Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Signs of Autumn

Apples are ripe!

These are "Fuji" apples coming to Tokyo from Aomori.

Note each one has a bar code pasted on it. Yep,those apples are being sold one-by-one at 158 yen (with tax).

They are beautiful un-bruised tasty apples but....

When I was growing up, my uncle down the road had an apple orchard. There were many varieties of apples ... green ... yellow ... red ... for pies and canning and applesauce or for making into cider. Us kids picked up the wind-falls and bit around the bug holes, but those apples were yummy. (and free)

Japanese apples are good and pretty to look at. The skins are tough though and not every brand is suitable for pies or apple cake. I guess that is not unusual in a country where many homes have only a small grill and no oven other than a microwave.

Another sign of fall, when the spider lilies begin to fade, is the delightful scent of Kin-mokusei. (Osmanthus or Sweet Olive).

These tiny flowers are tight on the branches and hidden among the leaves so one is more likely to smell them before seeing them.

When I say "tiny", I really mean it!

Here are a few lying on top of the wall.
Amazing how something so small can give off such a powerful perfume.

One activity for last week was to gear up the cookie factory.

Someone had seen Leia's last batch (maybe made last Christmas) and hired us to make cookies for a wedding.

Norie did the rolling and cutting and Leia and I did the painting and decorating.

Tuesday afternoon and most of last Wednesday we worked on several hundred cookies. Norie managed the oven and kept the supply going.

She also managed the camera so escaped the documentation.

Here is a batch cooling. A little bit of this and that from several collections of cutters.

The typhoon that blew past on Monday gave me a bit of inside time to work on sashing the four-inch blocks.

This is what is done so far, laid out on the double bed in the loft.

Well, it is a bit hard to see on top of the tree quilt but you get the idea. I have 9 blocks width laid out here.

I was planning ten blocks wide, That would make the quilt 60 inches wide but I think it will need to have borders  to make it look finished.

The quilt I am using now on my futon is 68 x 96 inches and rather too wide (the futon is only three feet across) . Now, before I make more blocks beyond what I have waiting for sashing, I am wondering what is a practical size for a single bed cover.

The "I Spy" quilt I made for my daughter's kids was 69 x 77 inches and I have slept under it many times on a bunk bed when I visit. Is there a standard size for a single bed cover? What would you advise? I think whatever border I might add would only be three or four inches but I won't buy anything until I have the top together.

Another typhoon is coming our way so I may get some more indoor sewing time. I am hoping I won't have leftover blocks to deal with so I am trying to plan ahead and I found the last bits of advice very helpful. Thanks in advance for sharing any advice you may have.


  1. One apple for NZ $1.87, that is sooo expensive. That blossom has a wonderful perfume, and your blocks are looking so good, the width, I like a quilt to come down at the sides far enough so when in bed it covers well, maybe for a single 36 inch wide bed, add 9 inches at each side, ( we have more with our duvet) and less at the end. Is this just for a single bed , and if you are going to sleep under it, maybe add more so it covers your shoulders.. Cheers, Jean.

  2. Recently I saw apples from NZ in my local grocery. They are called "Envy" and were selling for US $2.49/pound. I also saw a basket of "Asian Pears" (Nashi) that were not large, and selling for US $2.99 each. I bought the Envys but not the nashi. Fruit that is sold by the pound in the grocery store all have stickers on them that are scanned at checkout. Avoids the problem of the checkers not knowing which sort is which.

  3. so lucky to live in the UK .. we have lots of variety .. and supply x I also have a brother with a friend whos trees are giving an ABUNDANCE of apples this year .. Im not saying NO to any of them xx sorry cannot share x

  4. Arkansas is a prime grower of tomatoes and I feel so blessed - we love them and eat lots during the summer months. I can them when I'm able to get more than we can eat.
    I've never seen such tiny flowers! I'd love to smell their sweet scent.
    I don't know the dimensions of a twin bed but if it were one I'd be sleeping under I'd lie down and use a tape measure to measure over myself to see how wide I wanted it to be. I like to have extra on the sides to wrap under me when I get cold. blessings, marlene

  5. Your cookie factory is getting famous!! You and Leia are Master Painters and Decorators - and Norie is the Master Baker - what FUN!! And people are PAYING you to do it!! Can't beat that!! - ;))

    I found a chart online with some standard bedding sizes - I'll email you the link - but it says that for a 39 x 75 mattress - the bedspread size is 80 x 110 - comforter size is 68 x 86 - and blanket size is 66 x 90. The blanket size is probably about right. I would measure the width of the futon and down the side to the floor on each side and then the length from the top down to the end and to the floor - so that it covers the bed and hits the floor - and then add enough so that is is large enough to cover you when you sleep - maybe another 6-10" or so?? And if it's a big large - you could always make the bed/futon pretending that the wall side is the "head" of the bed and fold it over on that side - ;))

    Stay safe during the typhoon - ;))

  6. I love picking my own apples, you cannot beat the taste or the health benefits.
    It is fun that you can make cookies together and I hope the next storm passes by quickly.


  7. Great going on the cookies - they look yummy. My grandson spent the evening with us last night and asked me if I had any of those soft yellow cookies with sprinkles on the top (sugar cookies). I didn't have any - but you can bet he is going to get some now.

    I love love love that quilt - I try to have about 12" hanging down on the edges of the quilt and on the end, which sometimes makes my quilts odd shaped - a bit wider than long, since I don't fold them over the pillows - but it makes for cozy bundling up on cool nights.

    Washington is famous for its apples - often we find them for 99 cents a pound - not sure what that translates into in Yen or by the piece - but I find it a good deal. I am looking for a good bargain either on apples or pears - or both - for my yearly apple butter. I make it in the slow cooker - takes two days and my house smells delicious. I used to make many apple pie fillings, freeze them in pie plates then slide the frozen filling into a zip bag and have plenty on hand for a quick pie. Now that there are just two of us I make each pie as we are ready to eat it, especially as there are always good local apples available in Washington.

    Hope your next storm is not too bad - I watch the weather to see what is coming your way. we are still having pleasant fall weather - I think the rains might actually start next week - which is very late for us - they will be welcome.

  8. I'm out of town, so, I don't have my charts with me. I did find this online. http://www.quiltmaker.com/articles/Suggested_Bed_Measurements_for_Standard_Bed_Sizes
    hope that helps.

  9. This is such a colourful post, red apples from Aomori, fragrant orange flowers, scrumptious and colourful cookies, delightful quilts... autumn is here.
    I think you should make the single bed quilt generously large, a really cozy quilt that you can wrap around yourself and a visiting granddaughter tired from cookie decoration.

  10. Nice, Mom! I planted the orange variety of Osmanthus two years ago, a tiny specimen. It's growing and I can't wait to see its blooms one day!

  11. Pretty cookies! Baking for a wedding is an ambitious project and I'm impressed that Leia attempted it and succeeded!! Way to go!!!