Monday, January 20, 2014

How did I get here?

In the late 1980's I bought a blank notebook thinking I could use it as an album for quilt pictures and some details about the quilts in my life.

I referred to that as "my quilt diary". Not all the quilts I have been involved with have made it into that notebook. Some had the final stitches put in place only minutes before they were passed to the new owner and many had no  photographic record made ... but by in large, most items made it into the record book. I guess it is a good thing there is some record because most have no labels at all.

This poor notebook was not designed to have photos pasted in but it was well made and stitched and has held up remarkably well, considering.

Each time I traveled to the States, my kids requested me to bring my quilt diary so they could see what I was up to. Note the small blue strip.
That is the original back of the notebook. Yes, it was falling apart and consigned to a zipper pouch to save it from further damage.

Last week, I cut a new cardboard spine and using some old denim from recycled jeans, added a new back to hold the book together. A cloth ribbon keeps the denim from fraying. Hopefully, the notebook will hold up until the last dozen or so pages are filled.

It was a number of years ago, while I was attending a Scout Jamboree in Virginia that my son took the diary and scanned it and put it on a blog. We have a family blog to share photos and events and as far as I knew about blogs and blogging, this was a way my kids could keep up with my quilting.
Other than our family's, I had never seen any blogs (about quilting or anything). To improve the design, my son added a side bar with some other quilt blogs he had found.

One of those other blogs was "Taniwa", so before I even knew what a "follower" was, I was following Tanya's blog. I think it is quite accurate to say, Tanya was my blogging "sensei"... and she didn't even know it. She posted nearly every day and I not only learned about writing replies, but I checked out those who wrote comments I found interesting and made new friends through her blog. Over the years we have become virtual friends. There is a beautiful table runner on the table in front of me that was a gift made by Tanya. It keeps a smile on my face each day that it greets me.

I have been blessed to meet a few blogging friends and every one has been as wonderful in person as in the virtual world. Starting Thursday, Tokyo Dome will hold the annual week-long quilt show. It is always a super event but this year offers a bigger reward than looking at spectacular quilts. The opening ceremony will be a special treat with my blogging-buddy-turned real-life-friend, "Queenie" (also known in real life as Carin) ... And the next day, the two of us will be lurking at the entrance to meet Tanya and her friends. Would that make you excited? Well, it does me! Thank you, Jon! (I wonder if you knew where this all was leading).

This past Friday was also special in that I was invited to visit a group of women that also meet to quilt or stitch and share some fellowship right here in Tokyo. It was lots of fun and there were a few people I already knew. I plan to continue meeting with this group and am looking forward to making new friends.

I took along my homework for the Gala quilt and managed to put together all 11 blocks. I think marking and cutting them was the hardest part and that had been done for the most part on Wednesday afternoon.

We still have a rough up-hill challenge to finish but we are on the way.

I hope you all have a great week! I know I will!


  1. Keeping a diary was very popular when I was a young girl in the 60s and a new diary, with a little lock and key, was often among the Christmas gifts. In the 70s diary keeping became 'stuffy' and old fashioned, as you should 'LIVE' instead of recording your doings, clinging to the past or dreaming about the future.
    Then came home computers, the internet and blogging, and suddenly you are not only encouraged to record your daily doings, and not only do it without lock and key, but publicly. I think blogging has come to stay. It is such a good way to keep a record of one's activities, share information and get stimulation and encouragement.
    Julie, keep that wonderful paper diary alongside with the blog. From Thursday there will be a lot of nice things to record, won't there?
    Thanks to Lis of Piece and Peace I have got a great blog friend in you, Julie. On Friday we will meet another one 'in the flesh'. Looking forward to meeting you, Tanya!

  2. have fun meeting your friends - I think it is nice that you have a quilt journal filled up (I started one years ago and didn't keep it up) and that you blog. I think I found Tanya though you but not sure. I do love reading the quilting blogs from all around the world.

  3. I love how worn your little book is...such a treasure! I wrote in a paper journal and a digital journal for years. It's fun to look back and see all the things I did with my family. Having a digital quilt blog has really helped me remember how much I've sewn over the years....sometimes I forget about a thing or two I've made. :O)

  4. I have a bunch of blank notebooks and the thought of journaling, but never do it.
    Some are blank pages so would be nice to put thoughts and sketches in it just to get my creativity flowing again. Love the dark blue background on your blocks, really makes the design stand out.


  5. Soooo glad your son "blogged" you. Here I am in California (a world away) and feel like I enter your world in Japan - I'm a lurker. Love your tales of life in Japan and your wonderful quilts. Have fun with your friends.


  6. How exciting that you get to meet fellow bloggers! Have a great time!

  7. We meet in our pages, but to meet a blog friend in real life, wonderful. Julie, do enjoy your time at the show, this will be so special. Greetings from Jean

  8. I does sound like a wonderful week. I like your quilt diary - I have several and an online one too - just a great idea to keep track of them for ourselves and our families.

  9. how wonderful that your notebook has had a new lease of life xx So pleased that your quilting has kept going and your friendhips have blossomed along the way xx

  10. You are going to have a fabulous time with Carin and it is wonderful that you will be meeting Tanya too. I am looking forward to your posts following the show. Please take lots of pictures of the quits but also of you and your friends, in real life :-) I started a quilt diary when I began quilting but haven't kept it up and my blog has sort of taken over from it. I used to keep a daily diary and always write a travel diary, whether holidaying in UK or further afield. My Filofax is always by my side these days!!

  11. I'm so happy that you have a new group of women to quilt and fellowship with! And it was so interesting to hear about the start of your quilting blog!

  12. So lovely! :)
    Greetings from Finland!
    Hugs, Ulla

  13. I love how your children take interest in and celebrate your quilting! Oh how I wish I could meet you at the Quilt Festival this week! Maybe next year! I really look forward to seeing your photos and Queenie's as well!

  14. Have a great time! That is quite interesting on how you started your blog, thanks to your son. You have been doing this for quite some time. I did not know what a blog was until 5 years ago when my student intern suggested we should start a travel blog.
    I love the fan quilt. The dark background makes the colors pop!

  15. What a great week! Love that story. Keep up with adding new friends.

  16. That sounds so fun Julie - I love getting together with stitching friends. I missed my normal monthly group today and I'll be out of town next month so I won't see them until March. :( Have a wonderful time at the show! blessings, marlene

  17. oh, wow - I just *love* that your family wants you to bring your Diary with you so they can look at it. What a fun compliment to have that interest.