Sunday, June 24, 2012

In from the damp

My duties at Scout camp are over. I took my camera and there was much activity to photograph and many fine completions of leather working and woodcarving merit badges. As usual, I get very busy with the youth and the camera sits in my bag until camp is over.

I took advantage of the large, though quite dirty room to hang up my flannel sheet and lay out the + and x blocks. Even with several large windows, this room is very dark and difficult to get a good pictures. 15 rows of 15 five-inch blocks would make a good sized quilt.

Now looking closely at these blocks, I get nightmares about joining them with all those pieces meeting along the edges. Mostly it has to do with ironing the seam allowances. I began again to think that one-inch sashing and cornerstones would make putting this together a lot easier. That way I could also balance the color a bit better.

During one week+ of camp, we were hit with the edge of two typhoons. Usually this time of year they pass farther to the West but weather patterns play havoc with plans, and a Scout needs to be prepared for any old thing. We had a good turn-out with youth from Okinawa and Taiwan and Shanghai as well as Scouts from Iwakuni in the south and Misawa in the North. During the first typhoon, some of the Tokyo and more local Scouts went home and others moved into buildings.
My craft area took the gear...piles of it! and the only other female youth staff remaining.

The buildings were built during the war when Tama was an ammunition depot and are thus well-aged. The corregated metal roofs are leaky and loose and my "design wall" got sopping wet. I put it out to dry on some benches but the second typhoon came by and soaked the room again. The above is the best I could do leaning over to switch blocks and adjust colors.

I have lots of sashing pieces cut and laid a few out to see how it looks. It certainly would make stitching a lot easier. I wonder what wisdom my blogging friends can offer??

In the not-so-quiet rainy evening, I worked on the border of the batik quilt and have begun adding the binding. I hope to have pictures soon ... time and weather permitting.

The house survived my absence. My "son-on-loan" had arrived from the states and reclaimed the loft.
The lilies survived the storm with a bit of help from husband Paul, who tied the fallen victims back upright. I have yet to check the rest of the garden but plants on the third floor "balcony", outside of my greenhouse,  were in fairly good shape with only a few pots blown over.

That yellow lily bloomed a lot earlier than last summer and the gardenias in the blurry foreground are perfuming the air.

After three years of nothing but more branches from this hydrangea, I divided the bush and put this half in a pot, thinking it might do better to concentrate on blooming rather than territorial expansion. One flower isn't much of a showing but the plant seems to have gotten the hint.

Hundreds of e-mails and laundry and hauling craft supplies back to their quarters had to be interrupted for a blog up-date. At least boredom is not my problem! More later...I hope.

One more thing... Celebrate Hand Quilting is having a give-away so you should hop over there for details if you have not already done so.


  1. Your quilt is going to be grandiose! I admire your patience. I wish you to have more time for the hobby! Julia

  2. The + and x blocks are fantastic! My suggestion is to use one colour for the cornerstones, to provide a resting place for the eye. I definitely think it will look good with sashing. Another successful Scout camp. I bet you have fun there, typhoons or not.

  3. This is going to be an amazing quilt Julie. What a lot of hard work!

  4. Julieee!!

    Nice to see ya!!! Love your works and flowers! Miss you!!!

    hugs ... sandra

  5. I like the sashing and cornerstones in the + and x blocks.

  6. That's going to be such a striking quilt! I like the idea of sashing and cornerstones too.

    Happy to hear you survived the rain on your camping trip. When you mentioned Tama it brought back great memories for me. As a teen I camped there with Girl Scouts and friends and then when I lived in Japan with my boys, my oldest son camped there with Cub Scouts. It was such an interesting place, what with all the old buildings. As a teen I remember taking shelter in a building during a rainstorm....they leaked then too!

  7. Your + and x blocks are so cheerful... I can see what you mean about trying to match all the corners... I'd probably put the one inch lattice in... If it is all a solid color than the blocks really stick out and it is obvious how much work went into this quilt. With the scrappy lattice, people aren't going to recognize how many blocks there are... But personally I like the colorfulness of the scrappy lattice...It is all in the way you want to present your quilt!


  8. I'm just catching up with your blog Julie, it made me smile to note that even a typhoon couldn't stop your quilting work!