Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Friendship quilts

In recent posts by friends, I have seen a number of "Friendship" quilts. Then I was reminded that this week's "Themed contest" on Quilting Gallery, is friendship quilts. I thought it a good time to visit the park with this quilt to get a digital picture. This is the non-blurry camera's interpretation.

A number of years ago when my group was bigger, I gave one meter of the feature fabric to each member with the request to make 12 blocks in their design of choice using that fabric and any other of their choice. 

We then passed one block to each member of the group, keeping one for ourselves. I think every member put together a quilt and all were so different in setting and choice of fabrics.  I wanted mine large enough for the guestroom bed and I think every guest to my house has slept under this one. I call it "All My Friends are Stars". (my block was the flower basket).

A few days before my summer trip, I received a pattern in the post for a friendship block to be made for my friend, Georgia. I wanted to make something using Japanese yukata fabrics and found some with butterflies.
I knew that, as a missionary, my friend would understand that choice as a symbol for "hidden" Christians.

As a small "aside", when I first came to Japan 50 years ago, there were young people all over wearing large flashy crosses. They had no particular meaning other than as a fashion statement. From then on, I found a tiny gold butterfly and have worn it replacing a silver Celtic cross that I had worn many years.  It reminds me that I will not be so much defined by what I wear but what I do.

(I don't know why pictures that appear upright in my files, post rotated. I notice others have this problem too. Move left or right, change the size, add properties, but don't rotate. Hmmm)

Anyway, my friend had flown and took with her many more blocks from friends who will miss her too. Will she have a friendship quilt one of these days? I hope so.

And after one week, quilting has begun on the baby quilt. I put together tenugui for the backing, one with a friendly dragon for a dragon-year baby, and some with fall leaves on red and orange. The good thing about small projects is the speed that they go together. Yesterday I had a long bus ride and added the borders.
I went to a lovely quit show and wish I could show you the fantastic Japanese quilts, scenes of Japan and Fuji and Japanese children's songs all so cleverly done. NO PICTURES ALLOWED! I have to keep all that inspiration to myself!

Tomorrow the Bible quilt group meets. AND also from Friday you can go to the Quilting Gallery and check out the friendship quilts and vote.


  1. You do keep busy, which is what keeps you young;)
    I have some sig blocks from a group of friends, still need to make then into a quilt.


  2. Stunning Friendship quilt! I love that the border fabrics are the fabrics used in each block. Beautifully done!

  3. What a busy lady you are. Your projects are always amazing. That friendship is truly something to be cherished and I can tell that you do just that. You didn't say whether you entered your Friendship Quilt in the Quilting Gallery contest. I'll have to go check it out.

  4. Julie what an interesting and striking way to put your blocks together. I would never have thought of red but it's exactly the right color to blend all the blocks! I found your use of the butterfly very interesting - I've been a Christian for at least a hundred years :) and it's only recently that I learned of the butterfly being a symbol. I've got many crosses collected during those hundred years but no butterflies, something I must change soon because I've always loved them. :) blessings, marlene

  5. The friendship quilt is wonderful! I love the setting for the blocks and the meaning as well. And the photo looks great too.

    The baby quilt is coming along very well. I often wonder why we are not allowed to take photos at a quilt show. Are they that worried that someone will steal their idea? Or do they find it annoying when people spend a lot of time in front of a quilt taking photos?

  6. Julie, I love the symbolism of your butterfly. And your friendship quilt is stunning! Too bad about no photos from the quilt show... and sorry I missed what sounds like a wonderful show!

  7. I just happened to be visiting the Quilting Gallery today as I was eating lunch in my hotel room, and saw your gorgeous quilt! Needless to say, I voted for you. I love the layout/setting. Great idea for a group quilt where not all the blocks will necessarily be exactly the same size. Heck, even if I make all the blocks myself, they aren't necessarily all the same size!