Friday, July 15, 2011

A "reversable" runner?

This is not the last of the runners that I am making for my daughter for her birthday, but it is the last of the seasonal ones. I'm not sure it was much of a success because trying to make it reversible was something like trying to serve two masters at once.

The Christmas fabrics went together fairly well and I was pretty satisfied with the variety of color and size. Since New Years is the big holiday in Japan, my idea was to use a printed panel of the twelve zodiac animals for the reverse side. The sizes of the two were close enough and I thought I would quilt the back with the frames and animals ... so far, so good

I used a gold metallic thread for quilting because there was a thin gold outline on the pictures of the panel.

I started with the frames around the animals but found the outer edges fell inside the green outer border on the Christmas side. Oops. So, I quilted those parts just through the top and batting.

Next I quilted around the writing. Well, it didn't look bad on the other side but it was a bit distracting and I began to think that quilting the fussy details of those twelve animals might not bring the effect I had in mind.

So... I turned the runner back to the Christmas side and quilted in the ditch around the squares, being careful not to go all the way through in the places that might mess up the animals.

This runner might have been a bit better with more quilting but I decided to quit while I was ahead.

Every year I attend at least one quilt show in Japan that displays the work of Emiko Toda Loeb. Her quilts are usually hung at the end of a section so that the viewers can enjoy both the front and the back. Indeed, it would be difficult to figure out which was intended as the front because her work is completely reversible in design as well as quilting. Next time I will have to study her work more closely and see how she does it. So far, she has no competition from me!

I am intending to make one more runner for my daughter to use at partys when she adds a cube to her narrow table. She likes Japanese indigos so that is what I am planning to use ... now that she has put up with the three and two-half runners I have sent. With her birthday a little over a week away, the last one is going to be late. Sorry, Marie, I can't even say,"it's in the mail".

Last week I posted a picture of the first bloom on my prickly pear cactus that Morishita-san had given me. Last Friday I went back to my old neighborhood while my car was having its yearly inspection and stopped at Morishita-san's house to give him the pictures I took. He was so delighted and said he felt like a grandchild was coming home. Here on his porch is the big grandpa cactus. It is almost finished blooming for the season but you can see what an impressive plant my little fellow has to look up to.

As I write this last bit, the table is dancing and the light fixture is swinging and the dog is trembling at my knees because we are having an earthquake.

Turning on the TV, I see the quake was centered to the north of Tokyo near where Tanya (Taniwa) lives and had a magnitude of 5 on the Japanese scale of 7.
There is no danger of tsunami but landslides are always a problem and the trains are stopped until they are all checked. This is not an activity one can "get used to"!


  1. Great job with the table runner! especially with the quilting!

  2. WOW, Julie, your daughter is VERY lucky ;>)
    I bet she won't mind getting it a bit later, the waiting is worth the present !

    Earthquakes : you are so courageous...

    Heartful thoughts,

  3. Oh Julie I am so sorry there's another earthquake! And I think I saw that a possible hurricane was out some distance away from Japan but might go your way. Your country has had enough!

    The table runner is lovely and I know your daughter is so appreciative. I had to laugh out loud this week because one of my daughters called me and said, "I want you to make me something." I said sure...what? She said "some table runners." :) I made her a patriotic one last year and she told me it was the perfect size and she wanted more! So that will be her birthday present this year too. blessings, marlene

  4. I cannot imagine having to go through an earthquake, I pray that you and all in Japan stay safe. I love that quilt and the zodiac panel, have never seen one like that.


  5. From the photos the runner looks fantastic. I especially love the zodiac animal side. But I know how it is when you think something is going to go a certain way and it doesn't. How tiring the earthquakes must be becoming. I hope there are no more big ones.

  6. That is so ambitious. Quilting for both sides! What I could see looked great. You are too hard on yourself. So sorry for what you are experiencing. Do you brace yourself everytime for more bad news?

  7. Hallo Julie - so nice to see how much you are accomplishing - the runner is lovely. I went to a reversible log cabin workshop where the work of Emiko Toda Loeb was shown us and I thought it exquisite. Recently I did a mini evening workshop for Quay Quilters to make a reversible LC pot holder. The very idea of this caused hilarity and my demo. went awry but fortunately I was rescued by a fellow member but my troubles cheered everyone up! I knew you would understand my charity post - I worked in a prison, many inmates from the "care" system and I learned to respect our common humanity and to know I have not been tested by my upbringing and circumstances as they were which is not the same as to condone wrongdoing. I think of you as a true Good Samaritan!
    I hopeyour daughter is pleased with the runner back to fron is so complicated as if you lay them out side by side the pieces have to be in mirror image. I use tracing paper sometimes but visualising it is still a struggle.

  8. Hi Julie, I really like your blog. I'm glad to find someone else who does everything by hand, although I do sometimes manage to piece things together with my machine. My house too is very small so there's no room for the luxuries, but I do have my little Singer sewing machine which I bought off ebay about 10 years ago.
    I live in the Shetland Isles. Have you ever been there?
    I am now following your blog. I am actually your 100th follower!! Please feel free to visit and follow my blog if you find it of interest. I also have a cycling blog which I've just started. There is a link to it on my quilting blog.
    Keep up the good work. I think you do a wonderful job with your reversible work. My mind just couldn't cope with that!!!!

  9. Love the two sides. I wish I has the time to get that fancy!

  10. I really like the zodiac animal print... very unique.

    The prickly pear cactus is quite unique, too. All of ours here in the desert southwest are low to the ground. So I am thinking that the pruning had something to do with its look? Our February frigid weather took many plants and trees throughout the city.