Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Quilt group HERE tomorrow

The librarian side of me is having a big problem reconciling the chaos that is my household. 99% of the time I am living in the midst of the "Giant spoon" syndrome. For you more organized folks, that is when the giant spoon swoops down and stirs everything up.

With my quilt group meeting here in less than 20 hours, that means big-time cleaning.

First the vacuum cleaner to pick up the drifting dog hair. How nice it would be to be able to vacuum the dog. Well, the first picture shows how Nikko feels about vacuums.

Next it is scrub down the floors to remove all the dust and remaining dog hair. And then, oh happy day, a lovely coat of wax.

Quick, take a picture because this will not last very long!

#3 daughter will come following the quilt group. She will appreciate the lovely clean house but may not enjoy the smell of freshly waxed floors. Luckily it is a beautiful day and I can open all the windows but, at least to me, the smell of wax means clean.

The number of meetings at the beginning of each month contributes to my pile of blocks. This is still not enough to make anything of size... even with added sashing. I am still chopping scraps and have not as yet dipped into my stash. It is clear I will need some kind of design wall to get this all organized. Perhaps something I can tack onto a long pole and hang from the ceiling will do.

I have heard of people using flannel and also fleece (polartec?). If I am going to invest in one or the other, what do you think would work best to organize blocks and sashing and keep it in place until I can get it together (which probably means rolling the "wall" up when not in use)? Since I usually make bed-sized quilts, I would want something big enough for a double bed sized quilt.

As I was writing about the smell of wax, and the beautiful October weather, another scent came to mind that is truly a part of early fall here in Japan.

I had never met this evergreen before coming to Japan. Kin-mokusei, Osmanthus fragrans,
can be a medium shrub in a pot or a garden tree up to perhaps 4 meters.
"Sweet Olive" in English, these tiny flowers have an intense sweet fragrance described as a blend of jasmine, gardenia, and ripe apricots. It also comes in a yellow variation called Gin-mokusei. Whichever one finds, you are bound to smell it before you can identify where that scent is coming from... especially walking at night, (when the scent is most powerful), down a dimly lit street.

In another week, the flowers will be gone and likewise my clean house will be history. The phrase,"enjoy it while it lasts" couldn't be more relevant than it is today.


  1. Never mind about the house work, you are a quilting over achiever. Congratulations for the kudos your quilts are attracting.

  2. Isn't it funny how we think we need to make our homes spic and span for visitors? We all do it! And it is probably appreciated. Hope you have fun with your group and get lots of sewing done.

  3. Oh poor Nikko - what a sook. Give him a pat from me! The floor looks great and I know what you mean about teh smell of wax - i am just glad that I don't have to wax as we have tiles and carpet. design wall - I have my folding one now but it is not big enough for a double bed quilt. When I lived overseas in a rented house I put nails at the top of the wall, used a long piece of dowel and over which I strung a flannel sheet. I used that to make two 6 x 8 ft quilts for my sons and it worked fine.

  4. I really like those blocks, they have so much character.

  5. I thought it was just me that tidied frantically for guests and that everyone else lived perfectly tidily and cleanly all the time!
    Try a flannelette sheet as a makeshift design wall, it works brilliantly and can be taken down and folded awat as necessary. Enjoy your time with your quilt group.

  6. Julie I always think my house is clean all over if I can just smell fresh wax and see a beautiful shine on the wood floors. When I open my kitchen door, our main entrance, and see the shine I just breathe in the smell of home. :) I tried vacuuming my cat once (he died several years ago). He didn't appreciate my efforts. I use flannel for my design wall. Blocks don't stick forever but add a pin or two and it will do fine, even when you roll it up. blessings, marlene

  7. Our dog used to hate the vacuum too. He eventually got used to it.

    Your floors are looking nice. Have a fun time with your quilt group.
    I would not know what the best material is for a design wall as I don't have any room for one myself. But when you find out, let me know. ... Just in case I get one some day!

  8. Hello Julie, I love your post very much. The white dog is so cute! I'm also crazy quilting blocks here to be a spreabed. Wax smell reminds me my childhood.

    Hugs, Sandra :)

  9. I am one of those, I can take a years worth of mess and have it all done in a day, when I have to, lol. With two cats and a dog, I always have to vacuum to keep the hair down. My dog likes to be vacuumed so he gets cleaned too.


  10. I use flannel and love it although I sometimes have to run the ceiling fan on low to avoid pieces flying off :-)

  11. I love the smell of wax and a clean house. Unfortunately, I don't often get that around my house. We travel quite a bit so it seems like I'm always returning to a dusty home. Sometimes I don't even dust because I need to get to my sewing room so I just dust off my sewing table and ignore the rest for a while. I enjoy reading your blog, such an interesting way you have with words. Enjoy your clean house!

  12. Hi Julie! Well, look at Nikko peeking around the corner from the stairs. Our Winston is the same way with the vacuum!

    Love your floors! One day... one day. I hope to have the carpet and tile ripped out of our house.

    And your quilt blocks... coming along nicely. Laying blocks on a flannel backed vinyl tablecloth (if available) works nicely, I hear. Also, just a large piece of batting.

    The evergreen you describe sounds delightful. I think I would love the mixture of those fragrances. At my parents house, there was a Carolina Sweet Shrub outside the kitchen window. Made for doing dishes a bit easier with its fragrance of all-spice.

    Have fun today with your group... Karen

  13. Great blocks! Just an idea, I use a plastic tablecloth with flannel on the back for a design wall. It doesn't pull out of shape as it hangs and you can pick one up cheap practically anywhere here - I am not sure about Japan though! My friend then attached old gift wrap rolls to the bottom and hangs it from ribbons on the top. When she needs to put it away she just rolls it up and unhooks the ribbons.

  14. I vacuumed the dog fur up yesterday morning, and it was back yesterday afternoon. Oh well.

  15. My dogs feel the same way about the vacuum! I washed them today and it is fur city! I just got an outdoor plastic felt bached tablecloth for $7 and blocks stick beautifully. Now i just need to find a man to hang it!