Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Help on a new project

Last year I made a banner for the Womens' Conference at Amagi Sanso. The theme was "stories" so I made a hanging banner using Bible blocks with a stained glass picture in the center. The title of each block is quilted into the sashing below the block and the reverse side of each block has the quote from the Bible to go with it. It brings to mind a favorite hymn from my childhood, "I love to tell the story."
This coming year's theme is "Healing".
One of the people attending from year to year is a woman who plays her harp for hospice patients and for the past few years she has asked me to make a hanging of David and his harp.
With that in mind, I pulled out some fabric of the Psalms that I had
aquired many years ago and a plan is beginning to form. I think it would be nice to make this banner as a pair to the last one. I want to put a picture of David and his harp surrounded by sheep in the center pannel. Then I want to include the print fabric in some kind of a block around the inner border.
Now I am looking for ideas. The fabric text is a strip 3x9 inches. There are ten of these so I will need ten 12 inch blocks. The label is 2x18 inches so I would make a 26x12 block for that and a matching block for the top section. I'm thinking some kind of star might be nice. Since I do everything by hand, I want something that isn't too fussy. I have a little over six weeks for this project. At this point, I am open for ideas. The script can be either straight across or at an angle .
There has got to be a block pattern out there somewhere. that would meet the need.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Yokohama quilt week

Yokohama Quilt Week
I am not sure why this is called "Quilt Week" when it only lasts 4 days but often when Japanese use foriegn words, the meaning changes a bit too.
This huge hanging greeted the viewers as they entered. Why does it say "Kobe" ? Your guess. I was really in Yokohama.

Many of the displays did not allow pictures. If you wanted pictures, they were selling a magazine with those quilts beautifully photographed. That is the common way of doing things in Japan.

At least a third of the room was crammed with venders. The walking space between was barely passable. One thing I should have remembered from last year is the place was HOT. Whatever you are wearing down to the last layer, you will have to carry. I'll bet the energy used to heat that place beyond necessary would keep my house comfortable for years!

This "Mini mini quilt house challenge" event was interesting. The three fabrics posted on the sign were to be used in making the house block. 648 people submitted blocks so this is only a small portion. The size was barely bigger than a potholder.

These were a few of the quilts that allowed photos and caught my eye. All three were hand made and hand quilted. Fumiko Kitamura made the lovely Baltimore Album quilt.

Izumi Ishihara created these trees and snowflakes.

This lace and flower was made by Mika Yamakawa. I am not familiar with these quilters but their work was certainly inspiring.

The venders had lots of goodies for sale. I was rather glad that because of my poverty I was not tempted to buy anything. I drooled over fabrics and left them for others to purchase.
In all, it was worth the long trip and tired feet. Certainly I will post a note on next years calendar to dress lightly!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

One goal has been met!

For two years in a row, I have had November deadlines for Christmas presents. Well, it is my own fault for making Advent calendars that have to start before Christmas to be of any use.

This one is for Norie who, living in a small Japanese house, needed one of smaller size than I have made in the past.
Everything had to be adjusted in size as well, the border, the pockets, and the hangings.

The decorations are cut from Japanese Broad-leaved Magnolia. It is not the most beautiful wood but being painted, it didn't matter. It is easy to carve and less likely than many other woods to crack or split. Still, it was a bit difficult getting any detail on something so small. I used half of a small sized paperclip for the hanging loop, gluing those into the wood.

I may apply one more coat of varnish before going to bed and Norie can take it home and have it ready when she comes for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. I'm sure granddaughter Leia will have fun with this as well. One goal has been met.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Back to nature

Back to Fukuda Field. This time along with about 500 Scouts and Scouters for the BSA-SAJ Friendship Pareol-O-Ree.
Although the nights were cold, the days were lovely and the event went smoothly, with a roaring closing campfire.
You might have seen the Bunny's blankie posted last week. This one is mine. Made many moons ago for wearing on blustery days and cold nights around the campfire.
The back has a pieced eagle and the borders are seminole piecing. The pockets and neck opening represent the morning and evening star. The quilting was made more for meaning than for show so most is blue on blue.
Swallows fly on both fronts, morning and evening and a woodland pattern goes around inside the borders. A coiled lizard above one pocket represents conservation and woodland Indian flowers fill in spaces. On the lower back corners are a quilted owl and turtle, my spirit helpers.
The opening closes into a blanket if I need extra warmth at night. Blue and brown are my favorite color combination and the colors of my Indian regalia.
The little wooden cut pieces for the advent calendar went with me but not too many were finished. That will be the next task with one week left.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Making haste slowly

The wedding quilt is making very slow progress. The star is now quilted and I have quilted in the American and Japanese Scout emblems. Next corner will get the groom's family crest. This is rather large to take along so has to wait for spare home time.

The Advent calendar is a bit more pressing because December is not all that far away. The hanging is all finished except for the sleeve and hanging rod.

The next two days I will be subbing at the Early Learning Center, then take off for Scout camping. I cut the wooden pieces for the decorations and will take them and my knife to camp where I can whittle them outdoors and not mess up my carpet. Sanding and painting shouldn't take all that long. I am beginning to think I might hit my deadline.

Meanwhile I am piecing the batik rainbow blocks. I carry them in my bag and, if I can get a seat on the train, I work on those. If not, I read. I have an idea of what I want to do with those blocks but there is no deadline or hurry.

The trains have a section of "Silver Seats". Those are reserved for aged passengers, handicapped, and pregnant women. I carry a silver pass, being in the first group, but in truth, those seats are always taken by the youngest and fastest passengers. My regular commute sees young girls putting on makeup, (even curling eyelashes on a moving train) students texting on their phones below the sign saying phones must be turned off in that section, students reading comics or playing gameboy, and young office workers sleeping or reading. Even on "Respect for the aged day" there was no possibility of sitting. After school the trains are a bit less crowded so I may sit as I go to my HS class. Then, it is back into town for choir practice and the last trip home will be sardine city express again. I'd guess two trips reading and two piecing... and a long blogging break.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My other life

Here I am at another day of Scouting at Tama Hills. A few years back, this field was named for me. The name used to be Gilwell, named for Gilwell Park in England and I liked that name fine.
Now that it has my name on it, I feel I need to pull every weed and pick up all the trash. As this is on a military post, since 9/11 I lost my VIP pass and have limited access.I had to be claimed at the gate for NLS (National Leadership Seminar) that has been taking place.

Since this is not a Scouting blog, but a quilting blog, My Blueberry Jambo Bunny, who has been camping with me for many years including 15 jamborees, Wanted me to show off his button blanket. Peeking at my blogging, he saw the nice native appliques on Marjorie's Applique Addict site. Then he saw Nichi's red bunny on her Quiltycat site and wanted his time too.
This is not the traditional arrangement of a button blanket but put into a quilt. You can see what a traditional one looks like by looking at the 2005 section of this blog. Instead of buttons I had to put beads around the design. Being just a bunny, he wanted something a bit stronger as a symbol and chose the thunderbird. This boosts his confidence when he is left to guard my tent during the day.
If you thought I was a little strange before seeing this, now you know it as a fact.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Here we go again!

Last year I drew Kimie's name for Christmas and made her an advent calendar. This year Norie is my Christmas giftee and has asked for a calendar too. So far - so good. I don't have to worry about what to make her.
Now the problem gets a bit complicated ... living in a Japanese house, the wall space for hanging is limited. She gave me the size restrictions (and they were restricting) and I have drafted a pattern and begun the task of putting it in action. The little pockets have to each hold a decoration to place on the tree. If the pockets get too small, the decorations I will have to carve will be very small as well.
Since each pocket has a number, the size of the numbers was also quite limited and needle-turn applique was a bugger. I wanted to stop many times and begin over using paint or embroidery or anything else. Now I am quilting around each number and hoping they will be OK.

As soon as I get these little numbers taken care of, I will be able to sew those pockets on and then the tree and the border of one-inch Christmas fabrics.

Since this is an Advent calendar, it will have to be done by the end of November to be used. The little carved ornaments will take about a week so I guess it is time to stop blogging and get boogieing.