Monday, August 29, 2016

How to avoid wet feet

Two quilt shows in one month!

the first one was at Odakyu Department Store in Machida.

Being near my daughter's home, we agreed to meet up with both daughter and granddaughter and Norie's Mother-in-law.

Though I took my camera, no photographs were allowed. These quilts were not all new but the works of a number of " Top Quilters" ... which, in Japan, usually are teachers with many followers or "deshi".

The second show was held at Ikebukuro Seibu Department Store. ( the end of one train line that runs from my area into town).

This was the 13th of these shows and it, too was the work of 100 "Top Quilters".

Again there were some quilts I have seen before in other shows, but is was a nice show with a variety of quilts ... the majority hand quilted.

Again no photos other than one small section showing things quilters had created for keeping their tools in order.

There were special pocketed bags for carrying the goodies and storing them.

There were small wall quilts with the display and a roped off area for viewers so as not to get too close.

Of course, though there was a small sign on the wall at each display, the writing was small and one might need a telephoto lens or binoculars to see who made the display and what the comments said.

Between my chatelaine and my thread racks I probably don't need to copy any of these ideas but it was nice to see I am not the only organization freak.

Maybe I need to coordinate my carrying bag with my quilts.

Well, everything I make ends up scrappy so perhaps I am coordinated.

Here we have some nice restful tones.

Seen anything yet that inspires you to get more organized?

Here are some small hangings that suggest seasons in Japan.

Most are summer with fireflies and flowers but I do see an autumn pumpkin and some hina dolls.

No way to make out the sign on the wall.

I guess as an owl-lover I should add this one too.

I have a printed panel with almost this same design only all in blue prints.

One of these days I have planned to turn it into a table runner but If I had wall space, this might also be an alternative.

There were lots of small shops at both shows and it was fun to wander around and check out the goodies for sale. I did see some things I wished I owned but actually do not need or even have room for.

I visited this show at the end of a very busy week with school starting up, there were all kinds of teacher meetings and lots of prep work.

My nine-patch quilting was limited to just one or two blocks a day and some days I half slept as I sat with the hoop in my lap.

Friday I finished off all the quilting around the small nine-patch areas. My next move was to quilt in the ditch around all the remaining two-inch blocks down to the first inner border.

From Yesterday I decided on a design to use in the inner blocks.

Since it was a space only two inches square, I modified the pattern I have been using in the neighbouring blocks.

I am still using the blue thread ... though I may need to buy a new spool before long.

In this photo you can see four different shades of white. Maybe the blue hides the differences a bit but it also shows up the unevenness of my stitches.

At any rate, I doubt this quilt will ever face judges in a show so it is safe.

I have just a few more of these blocks to quilt and then I have to come up with a plan for the ones next to the border.

I am thinking of a diagonal pattern to meet the corner blocks.

Then next will be the triangles in the inner boarder. Those whites are all the same but I will probably use the blue thread there ... at least to the inner border. Maybe the outer triangles could go to white because the outer boarder will be quilted with white and since the fabric pattern is busy, may not show much or at all.

My outdoor plants have been quite happy the last two weeks with lots of rain passing through. Today a typhoon was expected but, as with the last one, it seems to have brushed past our area leaving only the bordering rain and gusts. Since one of my number one hates is wet feet in wet shoes, this is a good excuse to stay inside and catch up on some quilting.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The banner is done

Last night I finished turning the binding.  Looking at other banners over the years, I had made too many with white and blue so I decided to go with lavender. I think it shows off the blank person where we should view ourselves.

Today I added the sleeves and found that I had purchased extra dowels some time before. Great! I won't have to go shopping in the heat of day. The last part will be to saw off the extra length of dowel and add eye screws to the one on top. I figure ten minutes at the most including clean-up time.

Rally Day is a week from next Sunday so the deadline has been met with time to spare.

Next ... Here is a blogging issue that challenges my patience.

A while back when Google added Google plus to the blog, things began to happen that I neither like or understand. I am not now or ever will be a computer guru. I often get help from fellow bloggers and when that doesn't work, cry on the shoulder of my guru son.

The first thing that happened was that suddenly I came off as a no-reply blogger. I noticed that the same happened to many of my fellow blogging friends. It was not a huge problem because I had contacts for them. It only has consequences when I want to reply to comments of those whose e-mail address I do not know. 
Friends sent links for advice on how to fix it but the site pictures telling where to click did not match my screen. Finally, I gave in and went to Google plus. (magically fixed) At that time I began to notice that many of the no-reply were non-google addresses. Maybe a coincidence? 

Well, the next problem soon arrived. Every comment I sent off came back to my in-box saying Delivery failure as they could not accept my yahoo address. I did go back to check and indeed, the comments had gone through. Some of my blogging friends did tell me that the comment had come but not to their in-box. Looking this over again, I noticed there was a direct relationship to my yahoo e-mail address.

Well, my son looked at this a number of times and since I have a g-mail address too ( which was set up for our family blog to avoid confusion with my daughter who shares the name. I really didn't want to give in and change my e-mail address but my son gave that a try. Magic? Suddenly, the delivery failure notices stopped coming.

BUT ... now, my blogging friends are getting a message saying their comments had delivery failure because my in-box is full. That is also a bunch of baloney because when I went to check the comment section of that post, all the messages were there ... and all had arrived in my in-box.

I don't like to make judgements but it does look to me like Mr. Google is trying to undo his competition in a nasty way. All the comments who got those messages were non-google addresses. 
At first it seemed a war between yahoo and google but now it seems to be attacking other correspondence addresses. 
Some of my blogging friends have switched from blogger to other sites such as word press. It might make a bit of confusion for followers but I don't know how these things work.

I am wondering if I am the only one with these problems and it is something I am doing wrong.
I know change happens ... whether we want it or not ... but why keep fixing things that ain't broke?
I might even have more time for quilting without these frustrations!

Monday, August 15, 2016

One day's work

12 hours have passed since I set my goal for the day.

Actually, my goal was just to make progress on the quilting of the banner but at this point, I think I am done.

My major concern was that the pieced center section might not lie flat. I was thinking of quilting all the pieced segments in the ditch, but just quilting the rays from the center out, seems to have done the job.

I quilted around the figures but not inside other than the arms, and around the letters. Looking at it hanging from my curtain rod, I think that much quilting is balanced and enough. Now I have to just add the binding and the hanging sleeves at top and bottom.

As it turns out, though I measured the fabric many times, I didn't add properly and the piece is a few inches longer than I intended. That means I don't need to add a border. I am thinking of binding it with a light turquoise or pale purple. Tomorrow Nikko and I will walk to the shop near the next station and try a few colors to see what looks best.

These days, local flower shops are selling little pots with one miniature sunflower. They are so pretty but I do like the real thing a lot better.

These are growing along the fence at the kindergarten along the car street.

There must have been 15 or 20 of them growing and maybe nine or ten feet tall.
They do have some of a smaller variety too but these are the real thing.
Good thing we haven't had a typhoon go through as yet.

The day was off and on sun with a few sprinkles thrown in.

We really could use a bit of real rain.
Maybe tomorrow will deliver a bit.

Several varieties of hostas are now competing with each other, and the crape myrtle in the park is putting on a grand show.

Hibiscus flowers are in bloom around the neighbourhood...
more noticeable for their droppings. The most dramatic ones are sitting in the local flower shop, begging to be bought.

The salvias in the weed lot are wanting rain ... or I will have to carry a bucket of water to them tomorrow.

As a person who hates working to deadlines, I am feeling pretty happy to see the banner so far along and may just reward myself with a few stitches in the nine-patch before I hit the sack.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

on to the next step.

The applique is done and maybe tomorrow I will begin embroidering the details.

I can't say I am particularly fond of these characters representing members of the church.

I'm not sure what the blank one is doing but maybe the idea is to insert oneself into the circle.

Should I put a question mark there or some kind of an arrow???

The plan I was given had "Shine Together" written across the center and the various ministries listed on the outer edge.

I will put the words above and below and wondering if I should use proper alphabet or do something rather large and wonky.

I thought it might be interesting to outline the letters and then fill them in with large stitches going randomly back and forth. Then again, that may turn out to be rather time consuming

I am also thinking of adding a row of one-inch scraps in the fabrics used, at the top and bottom to make the size right and frame the hanging.

At this point my inclination is to finish it as simply as possible and quilt it with rays of the sun coming out from the middle to the border. Since someone else came up with the design, I have tried to stick to that plan as much as possible.

This is the one I made back in the fall of 2013.

That was my own design and is often hung in the entryway.

I am afraid they are going to look too much alike ... though I have to admit I like the hands better than those characters.

This one will have dark lettering and the yellow is brighter than this one that I tie-dyed.
If I had better computer skills, I could take the picture and play around with in until I found something I liked.

But, then again, I'm not all that sure I will like the results regardless.

Only two more days of VBS to go. Tomorrow's game is going to be a quieter memory game. (at least, I hope it will be quieter. Two of the five groups are really wild) I'm glad they liked the games so far but they come with no "off" button. Once they get going, the biggest job is to keep it safe and get them to stop at the end.

The news is full of commentary about the Emperor wishing to quit his job. He is only a few years older than I am and though I do not have major health problems, I am happy to have jobs to do.
At least he doesn't have to ride the mobile sardine can to get places. I am wondering if he will get any sympathy because of being "old". Certainly, though each train car has eight priority seats at each end, the only people in those seats are young ... teens ... 20s... maybe a few in their 30s. Today it was so crowded that I kept getting pushed as the train moved and the young girl next to me kept shoving me back every time my bag touched her side. Finally, with three stops left, I was able to grab a seat but then an old guy got on and of course no one stood up so I gave him my seat. The young riders were just busy sleeping or playing video games or texting . I doubt if the emperor got on, they would even notice. At least he can travel by car and doesn't even have to do the driving.
I think it will be a shock to all those entitled youth that some day they will also get old.

OK, enough complaining! I will now reward my progress with a few stitches in my nine-patch.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Pictures to make me smile

The yellow material is still in hiding but plan B is in motion.

A few years ago I made a banner with hands joined in a circle and white fabric that I had tie-dyed to keep the center white while dying the rest yellow.

I thought this time with the circle representing the sun, I would piece the center with gradated shades of white and white-on-white prints.

Yesterday I added the circle of  arms and from today I will begin making applique heads.

I have traced the sketch I made on to paper for patterns.

One head is to be left plane ... maybe wanting the observer to put themselves into the picture.

Once these are done, I will figure out where to put the lettering. The sketch I was given had the lettering in the center and a lot of the listed activities around the edges.

The words are "Shine Together" and I plan to put the lettering above and below. Then, quilt from the center in rays out to the edges.

I am not sure the due date but sometime around the end of the month. I should be able to do it all from what is in my stash.

The fabric I am using is a bit shorter than the former banners and I am thinking of piecing blocks of the body colors mixed with the remaining yellow to add to the top and bottom. Often former banners are hanging in the entry and I think if they are all the same size, it makes them easier to hang and move.

Sunday I stayed later at church to set up my game area for this week's Vacation Bible School. Since I missed my usual bus, I went another way and came upon this display at Takashimaya Department store. I didn't have a camera along so after VBS today, I went back to take a few pictures.

Sometimes we do "junk-art" at school so I am often saving spools and objects I think the kids would have fun using.

This display takes "Junk-art" to a whole new level.

Tin cans, buckets, garden rakes, cell phones, bottle caps ... you name it! I even saw some tins like the ones I use to store my fabrics in.

A mother pig with her babies ....

And a rhino!

All these are life size.

Note the water tap eye and the frying pan along the side.

Here is another view of that big rhino.

You can see the contents of his tummy...
He takes his tea, kettle and all.

And here is a tortoise ...

Watches and a bicycle chain among his scales...

looks like a drain in case he gets too wet.

And how about those camel feet?

A plunger and a funnel and two light fixtures.

There were three or four monkey-type figures hanging from the wall

and a lizard climbing up a tree.

Forks seem to make nice hands and feet and the tail looked like a bottle brush.

 This is the sign above with the artist's name.

The exhibit is about to end so I am glad I made it back with my camera.

The area is a passage way between the up and down escalators.

The curtains behind add to the artistic effect.

And one more picture that made me smile ... this one sent by my daughters in Portland Oregon.

Over the weekend they were celebrating "Obon".
It is the time when the spirits of the dead return... actually a time of celebration with festivals and dancing.

My daughters had one of the lanterns dedicated to their father.

You can notice those lanterns hanging all around the festival area ... and at night they would be lit.
Last week would have been our 53rd wedding anniversary so this festival is very timely.

I think I see Paul smiling down on those below and wishing them a fine festival.

(with some yummy treats).