Monday, December 23, 2013

December book club block is finished.

Considering all the trouble I had drafting this feathered star for a twelve inch block, I am satisfied... and a little surprised at how nicely all those little pieces went together. Yes, fabric is forgiving.

I considered doing some applique in the corners, but I think I like it as is.

If you read "The Christmas Quilt" by Jennifer Chiaverini, you will understand the significance of the eight-pointed star with red tips, and the feather star block. It is a fairly easy read, since I have managed to finish it within the month. My copy was sent me by my elder son and also includes "The New Year's Quilt" which I have almost finished. I am enjoying the Quilter's Book Club reads and some day may even have a reading quilt to snuggle in.

Yesterday was "mochi pounding" with the Scouts. Every year the Japanese Scouts invite our group to their Taito group 4 event.

Rice is steamed and then pounded in these "usu", mortars made from tree trunks. The sticky paste then goes into delicious soup or is eaten with an assortment of garnishes such as seaweed or bean paste.
The American scouts take Christmas cookies to share and we enjoy the cultural exchange, We even get some mochi to take home and we enjoyed some with our breakfast soup.

 There is a bit of seasonal entertainment on the temple stairs.

There was singing (I led one song ... repeat-after-me ... with lots of motions), and some presentations and speeches.

Many members of my Cub Pack travel over the holidays so we bring in other packs from the Tokyo Zone to share the festivities.

I don't remember how long ago we began this activity, but probably from the beginning of the current emperor's reign, 25 years ago, as this event is held on the emperor's birthday which is a national holiday.

The first three scouters in this picture and the lady just left of me have been my friends for all those years. The young man with arms folded is my Committee Chairman and assistant Cubmaster and the reason I still survive as a leader at all.

One benefit of the long ride there and back was time to finish the next bit of Gala quilt homework.

Too bad I only had eight blocks to complete. Other members of the group also took blocks to work on and this is all I could gather up. They look a bit washed out on the sunny floor of my greenhouse bedroom.

The turkey has flown in the door. Several church services await my singing, and tomorrow promises to be a busy day with family and friends'

Here's wishing a Blessed Christmas to my blogging friends.


  1. The December block turned out lovely. Red, green and white is such a striking combination of colours and some pieces are so small. I see your set of fans is also completed. Well done, on both fronts.
    Rice pounding, cookies and Santa-san on the temple steps, they are great examples of sharing culture.
    Blessings for Christmas,

  2. Julie, your fan blocks are lovely, and the red, green and white, ditto muchly!!! I can see you will be having busy days, blessings to you for the Season, and may they continue for 2014. Fond greetings, Jean.

  3. Merry Christmas to you, your family and all your scouts - have a great New Year and look forward to seeing what quilts you make also!

  4. The bock is beautiful! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  5. That is a wonderful tradition and wonderful that the boy scouts share with others.
    I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and you all are blessed in the coming year.


  6. Happy Christmas, dear Julie and Mr Paul and Miss Nikko!

  7. Merry Christmas, Julie!! I have not yet read the book, but the red tips on the feathered star block make the stars look like candles to me - and your Gala quilt homework is wonderful - I like the Blue background - ;))

  8. Hi Julie
    love that block, it looks like candles. The gala quilt blocks remind me of fans. Hope you had a peaceful Christmas. Best wishes

  9. The blocks are beautiful, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! I love Jennifer Chiaverini, I've read all of her books at least once. I even have some on Audible.

  10. What a busy and wonderful time you've had. The quilt block is stunning - one of the prettiest I've seen.

  11. Your Christmas feather star block is very pretty. Mochi making is such a fun event. My mochi making is all done with a mochi machine these days.

  12. What a beautiful block - love, love, love this one! blessings, marlene

  13. Love that feathered star block. I still have to finish the book (tho I've read it before). There just hasn't been much reading time the past 2 months.

  14. Wow! Your block is beautiful. I read that book but don't remember it well. I enjoy Chiaverini's novels. It might be time for a reread of the series.