Sunday, January 15, 2012

The plot thickens

Thanks to the help of my blogging friends, a plan is falling into place. This past week I have been sewing the three inch blocks together. On Thursday and Friday I marked letters on white fabric and basted them on to the blocks. By Sunday night I was able to snatch enough time to finish appliqueing the letters in place and add a one inch border.

Linda, of "Eat Sleep Quilt" has suggested piano keys for the signature blocks. I have toyed with a few other ideas but I think she is right and that would be easy enough for beginners to do and give plenty of spaces for people to sign.
My plan is to cut the pieces to be used on the border and mark them with pencil.

Next I need to find something in my stash large enough to use as a backing.
I really do not want to make any purchases for this banner. I have found a few pieces large enough but not really suitable...One a big dark blue batik with elephants from East Asia and of questionable colorfastness.

My plan is to assemble the banner with backing large enough to take in the borders, add a thin batting and baste the sandwich. That way, the borders can be added as they are finished and the members of the class can also practice quilting and sashiko. Depending on the size of the group, we can add the borders to sides or just top and bottom. I can finish the remaining borders and binding later. There will be enough done to hang the work in progress.

I am really a plan-ahead kind of person and, until I can see the end in sight,
I become rather anxious. Today is cloudy and dark so the picture, taken on my sliding door, is not as bright as the hanging actually looks.

As to Pack meeting activities, I ended up with two games and, although the turnout was small, those that participated had a blast.

I have had several packs of construction paper on my shelf for many years. It was badly faded and aged to the point that it really had no use as art. Still, I hesitated to throw it out. Then a PLAN fell into place. I divided the group of boys into two teams and assigned each group one adult. Since I had three colors of paper, I made a group of mothers and siblings.

Each group got 30 sheets of paper. The object was to see which group could build the highest tower. No glue or tape, just by folding.
These guys got right to work. Interestingly, the youngest Tiger Cub
came up with an accordion fold which worked so well that the other teams, taking note, followed after their plan didn't work as well.

Here is the last layer going on to the winning tower. Good thing to have a tall dad. The boys celebrated so vigorously they almost knocked it down.

The dark blue group had to re-build several times but came in with a respectable seven layers,

And, the mothers, using a triangular fold did a respectable finish too.

This was really a lot of fun for all and kept everyone engaged. I think we might have a few future engineers in the group.

We really didn't need the second game but tried it out anyway. It involved rolling golf balls to see who could get closest to a target ball. The floor, it turned out, was not level and this would have worked better on a carpeted floor. We may try again later.

I always say running a Pack meeting is something like hanging, it feels so good when it is over. There is a challenge of keeping the boys engaged for an hour. The activity has to be interesting enough to hold the older boys yet safe enough and not too difficult for the younger ones. In my group, language ability can also be an issue. I love the way this group listens to the rules so attentively and eagerly attacks the
challenge. These youth are our future. I really think they are off to a good start.


  1. It looks like the boys (and moms) had a fun time with your game! And the banner is looking wonderful!

  2. Another beautiful creation of yours, dear Julie ! Oh, those kids are so cute, looks like they were having FUN ;>)


  3. what great fun, I always admire ANYONE who can come up with ideas to keep a group occupied ... whatever the age !!! Your banner is lovely x

  4. How fun was that! I'm thinking next time my grandchildren are here and looking for something to do this would work great for them! I love the way the banner is progressing. It's going to be so beautiful and so meaningful to everyone. blessings, marlene

  5. I like the idea of piano keys, will look nice and a wonderful surround for the piece.
    Fun activity for the boys, very creative idea.


  6. What fun those children had with the terrific idea you came up with. All I could think of as an idea is "making slime" which I did with school children at one time but I was worried about the borax needed in the slime recipe so didn't send that idea along :( Your banner is coming out beautifully.

  7. I think the banner is going to be a wonderful success, it's looking really good. Well done on the paper towers, what a brilliant game and how wonderful to involve the adults too. so, what's next?!!!!

  8. Why not make a pieced backing? Just simple pieces, nothing fancy.

  9. The banner looks wonderful, and I agree with Sewjounal about a pieced backing. Since the piece won't be laundered, I don't think color fastness would be an issue. The kids looked like they were having a ball, boys have a way of diving head-first into games. And what a great way to recycle the construction paper, it was definitely a win-win!

  10. Looks like an ideal way (constructive, and bonus - no mess!) way to engage a pack of Cubs. BTW Julie you and others have inspired me to start blogging. I look forward to learning more from you both in person and online! Cheers!

  11. Seeing photos of those Scouts reminded me of the days I was a Den Mother. I actually had the meetings out in my garage after the first one, because those little guys about took my house apart! So, let me just say how much I admire what you are doing--and the paper building is a stroke of genius.

    That banner took my breath away--such a lovely simple idea, but I also love the scripture on the front. It's perfect with the colors in the banner. I have no ideas for you, but agree that the piano keys idea is great.

    Do you have any chance of going to the Tokyo Quilt Show? Isn't that coming up? I don't really know where you are in Japan in relation to that city.

    Elizabeth E!