Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Tokyo Dome Quilt Show part 1

Although it has been nearly a week since viewing the "Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival 2015" with my two dear friends, I have yet to get organized enough to make a post. Now that I have seen their lovely posts, I am not sure I have much to add.

These are the throngs of viewers that met us at the entrance. Even when you have a viewing plan, it is hard to wend your way through that sea of bodies.

Tanya, Carin, and I had all submitted blocks for the "Partnership" quilts so we decided to head over there and check those out first.

Both Carin and Tanya have posted some lovely photos ... in fact, a lot better than anything on my camera. For some reason, the pictures I took seem rather dull. My camera has been used by other family members and the settings  ... which I don't understand ... may have been messed up. I hope you will check out their posts and enjoy what they have to relate.

The subject of the partnership blocks was "Sweet".

Everyone could make a block with their own interpretation of that word and there was an interesting variety ranging from candy and cakes to cute animals.

Here is Tanya just below her block, six bees on a honeycomb.
Now, that aught to be sweet!

In fact, there appeared to be some class blocks that featured bees and honey.

Carin's choice of sweets was some Swedish, or should I say sweetish treats?

Yummy peppermint candy ... and don't miss her traditional signature flag.

Even my gorilla arms were not long enough to reach my hummingbird block near the top of this group of 120 blocks.

I can't imagine the work it must have taken to make 69 of these huge quilts......

Arranging 8280 small blocks into some semblance of order, sewing them all together without mixing them up, then quilting them by hand ... Yes, they were hand quilted.

The best part of the show for me was spending the day with these two friends.

Sometimes when you go to a show in a group you see less than you might going alone but we each noticed different things and in our case three sets of eyes caused each to see that much more.

Though we communicate through our blogs regularly, getting together in person was a special treat we looked forward to with great anticipation. The warmth of that day will stay with me for a long time. How blessed I am to have friends like these!

Each year at the exit, there is a survey ... or questionnaire  that can be filled out. I have filled it out now every year both in English and Japanese and my biggest issue with this show is the lack of English. The Yokohama show has at last begun putting the quilter's names in English but at this show, none of the entries in the various categories had names in other than kanji, unless they were entered by foreigners... and there were very few of those.

Every Japanese who can write their name, knows how to write it in Roman letters and being able to understand the meaning of Kanji characters does not mean one knows how that name is actually said. Even written with Japanese characters, my granddaughter might be called Reya rather than Leya.
Today I down-loaded my pictures to my computer, I have taken pictures of the posted titles and names of the quilt artists but It will take some time to decipher the names to give credit.

There were several displays that did use name of the quilter in English. One was a selection of quilted illustrations of popular children's books. I guess a children's librarian might take notice. (These were in addition to the theme, Laura Ingles Wilder "Little House" books.

This is a popular Japanese children's book.

Interpreted by Natsuko Mikomi.

There is short comment below her name on the label and a copy of the book on display.

    Naoko Masuda has taken some illustrations from this book about mice.
 And Mutsumi Yoshida has illustrated the Japanese version of "Frog and Toad are friends".
 I am not familiar with this book about Sa-chan but
Yukako Nakayama has made a quilt with illustrations close to those in the story.

And at last, one you might recognize,

The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

these by Emiko Mohri with beautiful white on whits quilting around each illustration.

I think I have seen this book among children's
books in the book store but the name is not on the cover.

Akiko Fukui has made a highly embellished
version of the elephant on the cover.

This section of the show was new. Last year the theme was Moomin stories and there were many small quilts with illustrations.

The quilts depicting Wilder's books were large in size and made by quilt senseis ... who for some reason, have names in English. Does that mean one has to be a sensei or teacher of quilting to have recognition?

At lest I can cover that area without the name problem. Really, I have enough problems. My friend, called "blogger" will not let me look at the blogs of my friends, saying I am not following anyone. I have had that problem a number of times before but if I wait, it usually changes its mind and puts them up for me to view. BUT..... not this week! I can look at bloglovin but that site will not let me comment. I think I have heard these problems from other bloggers . Meanwhile, I am trying to practice patience.

Friday, January 23, 2015

another try

It is amazing what can be done on a phone call half way around the world!
Tonight my guru-son, Jon, talked me through a switch from Internet Explorer to Google chrome.

All the tabs that had disappeared a week ago have returned
Thanks for all who encouraged me to make the change
As a result, here is one of the pictures I was unable to post earlier in the week.

Sitting among the assorted cats is a little poinsettia I was given as a gift.

Christmas may be past but this little fellow sits on the step tansu in my little greenhouse/bedroom.... guarded by ceramic cats.

The dark pink and white Christmas cactus began opening a few weeks before Christmas and as of yesterday, the last flower has finished.

Just a week ago, this last cactus that was holding out, began to open. There are still a few buds to go.

Maybe the poinsettia reminded it that the time had come, or perhaps it didn't want to compete with the others ... Who knows, but it certainly is nice to have flowers during the cold grey days.

The gift for the conference speaker is in the finishing stage.

I asked her for her favorite bible verse and she gave it to me in Afrikaans.

I quilted it into the background in English ... King James version was the closest to the Afrikaans... That is across the top.

The verse in Afrikaans is along the lower half.

I added a narrow red binding.
The size is 29 inches wide and 55 inches long. I think that is a bit large for a wall hanging but I added a sleeve anyway just in case.

It could be used for a table runner or a chair runner. I have not quilted the area around the butterflies. I was thinking of adding vines and leaves using a dark blue thread but one of my friends thought it was just as good without anything more. The batting is #40 thinsulate and since it is made to be used in clothing, it is not likely to shift. The border is just quilted in the ditch around the three-inch floral blocks. The butterflies are quilted with gold metallic thread.

Here is the upper section....

and here is the lower part

I still have preparations to make for a quilting class I will be teaching

and once all that is ready to go, I will share my wonderful trip today to the Tokyo Dome.

I have had a lot today to make me happy and ending with the photo issue being fixed is only the icing on the cake!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Yesterday was "Daikan". Tanya wrote a great post explaining the "Great Cold". Actually, yesterday was nice and sunny and really didn't get down to freezing until I was safely in bed and under the covers. Today, however, is another story, gray and gloomy, cold and drizzly. Nikko is curled up less than a foot from the space heater and blogger must have heard my focus word for the year is "Patience" because it is testing me beyond imagination.

I have now wasted the better part of the day trying to post one of five pictures selected to show my blogging friends. NO WAY !!!

I will report that the runner now has a binding and I have added hanging sleeve just in case.
I really wanted to get your opinion on the few empty areas. I had thought to quilt in a few leaves and vines with dark blue thread but a friend who saw it while I was working thought it didn't need anything more. True, the thinsulate is made for use in clothing and probably won't shift even in a fairly wide area.

Well, I still have a week to add stitches. Maybe blogger will be a bit more cooperative now that I am giving up for the day. We shall be patient and see if that helps!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Quilt therapy at last

The new year came ... ready or not!

Stuff is still piled up everywhere.

Plenty of sorting left to do.

The first day was spent serving the homeless the special New Years meal ... well, I wasn't serving really, as my job was washing the dishes. So, I started the year with very clean hands.

The second we visited with friends, taking the special meal with us. (our house too messy for guests)

The third was church activities ... choir and all.
And that evening, our little family gathered along with Paul's sister. I need to learn how to photo-chop because that will be the only way to remove the piles of stuff.

By Monday afternoon I was really needing a quilt fix. I have the gift for the Women's Conference speaker to do and I had not even begun. I had a panel I had bought for my own use years ago. I dug out the tin of three-inch blocks and went through to find floral prints. That was not hard because probably half of what was in the box was floral print squares.

I couldn't think of a way to separate them so they would look good in a border so I decided to set them on point.

That meant I needed to add an inner frame around the panel so everything would fit. This is a real trial and error job.

The size is 30" x 56" so I think that is a bit too big for a wall hanging. Maybe it could be used as a table runner or chair runner.

Usually the speaker is unknown to me but this year she is our pastor's wife. The topic is about tending one's inner garden ... thus the flowers. The butterfly is a symbol of the "Hidden Christians"in Japan about 385 years ago.

The color is really dark blue. (The photo was taken on the floor under my dining room table ... the only open flat space big enough to lay it out.)

Tonight I pin-basted it and can now begin to put in the quilting. I will use gold around the butterflies and I plan to quilt in a bible verse at the top and bottom. I have asked the speaker for her favorite verse and will decide how to use it.

I know this is just a small bit of quilting but once I had those pieces drawn on the fabric and cut out, I began to feel so much more relaxed. I was actually surprised how quickly these pieces went together, even without a machine.  After so many weeks without any needle in my hands, this was the therapy I needed. Stuff is still piled up and there will be sorting to do again tomorrow, but now, when I need a break, I will have something meaningful to do.

What color binding? Shall I add a hanging sleeve just in case? I don't think I will stay awake worrying about that yet. Right now I am feeling a lot more content.