencer of long plastic bags ... you take one and insert your dripping umbrella into the bag, disposing of it as you leave. (something that seems rather wasteful to me) But that is the usual system when you enter a store or building with many exits.
The other plan is an umbrella rack near the door. I have one at my house, the church has one at each door, the school has one on each floor outside the elevator, etc. Today I went out and left my umbrella in a rack at the clinic. It is easy to identify because it has a loop at the end of the handle. When I first got it I hung a tiny macrame bag containing a turquoise rock from the loop. Someone must have liked the idea because the bag and rock was removed ... not an easy thing to do unless it was cut off. So... I replaced it with a cute hanging owl charm. I thought the owl would be able to guard the umbrella better (more eyes than a rock) and certainly someone pulling it out of the stand would notice they had the wrong umbrella. I guess it didn't work. I came home in the rain and embroidered FUKUDA on all my remaining umbrellas. I hope I will not have to use one tomorrow.

I hope you all have a great weekend and it doesn't rain on your parade either.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Quilted items are not all quilts

Moving my camping gear to make room in the storage area under the eaves, I came across my little drum. Since it should be stored upright, I had made it a carrying bag that could be hung along the east wall. Now that bag is getting faded but still protecting the drum....

The drum is used for ceremonial purposes in my position in the Order of the Arrow, Boy Scout's National Honor Society. This organization  follows native American traditions and not being able to get a drum here in Tokyo, I decided to make one. Here it sits on the step tansu beside its bag.

The star contains the colors representing the four directions.

When I made this drum we were living in a large western style home in the "Tokugawa Village", a small community of homes built on a property owned by a branch of the Tokugawa family.

The house was large enough for our family of 8 and had a lovely garden,
shady with large trees and a flagstone patio.
I used a round wooden container as the base.

Recently I came across a notebook in which I had recorded the making of this drum and thought I would share it here ... as I have little progress on other projects to show ... other than cutting scraps into various tins for future use.

The round moon sails over the wide plains.
A red cow lows to her dozing calf,

Tonight my mother's hide
gives voice to the drum.

The round moon shines on a distant shore.
Over the crest of a wooded hill
the Cypress grove whispers

Shh... Hear the voice of the drum.

High above a city garden
the Camellia rustles her shiny leaves
under the round moon.   I gave my topmost branch to waken the drum.

I watched as the frame was prepared.
The hide soaked in my shade.
The skin was stretched at my feet and dried at my side.

Now I wait to hear it's voice.
Listen, round moon, to the round round drum.

The world is falling asleep, still the drum maker waits.
What is the song my drum will sing, here beneath the round moon?

It is the dance of little ones.
The gekko on the wall, the spider under the leaves, the mosquito wigglers in the watering can.

The silkworms stop their munching to listen. The round moon sings to the voice of the drum.

Hush, you world and listen.
All nature dances to the pulse of the drum.
We are all one and this is our song,
Here, under the round round moon.

We are one with the wide plain and the lowing cattle.

We are one with the Hinoki forest.

We are one with the city garden sleeping under the round round moon.

Hush, and hear my voice.

The lining of the bag is red and when I turned it inside out you can see the birds and arrow quilted into the side, one of the symbols of the Order. Quilted up the other side is "Mechmawikenk Gischihan", which is my Vigil name in the language of the Leni Lenape indians. It means "Camper who creates with her hands"
The turtle on the reverse side of the bag is also one of the tribal symbols.

Today I spent time at our group meeting measuring and marking scraps for my three and four inch tins. I am thinking of putting together some kind of quilted envelope to carry my new laptop ... just in case I need to take it  where someone can help me sort out where to find things. I am still using my cell phone to move email into folders because I just can't find how to do it on my laptop. I also would like to get my pictures sorted into folders, making them easier to find rather than scrolling through several thousand.

Hope you have a nice weekend. I think we have showers headed our way, though today was sunny and quite pleasant.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Birthday Celebration

 I have to admit that Halloween has never been the best choice for a birthday.

When I was a kid, we could never sit through a whole meal without jumping up to answer the doorbell many times over.

It also meant all kinds of nicknames like Witchy, Batty, and Bones.

In Tokyo we used to live in a small community with about 30 houses built for foreigners and the neighborhood kids came trick-or-treating and often were joined by Japanese kids who knew about the possibilities of getting candy ... but basically that custom is not well known and Halloween is a time for dressing up in costumes and walking in parades.

I think many stores take advantage of the holiday. Sales people could be found in costume ... even in the fabric store where they had Halloween fabrics and items for sale. Flower shops ... grocery stores with American style pumpkins (Japanese ones are not for carving but sweet to eat and the color is a dark green) There are gourds like mini-pumpkins, toys and costumes and of course sweets.

Norie, Hiro, and Leia came for dinner and to spend the night. Leia and I had a cookie date for Saturday all set up.

I had seen one of Leia's school projects where she had arranged color tiles in an interesting pattern, so I pulled out my cut fabric tins ... the 2x2, 4x4, and 1x2 and 1x4. I thought Leia might enjoy arranging them in patches of 4 two inch and 1 4 inch blocks. Oh, nothing that simple ... this was a great math problem and after it was all laid out, she began to sew the pieces together.

You would never to know to look at the finished piece that it was done by a seven-year-old, The stitches were straight along the marked lines, about six or seven to the inch, and the corners met with precision.
I helped her join the rows together and she decided on a white cotton backing. She did not want the back turned to make a binding so we sewed the piece along the border and then turned it right-side-out.

Her plan is to use it for a luncheon mat and it needs to be thin enough to fold up in her lunch bag so no batting or quilting was needed.

While she was putting the finishing touches on the cookies, I hand stitched around the edge just inside of the border.

Here she is with the finished product.
I would like to be a mouse in the corner when she shows up at school with that.

And here is the cookie master with one tray left to decorate.

Lots of pumpkins, cats, witches, ghosts, owls, and moons.
Some of those cookie cutters I made from tuna cans back when her mother was into cookie decorating.

Now all is packed up and ready to take for sharing.

What a nice way to spend a birthday.... and as you may notice, I have learned a trick to get to my pictures. It is still not as convenient as my old laptop but I am happy ...

and even happier because my Daughter and family brought me a CD player that I can plug into my laptop and use to read my mother's diary which my brother had scanned and sent to me over a year ago.

Nothing like a distraction or two to set my quilting on hold....

I hope your Halloween is just as much fun.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Jumping through hoops

Or maybe the title should be ... finding the hoops to jump through.

Well, I finally got a picture to post, though I have not yet figured out how to edit or crop it.

While I have been without anything other than my mobile phone, I have had more time to work on this project.

This banner may be more of a compromise  than other years. Last year I almost quit because I did not want to waste my time adding more words, knowing they would have to be too small and not likely to even be read by people passing through the church foyer.

As it turned out, the pastor asked me to finish it as planned and give it to him. It has been hanging in view now for a year and many people liked it the best of all I have made.

However, this year's theme is the Shinkan-sen or bullet train. Since I was not overly enthralled about the image of jumping on the bullet train ... even if it might be heading for heaven ... I was removed from the committee.

A few weeks ago I was asked by the pastor if I was making a banner for this year. I told him I had been removed from the committee and had not been asked. Then a week or so after that, the committee head came to me and asked if I would make a banner. I told her I didn't want to make a bullet train and she could probably go to JR and get a poster of the Shinkan-sen that she could use.
There is some artist who is making projections that show the train tracks running off the top that have been shown during the service.

She has a fine connection with JR and her voice is one of the first things you hear when the English announcements begin as the train starts to pull out of the station. However, buying an expensive ticket and being then entitled to a comfortable seat, eating or napping or enjoying the scenery, is not an image that speaks to me ... and my train is usually the cheapie one where I stand and just try to keep my body above my feet while lurching from station to station.

Still, she wanted a banner and asked if I would agree to a bible verse ... to which I replied I'd give it a look and decide. Well, this is what she sent me. "Prepare the way". And this is what I could come up with from my stash. I had good advice on the quilting design from my husband and the choir members at the retreat. It was finished Saturday evening during our party and I picked up bias tape on my way home Sunday. My husband bought two dowels for hanging while I was at school yesterday. Tonight I will pass it to the church office.

At the choir retreat, one 14 year old son of two members came along and was kind to give me some time to show me where to find things on my new laptop. It is the same he uses for school but other than e-mail, the applications he uses are not the same as I use.

I wish I had taken my notebook along and written things down. He was quite fast to try things when what he could see didn't work. It did make me a bit braver to try without giving up. Even so, getting this one picture into a place where I could post it took enough effort and I still don't know how I did it.

Now I am back to the Christmas tree skirt. My daughter sent me an envelope with two paper snowflakes to use as patterns. I traced the first one and while I was appliqueing the first one on to the skirt, Nikko took the envelope out of my file box and chewed it up, leaving only a tiny scrap of the second design.

I am also waiting for a few more from Jon's family. I can't complain because he was so quick to come up with this new laptop and whisk it into the post ... all set up and ready to use.

Then .... there is the Christmas hanging for Marie's door .... No more excuses, I have to get out my sketch book and get going.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

It's been a while.....

At the end of September, I posted a picture of a baby quilt I was working on for one of the teachers at school.
That Friday, I went to school for half a day and when I left home, the quilt was lying on the sofa where I usually sit to work on it. My laptop was sitting beside it on the buckle box that holds my solid fabrics.
As I left, I said to my husband, "Please don't sit on the quilt. It has pins in it".  " Oh no, says he, I never sit on the sofa". Well, I know that is not exactly correct because that very morning I saw food crumbs and his coffee cup sitting on the table in front, next to my sewing box. Just in case, I put a box and a wastepaper can on the sofa to keep Nikko from climbing up and possibly eating my notebook, and went off to school.
When I returned and sat down to work on the quilt, I found it piled up on the back of the sofa and draped over the buckle box. No laptop in sight.
Well, the reason it was not in sight is that it had been shoved down inside the sofa, in the space between the back and seat.... and it was very hot. In fact it was a good thing it had not started a fire. Sadly, that was the end of my laptop.

The other day I got a phone call from one of my friends who must be watching my blog activity, wondering if I was OK.

Frustrated ... but OK. My cell phone could connect to my e-mail ... not open attachments or pictures, but I wasn't completely cut off. I don't know how those thousands of young people walk and ride the train and stand around texting because that is not my idea of fun!

I took the opportunity of extra computer-free time to finish up the quilt and took it to school on Monday, October 4th. I left it in the office with a sign-pen and a request for signatures and messages on the hands from the rest of the staff.

The following Monday I thought I would bring it home and take a picture of the finished quilt and the signed back, but when I stopped off at the office to get the address of the teacher, the secretary told me they had something to send also and would include the quilt.
I should have taken it to a sunny room and taken a photo but I didn't think of it until after I was on my way home.

This week I got a letter from the teacher saying she was so touched by the quilt and cried while reading the messages. I am so happy that she liked it.

Yesterday I had a wonderful package come through the door ... a new laptop sent from my Son in Colorado ... a MacBook Air ... and all set up with most of the things I use from day to day.
It will take a bit of getting used to but Jon called me today and talked me through some of the hoops.
Tomorrow I will figure out how to add some pictures and maybe sort them so I can locate them when I want them and put them on a post.

I was a bit surprised how much I got done on the Christmas tree skirt and another project while I had no distractions on the computer. Still .... I don't think THAT is the way to get extra time.

Thank you darling Jon!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A week ago ....

I returned from the gathering of teachers, having attended a baby shower for a fellow worker who was taking maternity leave shortly, her baby expected in November. I am a new part-timer to this school and was happy to be included in all the activities. If I had known sooner, I might have prepared a small gift for the expectant mother or the coming baby.

Well, I guess it is never too late to celebrate a baby so, after returning home, I went through my bin of child-friendly prints and dug out something for each alphabet letter.

Some of the collections are a bit thin considering the box is crammed. For some of those letters there was hardly any choice ... kanji for K, nest for N, origami for O ... well. they are more or less covered .

Sewing the rows got done on train rides, thanks to "silver week" seats.

Over the weekend I added the borders ... a little hard to see but consisting of rows of hearts.

I had planned to just quilt in the letters but over the weekend I cut them out from solid fabrics, thinking it would help balance the colors a bit better,

This hand print had come from a friend who was cleaning out her stash and has been just sitting in the bin for a year while I wondered how I would ever use it.

Well, suddenly I had a thought that instead of sewing zodiac tenugui together and having the teachers sign their animal as I have done in the past, why not use this for the backing and there are enough hands for each staff member to sign or write a little message.

Today I laid it all out plus a big piece of batting that had come from the same friend. I usually use thinsulate but this piece was exactly the right size and the price was right. In fact, except for the thread and time, this quilt will cost exactly nothing.

The batting seems to be poly and about the weight of felt. It isn't as puffy and easy to quilt as the thinsulate. I think it will be OK to use as a cover or to put down as a floor mat. I have basted it on the floor in the loft to avoid major dog hair issues and begun to quilt each block in the ditch. I will quilt around each letter and then maybe an inch and a half inside the picture blocks. I think that will be enough but I will see how it is when I get that far.

I will have to come up with a plan for quilting the border. I had thought of mitered corners but the scale of the hearts wouldn't work.

Maybe quilt half hearts left and right in a row.

I bet a machine quilter would have this whipped out in no time

I left two blank solids along the bottom edge thinking one could hold the baby's name and the other the date. One alphabet square and one number square finished that row,

Some folded and cut snowflakes arrived in the mail a week ago as well so it looks like I will have more to do in the coming weeks than pull weeds and pick up dog hair.

As I was putting on my shoes to leave school Monday, I noticed a small framed message surrounded by photos of school children sitting on the counter above where I had left my shoes.

                                                  You are ....
                                                  Braver than you believe
                                                  Stronger than you seem
                                                  Smarter than you think
                                                  Loved more than you know.
                                                                          A A Milne
What a refreshing message to carry home! 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Silver week? What's that?

"Golden Week"? Now, that is a holiday I know.
It happens in May and includes the former emperor's birthday and what used to be Boy's Festival but now is referred to "Children's Day". (I guess that was easier than turning "Girls' Day" into a day off) Anyway, the days in between get sucked in to the holiday spirit and everyone ends up with time off.

Recently another holiday, "Silver Week" has been added to the equation. I was rather relieved to read in Tanya's post that I was not the only one not having heard of this holiday.

Respect for the aged day and the autumnal equinox have now been lumped together to make a long holiday ... week? ... well, we are also tossing in the weekend.

So, how to celebrate? I was asked to come in to school on Monday and Tuesday. Hmmm. The kids were off and I had no idea why or what I would be doing.

Monday begins early with rice patrol, leaving home no later than 4:am. Heading off to school was not so hard as I was already awake and dressed. It turned out the two days were a teacher's work shop. As a part-timer it was nice to have been included ... to talk to other part-timers and compare notes ... to get to know some of the teachers and staff when not trying to keep kids on task ... and to play a few team-building games and planning activities.   Another surprise was that, because of the holiday week, the train was not a sardine can as usual but I could actually sit!

When I returned home Tuesday evening, I had a message to "call Teddy". (Teddy is a long-time friend and former fellow tenor in the choir) He is now only part time in Tokyo for his business of decorating and was in a pinch, trying to do a job with people away on holiday ... and regular help occupied elsewhere. Would I help him out? He knows I sew and he needed some sewing done.

Oh boy, what we do for our friends!!! The sewing was 12 large outdoor drapes to hang around two, what Japanese call "pagolas" on an apartment balcony. Well, I met Teddy in front of the church Wednesday morning and went to see what it was he was needing. Then, using the large floor of the apartment, we measured and cut the pieces of what turned out to be heavy canvass-like material,

Then, stopping off to buy thread in a suitable color, I went home to see what I could do. No way all that could be hemmed and sewed by hand so the first thing was to locate the little Brother machine. Well, I thought it was on the shelf in my work-room closet, Nope! The last time I had it out was about 4 years ago when my daughter used it. Finally I found it stashed in the storage loft and dragged it out. Oh, it is all in Japanese and I can't remember which button does what. Finally I got it moving more or less, wound the bobbin, pinned the first hem along the edge of the heavy two and a half meters of fabric, and pushed the sew button. "NO WAY!" says that machine. "I am only a baby brother and I cannot chew that heavy stuff"!!!!

Back to the drawing board .... I had been given a Singer machine as a wedding present from my folks but the last time I used it was in 2003 and it barely chugged along. No longer anywhere to have it fixed, I reluctantly said goodbye to it earlier this year when we had to sort stored stuff and find a place for it. There was one more machine I had never used. It had been given me by a scouter who had left Japan. It was in a box and I had pushed that box to the back of a shelf without even looking at the machine.

Since it was a bigger machine, I decided to give it a try before calling Teddy and saying the task was impossible. Imagine my surprise to find that machine still in the box, taped up and like new. It is a very pretty singer and all the instructions were there in English, Spanish, and Italian. It took a few hours to read up and figure out how to use it. BUT, it reluctantly took on the task and by the end of the day, some of those heavy drapes had the sides hemmed. I also made one tie (out of 8 needed to pull the drapes back at the corners of the pagola.

Thursday night before choir practice, I was able to pass a few of the finished drapes to Teddy and he was pleased with them. Thursday evening I ran out of thread and I still had the remaining hems to sew and seven of the eight ties. Of course the thread store was closed so I measured, cut, and pinned the ties. Friday morning Paul went out to find me some more thread and I took the drapes up to the floor of the loft and measured and pinned the hems.

Friday after putting the new thread ... a little different color than the first but luckily not noticeable ...
I sewed like crazy. That machine really didn't like sewing through those thick seams. I broke one needle and found one a bit stronger among the spares that came with the machine. My dining table is round and it was hard to keep the heavy drapes from falling off to the side and making the stitches crooked.  No dining at the table  ... I stitched all day long and finished up in the evening thinking I would meet Teddy back near the site. Giving him a call, I found he was at a different site and, since Paul had a meeting at church in the morning, he would pick them up from him today. Whew!!!

It sure was lucky I had a machine I could use. I am glad I could help my friend in a pinch, but I will never sew for a profession. (Teddy hinted at another pending job but I suggested he book his regular guy right away) As I was carefully packing up the machine to return it to its box I noticed the instructions had settings for quilting. No thank you. I will be happy to return to sewing for pleasure.
I guess I will be getting some pay but it will go for road tax that is way overdue.

Meanwhile, new snowflake patterns have come from kids to add to the tree skirt. I have Marie's door hanging to plan. And I have begun an alphabet quilt for one of the teachers who is having a baby. I do love stuff I can take long ... and Nikko is glad to have her floor space back and no sounds of sewing.

Silver week???I guess I added a bit more silver to my hair and pocket but a holiday? Not really.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

small stuff

Well, I spent some time chopping up bits and pieces of left-overs that were really too small to put back into the color bins.

I have a tin of pieces marked for four inch, three inch, two inch, and then one inch squares (my largest box at the back) and one inch strips cut into two, three, four, and five inch pieces. I have no plans as yet for using them. The rainbow quilt relieved the crowd in my one-inch box somewhat but what I added was only a small amount.

The other day I pulled out some scraps to make a pouch to hold my cell phone.

I have severe phone-phobia and tend to leave the phone at home more than I take it with me. I hate to have it ringing at inconvenient times, interrupting what I am doing, but there are times I really need to call home with a change of plans.

This owl will take care of the phone and I can hang it on the outside of my bag so I don't have to search everywhere for it.

I really had no idea what I was doing and there was probably an easier way, but it didn't take long and it works.

I had been to a show of vendors and seen several cute phone holders ... a bear and a dog. Well, why not try an owl ... my go to helper?

Here he is, hanging on my bag between the little pockets.

If I put the phone in bottom up, I can just plug in the charger without even removing it from the bag so am less likely to leave home without it.

I put a snap under the beak and the cord can be put over the strap and the owl pouch slipped through ... no fancy attachments, just stuff from my sewing box.

Though the weather is still hot and muggy, the first signs of fall are upon us.

This is my front door behind the opened gate and where the pineapple lily bloomed the last month, the spider lilies have begun to welcome the coming fall.

"Higan-bana" supposedly welcome the autumnal equinox.
Since that is coming soon,they are pretty well in time.

I have some planted on both the east and west sides of the house . They come up quietly before the leaves appear and suddenly burst into color.

One of my neighbors has white ones in a pot but I love the red and they are especially beautiful to see along the tree lines at the edge of the fields.

Happy equinox to all!