I may have mentioned this before, but Japan has two seasons in the year for giving gifts. One is in the summer during Obon which has just ended. The other is at Year's end. It is a time to thank the people who are big in your life.
At least in the past, it was a time when companies gave big bonuses. I do not know how things are now because teachers never get bonuses then or now but they do sometimes get gifts. Many years ago I had two English students who were doctors and they were very kind to share goodies from their gift stash because they got so many gifts of food that it would likely spoil before they could consume it all.
This summer I received a surprise. It was a gift of nuts and dried fruit from my daughter's Mother-in-law. I know her husband is retired and not getting a bonus to spend on gifts yet she picked out and sent something she KNEW I would love. Well, I have no money to spend on gifts either but I thought I could at least make something for her so I asked my daughter to find out what kind of space she might have for a runner and what colors she likes.
This weekend, my daughter brought me the above picture of the "geta bako" (shoe cupboard) in their entryway. The dimensions are 39cm by 119cm but I see by the picture that the beautiful wood is left to show. I love that turquoise glazed vase which my daughter says is a permanent fixture.
A plan had already been in my head. I have been watching the progress of Jan, the Cherry Red Quilter, on some star blocks she has been making. I like the fact that the points don't come to the edge of the block. I knew I was going to have to draft a block and make some and this is as good a time as any.
These blocks are six inches so the total now is 12x18 inches. I could add an inch of sashing and not be too big but I rather like the blocks touching each other. I will dig into my stash and perhaps add a small border. Brown and blue is perhaps my favorite combination and I may even have a border print I could add to each end.
As I work on this I am celebrating the joy of an extended family. Like me, my children have selected wonderful in-laws. My other great joy is my blogging family that never ceases to encourage and inspire. (thanks Jan)