Friday, March 29, 2013

Another block done

Well, block #5 is mostly done. I am still thinking of what to use for the setting star points.

Marlene suggested the Arkansas traveler block and I found about seven different ones by that name, but I found this in several books and thought it might work..  I think the green leaf print as representing the trees surrounding her lake, blue for the water with the mist rising. I know Marlene loves embroidery and red work. Well, I sure could use a bit more practice. For thread I just used regular sewing thread because this in only a four inch block.
Marlene has been my blogging friend for as long as I have had my blog. Each of her comments is a blessing.
Marlene is a great example to us all, not only talking her faith but walking the talk, serving others through mission work and putting other's needs first.
How interesting it was to be sewing these little pieces together in church, while waiting for choir practice and the Good Friday service to begin. It seems there is more than stitching that connects us and I am ever blessed by her friendship.

And, if this tiny bit of embroidery was a challenge, I am going to have to practice a bit more, because the next person on my list is the "Queen" of stitchery.
 Eeek! What have I gotten myself into???

Meanwhile, Tomorrow will be a super-busy day. There are three services to sing and I'm sure they will run overtime. Then my Cub Pack is running their Pinewood derby ... the only afternoon we could book at the American Club ... and that will be followed by Easter dinner back at home with family (and extended family).

My car is almost done but still needs to add a bit of weight. I wish that were as simple as feeding it!

I was thinking of adding nylon fish line hairs to his back but probably that would be more effort than it is worth.

The block of wood was chipped at the axle slots when it came out of the box and it did not do well when I added the feet in that location. I'm rather glad that a little cub did not get that block of wood to deal with.
I remember the days when I used to look forward to the weekends to recover and re-group after a busy week. Now I am beginning to look forward to mid-week when I can recover from the busy weekends!

A very Happy Easter to you all!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Follower's block #4

I really have to find a different name for this quilt.  When I thought of the idea, it was more about the friends I have made through my blogging. I really don't care if they are "followers" or not. In the short time I have had my quilt blog, Google has messed with the system too many times and I have struggled to keep in contact each time with those blogs I had been reading regularly. Now it seems they may be getting ready to mess things up again.  Trouble is, the guys doing the messing have much more computer skill than I ever will!

In a way, this brings me to my next block. If you are right handed, you may never realize the challenges a lefty faces in every-day life because the whole world is designed for right handers. It is such a blessing, therefore,  to hear from someone in their "right mind".

I cannot count the times "A Left Handed Quilter" has rushed to my rescue with instructions written in "leftish".
She has really gone out of her way to help me, taking great time and care to give me step-by-step advice.
To celebrate her friendship, I have made a left-spinning friendship star.

I found some indigo-dyed fabric with the same texture as some of the "Japanese taupes" I had collected.
I drafted this four-inch block and it was my first time to try sewing these soft, loosely woven fabrics.
I wish I had had a broader color range to work with but I am not going to run out and buy more fabric.
As I worked on the sewing, I thought, "here she is, getting me to step out of my comfort zone again"!
A-Left-Handed Quilter has even taught me how to add a link. She is my "Guru" and friend and I admire her for more than just computer skills and quilting. She is also a person who dares  to speak up when she sees a wrong. I think of her often when I hear others speaking out and I am too wimpy to say anything, even when I agree.
I know she likes Japanese fabrics and pulled a few that might work for the points of the star.
I'm thinking of using un-bleached muslin for setting the stars because I have a lot of that and I would like to begin adding the points before I mis-place  my picks.

The + and X block quilt is now on the final side. It would probably be ready to bind were I not having so much fun playing with the above idea.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Follower's block 3

Ah, if only all my friends were this easy.....

the quilt would be almost done!

Cheryl and I have been friends for about as long as I have had my blog. She was the person picked by Nikko on my first give-away.

Cheryl and I have more than Scouting sons in common. If you visit her blog, you will see one thing right away.

Cheryl's Teapots 2 Quilting
You will see that this block designed itself. I was thinking of appliqueing a teapot onto this background but when I looked in my stash I found something that would work even better ... and a vintage sewing machine too.
Now I need to pick out fabric for the star  Hmm, maybe a mix of these small warm prints?
I notice Cheryl and I have one more thing to share and I love the fact that I am not the only one that gets frustrated when Google or Picasa or some other program up and changes things!

The weather has gone back to cloudy with rain in the offing. It was raining lightly when we went out in the early morning for rice delivery.

The road along which I walk to the train station is lined on both sides with magnolias. The south side gets more sun and opened last week only to get blasted to shreds by the wind.

The north side of the street also gets the wind but blooms open at least a week later which saved them from the same plight.

Even against the background of the apartment building, they are so fresh and lovely.

It is fun to watch the big hairy buds getting bigger and bigger starting in the fall. A few of these trees also have blooms during the summer, also big and pretty but harder to see among the huge leaves.

I'm glad these waited for a week longer to be enjoyed.

Now I am off to draft a left-spinning friendship star and check for an Arkansas traveler block. These blocks  have me smiling all day, even thinking about the friends they represent.

A Birthday outing

 What better way of celebrating a birthday, than out under the cherry trees!

Leia, her Mom and Dad and Grandmothers went out to Jindaiji where there is a huge botanical garden.

It seems a whole cast of thousands had the same idea but we were lucky to find a bit of open ground under the cherry trees to spread out the ground cloth and celebrate a birthday.

Norie brought a cake she had made, all nicely arranged on a tray and decorated with candles and fruit.

I must admit, the five of us made quick work of that cake.

We wandered around the wide gardens. Leia fed the giant carp and produced thousands of soap bubbles while we admired the early blooming flowers.

The gardens have sections with many varieties of trees and flowers.

There were many different cherries in bloom, as well as peaches ans other spring bloomers

This was just a young tree of a different variety.

The camellias had a whole garden area of their own but this one was potted and standing outside one of the buildings.

The cherry trees are blooming quite early this year. I would say these are almost to their peak now.

I wonder what will be left in April when groups have planned to get together for their annual viewing parties under the trees.

Even plants like this dwarf bamboo  ... no flowers ...
But were quite lovely. I liked the texture of these leaves.

And lest you think I have done nothing but wander through the gardens with my camera, Here is my next Follower's Block. I was lucky to meet Lis Harwood just last year when the cherry blossoms were in bloom. She was in Japan on a fabric study tour and we had a day to spend together. I selected this indigo dyed shibori in memory of her visit and added the cherry blossoms. 

I know Lis likes fall so I pulled out a few of my leaf prints in fall colors, thinking I will use one of them for the points on her star. I wonder which one will go with such a spring block. Maybe the blue print on the right?
Or the pinkish tan on the left? 

It is fun to sew while thinking of my friends and the exchanges we have had over the last few years. Ideas for the next blocks are churning in my brain.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring visitors

My newest daughter-in-law is a master photographer when it comes to birds. She carries a huge camera that I would hardly be able to aim, and picks tiny little birds in flight.

Yesterday I filled my window cafe and thought if I sat very still, I might be able to catch a photo on one of the visiting tits. They are always watching and waiting so there were plenty of visits ... but... This is the least blurred picture through my window. Grab and fly does not take long!

The Brown-eared Bulbuls also have an eye on my garden wall. I can hear them calling before I even get back through the door after setting out fruit or juice.

These guys were able to drink a full glass of orange juice down to half from dawn to noon.

I started setting out juice about ten years ago after seeing a photo of a Japanese White-eye drinking from a wine glass. I use a heavier glass because the juice also attracts larger birds, Starlings, and Azure-winged magpies. My neighbor might not appreciate smashed glass on his side of the wall.

I have heard that some buildings forbid the dwellers to feed wild birds. I'm not sure why, but maybe they don't want bird poop on the railings?  Our family has always enjoyed whatever nature we can lure to our windows.

When we moved back to Nerima, the neighbor was concerned that our air conditioner would attract the feral cats that lurk in everyone's gardens and the park around the corner.

Whether it was for good or bad, our AC has been broken for the last 5 years so no cat warming its toes there.

Then, about a year and a half ago, the neighbor's gas water heater began to give off noise and fumes and even sometimes smoke. Since our house is only about a meter away, and fire is a scary reality where houses are so close side-by-side, I advised the neighbor to have the gas company check it out.

Finally, last Fall it was replaced and we are no longer aware every time they take a shower or run their bath.

The local feline population is no longer missing their former hot spot. The new heater has a nice flat surface ... unlike the slanted top of its predecessor, and it is a great perch for viewing the bird feeder or taking a nap after a long night of yowling.

And not all of nature is on the outside of the window.

This tiny baby "tokkei" is sitting in the genkan window.
The glass is louvered on the outside so the screen is inside. He looks rather skinny but it won't be long before the mosquitoes will be rushing in each time the door is opened.

Now, just so you don't think I am sitting around contemplating nature, I dug out a nice piece of indigo-dyer shibori cotton.
This will be the base for my next follower block.

And while I was at it, I grabbed some more of those blue scraps to make a tiny runner for my trash bin top.

When we bought our refrigerator  we were living in a house with a nice big roomy kitchen. We got one with a door that opened on the right, because the counter spaces were all on the right.

Our kitchen here has a wall and cupboard on the right. In fact, one drawer can't open because the fridge is blocking it. Also, our big kitchen had room under the sink for two waste cans.

There is so little room to put anything in this kitchen (even people) so I was happy to find a small stacking trash bin. Even more happy because this one has two bins, one above the other and it is dog-proof. It is also convenient to set things on while opening the fridge. Here is where I set my coffee while taking out the milk, or my plate while getting the jam.

I found a little mat that had been used on the telephone stand or some other place in former homes.  The fit was not right but better than nothing but it was needing a replacement.

This will match the table runner and was all assembled in one train ride to choir and back. (Well, there were plenty of little pieces cut and marked and it didn't take a mathematical genius to figure out 11 x 7 inches worth of scraps).

So, here it sits, just above the "burnables".

And here is the former little mat ... running off for a much needed washing.

I have killed enough time nature-watching and sewing binding. Time to get back to the business at hand!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Follower blocks

First of all, I am so very happy with all the suggestions I have received for the teaching project. I just knew my blogging friends would come through. Many suggested a quilt-as-you go with strips and I think that would be much easier to prepare than my original idea. It might be a good way to include the "found" fabric that doesn't go with others well. I also like the idea of starting at the end and working forward. That way, I won't have to worry when I leave at the end of the sessions.

The idea of a log cabin might be joined to the idea of new homes and new communities for the displaced families. My next plan will be to try out something I have never done before by making a few samples.
My goals are to provide a project that can be finished, that will be a reminder of success, and that can be expanded on in the future. I think the possibilities are there, just waiting to be tried. If there are those who love embroidery, there could even be a side lesson on embellishment.

I feel a lot more positive and reassured over this venture.
Now, you might guess why I value my blogging friends so highly. You always come through! You have rescued me from computer ignorance many times over. You have made helpful suggestions and cheered me on. You have been an English-speaking group (a rare happening in my 50 years here) right at my fingertips.
My word for the year was "encouragement" but a little over three and a half months into the year, I have received much more than I have managed to give. I thank you many times over.

My first follower's block is done. Linda Coleman has been a blogging friend a long time. She likes blue and yellow and hexies. I am not so good at hexies. I know they make little paper pieces that you can sew around but my style is mark and sew. Anyway, this is what I came up with for Linda.

The blocks are four inches and I plan to set them into stars. I pulled out a bright blue floral fabric to make the points. Maybe I should tell my friends that if you don't like your block, you can make your own and I will use that. Ha ha.

Next one is Lis Harwood. I get to decide! Indigo dyed fabric? Fall? We met in the spring last year ... under cherry trees... well, cherry blossoms aren't fall but they might look nice on a piece of hand-dyed indigo. I will be smiling while I make this block too!

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Yesterday, travelling from town, the bus and trains were jammed. The St. Paddy's Day parade had brought a cast of thousands to the area near the bus stop and there was no place to sit. Sit = handwork. Stand = read.

I have been reading Marie Bostwick's, "A Single Thread" as part of the Quilter's Book Club and these were the words I read."Since our great-great-grandmothers' time, quilters have created community. Quilting is about getting together and helping each other, sharing life, cheering one another on through good times and bad". Was that a message written for me?

As you may know, the people of Tohoku have been having a rough time. The after-effects of the earthquake and tsunami have left communities broken and disconnected. My Tokyo church has reached out to three churches in the disaster area and groups of volunteers have made trips up to Tohoku to do all kinds of service.
Now, I have been asked to do a quilting class for the women there. I am not looking for more things to fill my already overflowing schedule so have been resisting. I was not sure what end result would be expected or how and what to teach in just a few days. My language skills are really bare-bone and help will come from a non-quilter who is making arrangements.

Tuesday, the Gala quilt group got together and I ran my concerns past those wonderful women. Quilters are full of ideas and encouragement ... so I began to say "yes" to the proposal. The minute I gave a hint of yes, the person making the arrangements went to the left-overs of the flea market and picked out some clothing that could be gleaned for fabric. I told her that might be a good "Plan B".
I heard from the quilting friends that fabric shops in the States sometimes donate things to a good cause and thought Japanese shops  may not have been asked to help out yet. I made a list of fabric stores in the Tokyo area, supplies we might want,  and will get my husband to make some calls.

Now comes the part where I think my blogging friends might be some help....

As you may recall, in January I taught a class at the Women's Conference. The class was only an hour long. I had made up a variety of about 20 kits from my stash so what we did was very basic, Sew the triangles to the corners, mark the solid center for a quilt design, baste, quilt center and in the ditch, and turn the backing to the front for binding. There is an option to applique in the center area.

For me, this might take a little over an hour but no one was able to finish in that time. I did this also with my girls class who know how to sew, and they could not finish even in two sessions running over time. Of course, the outreach team asking me to go, is thinking of not only teaching but providing the women with a way to earn a bit of money. A similar program that donated yarn and brought knit articles to Tokyo to sell was quite successful. This is one of the concerns that caused me to drag my feet.

The Gala women suggested that things like baby quilts might take less time and be popular. Yes, but that would take more than a day of lessons and I have to start somewhere. I need something that will teach the basic skills and can be completed while I am there to help. I thought if there are people who catch on quickly, they could make more of these squares and join them to make something larger, I have taught a quilt-as-you-go class but it is divided into nine weekly lessons with lots of homework.

Another thought is place mats or table runners with an appliqued origami crane and sashiko-stitched quilting might be a good item.  Our church has an "Ah Sew" group that might be convince to cut out fabric to make kits.
I have never been to a class or workshop so I don't have much of a vision as to how things are done in other places. If any of you out there have ideas I could use, your knowledge and advice will be greatly appreciated.

Needed... a project that will teach the basic skills. (The contact in Tohoku said we could limit it to those who know how to sew but I think that is too narrow and that non sewers may never had a chance to learn so the opportunity should be for all. Besides, this should also be about building community.)
.....a project that can be finished in about five hours or less.
.... a project that can be expanded upon to make something larger.

Meanwhile, I am now about half way down the third edge of the + and X quilt and I have nine wonderful ideas for my followers quilt. I love reading through that list and thinking of those friends. If you haven't left me an idea that could represent you. please do. Nine blocks is a good start but I want to wrap myself in my friends and I am much bigger than Nikko.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

All my Friends are Stars

Yesterday, Nikko and I walked to the park with my quilt and a step ladder and digital camera. thinking of taking a picture of my friendship quilt ... well, that is what I was thinking of ... Nikko? she was probably thinking about meeting cats and little yappy dogs and watching out for scary kids kicking balls.

The park fence was too narrow in the sunny spot and had too many tree shadows in the other places so we walked another block to the fence around the tanks at the apartment buildings.

When I first began my quilt diary, I trimmed all the pictures from prints made from negatives. I have made many quilts with no pictures at all, let alone digital ones, and many pictures I did have were lost when my last computer died. It's a good thing I didn't wait until today, because no quilt could ever hang in the blasting winds we are getting now.

This is the finished friendship quilt. There are five other blocks made by quilt group friends who are still in Tokyo but have left the group. There was some small problem about size of the finished blocks but putting a black sashing on each one solved that.  For the border, I put the feature fabric as part of a half-square triangle and hunted down bits of color that the other quilters had featured.

For the center and inner star points, I used the fabric I had used in my own basket block, changing the star point fabric in several places.

I drafted a large scalloped pattern for quilting the setting fabric.

The backing is all feature fabric and I turned it to the front for binding.

Since 1998, when I finished it, this quilt has spent most of its life on the guestroom bed.  It is 82 inches (208 cm.) square.

I love the idea of a friendship quilt. When my #4 daughter was working at the American School, we made several friendship quilts for teachers that were having babies. Each teacher contributed a patch or a hand-print ... depending on what we were making ... and my daughter and I put them all together,
I hope they provided good memories for those new mothers.

Now that I have reached my 300th post, I am thinking of friendship in terms of my blogging friends. In just a few years I have made friends throughout the blog world that I think about often.. It warms my heart to read their comments and I love getting to know them through their blog posts.

I was thinking it would be fun to make a "follower's" quilt. If I made a block to represent you, what would it be? Well, Irene's might have hexies ... beautiful fussy-cut hexies ... or a cute house. Maybe Tanya's would have cats or Janet's, snowflakes, or Cynthia's, sashiko stitches. And there would be a few with embroidery stitching and a touch of indigo dying... Oh wouldn't that be fun! Mine sure would be an Ohio star.

How about it? What could I make to represent you? Favorite colors? Favorite seasons? Favorite topics? Favorite block designs?
I am going to keep notes in my blog journal with your suggestions.

Now back to the + and x quilt. Almost finished quilting the second side. Woo Hoo, I'm on a quilting roll!!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

"White Day"

White day came a bit early. This is the day that those guys who got chocolate from the girls on Valentine's day, will receive return gifts. After rice delivery in cold and blustery early-morning Shibuya, I went back up to my nook to finish off my sleep. I recall at one point hearing the doorbell ring but since Paul was still up, I went back to sleep.
When I returned to the land of the active participants, what should I find sitting on my laptop, but a beautifully wrapped package with a lovely note saying, "Happy reading and quilting!!! Paul". Inside was my eagerly awaited book for my Quilter's Book Club. My husband said it was his "White Day" present to me in return for not buying him chocolate. Ah, so much better than having him pick out a piece of underwear, no matter how beautiful. I guess I should stop snickering over this "tradition".

"a single thread" by Marie Bostwick
Do you love to read and quilt? I'll bet it would never be too late to join the fun ... and it is fun to share reading and quilting and comments with friends whether you have met them in person or not.
Check out the The Starwood Quilter to learn more.

While I am at it, I thought I might show you two more blocks from my friendship quilt.

These were made by two members of our International Quilters group who have returned to the States.

The upper block was made by my friend Tina. It is a "California" block as she returned from Japan to San Jose, California. She has returned a few times since then and we will always be friends. Her three boys were in my Scout group and she was a leader. Since returning to California, she has been awarded the "Silver Beaver" (a National award for work at the Council level) and conducted "Woodbadge" (an advanced leadership training course) as staff and course director. One summer she brought her troop to Japan for an exchange. On another visit, she brought five fat quarters to each member of our group. We challenged the members to add one fabric of their own and make some kind of quilted object. That was a fun challenge too.

The Lower block is "Delectable Mountains". It was made by "Cindy" who returned to Oregon after leaving Tokyo. Her notation on the signature block is that the pattern "from an old quilt which was made as a symbol of the survival of the "Lost Wagon Train" of 1853, on the Oregon Trail. My great, great grandparents arrived in Oregon with this wagon train". 

Isn't that just too cool for words! I knew Lucinda from the American School where both she and her husband worked. It figures that an educator would come up with something so meaningful. 
For certain, I will never forget these two friends (or where they come from) no matter how many years pass. The remainder of the quilt group shared these stories at our reunion just past.

The cold wind seems to have past while I was writing this and the sun is out. Time to go hang the laundry.
Have a great day and cherish your friends!

Friday, March 8, 2013

A busy weekend

I thought that once the Gala quilt was finished, I would have all kinds of time to spend on quilting. Silly, foolish me! Do you know the theory of the "Dark Sucker"?  Well, electric bulbs suck light. Anyone who goes camping, knows that when you have a portable dark sucker, it is much less dark next to it than elsewhere.

A candle is a primitive dark sucker. You may notice that a new candle has a white wick. You can see that from after the first use, the wick turns black from all the dark that has been sucked into it. Of course one of the disadvantages of a primitive dark sucker is their rather limited range.

Unlike stationary dark suckers, the portable ones cannot handle all the dark by themselves, and need to be aided by dark storage units. That means that when the dark storage unit is full, it needs to be emptied or replaced before the portable dark sucker can work again.

Dark has mass. When dark goes into a dark sucker, friction from the mass creates heat, thus it is not wise to touch an operating dark sucker. This is particularly true with candles, where the dark travels through a solid wick instead of glass, and therefore generates a great amount of heat.

Also, dark is heavier than light. You can observe this when you go swimming in a lake. It is light just below the surface, but the dark which is heavier, sinks to the bottom so it is darker the deeper you go.  The lighter light floats to the top and that is why it is called "light'.

Finally, it can be proved that dark is faster than light. If you stand in a lit room in front of a closed, dark closet, and slowly open the door, you would see the light slowly enter the closet. But, since dark is so fast, you can't see the dark leave the closet.

Of course these things are easy to understand and explain. What I need to understand is the "Time Sucker".
I am certain there is a working theory out there because my time is getting gobbled up right and left. I don't have  whole lot to show for it as yet.

The blue table runner got itself done. I used yukata fabric for the bias binding and I think I like the end result.

Here it is on the table. It doesn't go all the way to the edge but I think that close will probably protect most of the table.

The next time sucker was my first block for the Quilter's Book Club. If you love to read as much as I, go and check out Starwood Quilter. Our first book was The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas. I really enjoyed reading this book and discussing it with my on-line friends. I read all the time but it is rare for me to have any interactivity connected with reading.

I pulled out a bit of paisley ( Persian pickle) fabric from my stash and made a "Prairie Queen" block.
I thought the corn print would go nicely with the Kansas setting. I made my block 12 inches. If we make a block each month, I think I will have a nice cover for my bed by next year. I am thinking of putting a large friendship block in the center because this book club is just as much about friendship as it is reading and quilting.

Another time sucker is this project. My mom made a quilt for each of my six children for their second birthday. This quilt was made for my son, Ken. Now that Ken will have a son of his own, I thought he might like to have his own baby quilt. The problem, however, is that my mother always bought the cheapest thread she could find and very little of her quilting remains. On the other hand, my great grandmother's quilt still has every tiny stitch, so I know they could make strong thread back 40 years ago.

I have done this on other baby quilts and this is the last one. It will need a lot of help and the binding, which was sewed on by heavy fancy machine stitching, is all fallen apart too. Maybe Ken's wife will be horrified to put this old quilt on her brand new baby. Should I ask her first before this sucks up more time? I still have a baby quilt of my own to make.

Meanwhile,  I have finished quilting one edge of the + and x quilt ... four more sides to go.
I have  spent lots of time with Scouting. My pack had a "rough-cut day" for making pinewood derbies. The kids get a block of wood, four nails for axles and four wheels, and they will turn that into a car to race sometime before the end of the month. Since most families do not have the necessary tools, we bring all the stuff to the meeting place and help the kids get that block of wood into the shape they want. It also helps to prevent the dads from taking over the activity and making the kid's car.

We had one rough-cut Sunday night, another Friday night, and another tonight. I hope that will be a chance for everyone to get their cars done.
 We have an open competition for any leaders or dads or siblings who want to join the challenge. My car got roughed out yesterday Luckily, my granddaughter came for the weekend and brought with her Eric Carle's "The Very Hungry Caterpillar". I need to find something to use for the antenna, and now that I sanded it during another Scout Staff training meeting this morning, I can look at Leia's book to put on the paint.
This will not be slow because the caterpillar is hungry for all kinds of things (including VICTORY)!

Meanwhile, in case there is any time left to suck, I am singing with a special group from the choir ... meaning extra rehearsals beyond the regular choir practice... And a very early departure Sunday to sing two services.

Each time I go racing out for one more activity, dragging a ton of supplies up and down hundreds of stairs, I wonder when it happens that the old lady gets to slow down and take it easy. Then I see other elderly people who have slowed down so much they are never coming out of their houses. I think about the joy of singing in a group and am thankful my voice is still holding out. I think about the young kids whose life I am touching, the fun we are having, and how I wish I might know them when they are all grown up. "Back off, time sucker, I still have a lot to do"!!!

And, just to let you know that spring is around the corner, here are some flowers in my garden. Have you ever seen this kind of tree? This is the very first time for this tree to bloom. It came as a seedling in a pot five years ago. In Japanese it is called a "Biwa", the Eriobotrya japonica, is called "Loquat" in English. It is a very fast-growing tree with leaves that are 12 - 25 cm in length. The  fruits ripen in the spring and are edible but are not sold in stores as they do not keep well. They can be made into jam or alcoholic drinks.
Like all the other flowering plants around here, this is late in the season because the fruit should be set by now. I don't know if this will actually have fruit. We shall see what is left when that old time-sucker gets through.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

More Team Ten quilts (part II)

I thought you might enjoy a few more pictures from the Team Quilt Ten. This show was held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Theater in Ikebukuro. in the fifth floor exhibition gallery. I had been to the concert hall a number of times and didn't even realize they had a gallery. I am more likely to remember when this space was a vast field where we could run with the kids and dog.

Here is "Life, Shine!" by Taeko Shinosaki (or zaki) . She has used lots of embroidery and  fine quilting to give this quilt lots of texture. Notice the congratulatory bouquet down in front.
Below is one more of her works.
" Victorian Flowers and Heart " is rich in texture and embellishments, lace, beads, embroidery, and crazy-quilt piecing.

Here is another amazing piece. This is by Megumi Mizuno. Each of these appliqued wheat grains is braided of three fabrics. To the right, above the flower arrangement, is a quilt calendar that features this masterpiece.
"Road to Roseland " is another of her work as is "Animal Picture Book below.
                  Again the detail and embellishments need to be seen up close to be fully appreciated.

Voyage to Tomorrow by Emiko Yoshino has tons of blue-work showing off these finely pieced compass points. I can't even imagine attempting this fine piecing!
Below are two more of her quilts.
                                                  Flower chain - Rondo

                                                                     Autumnal Message
                             All three have tons of detail and there is quite a variety between them.

Next are two quilts by Chiyoko Umeda. . The first is called "Spring Breeze"

                                                     Forever in Eternity

Then, below, two more quilts by Chieko Shiraishi. Hers was the quilt with the doilies I showed in the earlier post. This, too has crocheted pieces.
                  This one called, "My First Quilt" has cute alphabet blocks running around the border.

Spacial Flower is made by Harue Yumoto. Another of hers I posted at the first part of my last post.

If you were sent to count all these tiny squares set on point, you would probably be there the while show!
This "Around the World" by Tsuneko Shimura  has plenty of detail to look at.,, not just the tiny piecing but embroidery and embellishments.

I see I have only eight out of the nine quilters represented.  I thought I was getting a better representation. I did get one more quilt without remembering to write down the information. That one is seen below.
Shame on me for not getting the details on this taupe-fabric Baltimore Album style quilt. I had to post it because it is just so lovely.

There were also lots of small quilted hangings throughout the show.  That these quilters were all winners, would be no surprise to anyone viewing the show.

All the quilts were nicely hung and spaced. The I took photos without a flash but I think a professional photographer could have showed them better. Spotlights show texture to advantage but there was just so much detail that couldn't be caught.

Yesterday was "Girl's Day". I put out my doll festival runner but spent all day after church out with the boys.
We used the power tools and had a "rough cut day" for making pinewood derbies. Then, I came home and had dinner of traditional festival food with my husband and two other guys. Even in the Church choir I sit with the guys because I sing tenor. So much for girls day!