The batik quilt is done ... kind of.
Yesterday morning, when I went to check my e-mails, there was a message from Cheryl, one of my blogging buddies, that my blog was GONE. Well, I went to check it out and, sure enough, Google had blocked it because of some activity that had taken place which had not been explained. I was asked to leave my "cell phone e-mail address" in order to get a code so I could get my blogs and dashboard and all the rest back. Yeah, right! They were going to send me this code within ten minutes. Now, I am sure everyone carries a cell phone and can use it to get text messages. I do have that app on my "smart phone" but had never used it. Husband Paul went to his computer and pulled up the forms and sent out the information. Well, at 11pm there was no code and it was already past my bed time so I fired off an e-mail to my fine guru of a son (the one who got me into this in the first place) and when I woke in the morning, there were his soothing words and everything was back to normal. I think he can talk googleese better than I.
Anyway, there was no way to waste time catching up on blog-reading, so I bit the bullet and finished the binding on the Batik quilt. Gosh, that was a LONG way around! 225 cm square. I will have to figure it out in inches later.
This quilt began with a kit, given me by my good friend, Marion Fox, two years ago when I was visiting her while at my son's in D.C. after the Jamboree. I had just finished a project of a table cloth for my son and she said I would need something to do for the rest of the trip. The name of the kit called this "Round and round". It was meant to alternate one large block with four smaller ones but I have yet to use a pattern as intended. When I got back to Tokyo, I pulled out some of my own batik stash and made enough blocks for a double sized quilt. I intended this quilt to go to my #4 daughter, Kimie, as I had not yet made her a wedding quilt.
Last March, a few days after the quake, Kimie came with her daughter, Irene, for a week's visit. At that time, the kind rice-store lady offered me the use of her big tatami room floor to lay out the blocks. She even dug out some toys to keep Irene busy while we moved blocks around the room.
From then on, every time I passed the rice store, which is at the corner of my street, my friend would step out of the store to ask if I was finished yet. I promised her she would be the first to see it when I did, and today I could keep that promise. Of course, half the neighborhood of little shops ran out to share the good news and oogle the results and get a running description of my last 50 years ... kids... teaching ,,, scouts...the whole works. You do nothing in secret in this community!
I could not afford my prefered border material so I bought this Kathy Nakajima print and added the flower centers and colored thread to make this border work. The flower quilting is repeated in the blocks. I have decided to call this quilt "Round and round the garden"
This picture is not very clear, but since my daughter is a teacher of young children, I decided to back the quilt with tenugui of Japanese children's games. I had collected these a number of years ago and been saving them for a special quilt.
I could almost say I am completely happy with the way this quilt turned out BUT.....
You may not remember, that at the end of last summer, I made a hanging for out church. At that time, I took out some old bias tape I had been saving for making stained glass blocks, and to my dismay, every one of those packages of black tape had completely disintegrated. I was able to take them back to the store and have them replaced but I thought that was just a one-of-a-kind event.
Saddly, when I was turning the bias to the reverse side, I found that in several places, where the black dye was darkest on the bamboo yukata fabric, the same thing had happened.
Just below the v there is a one-inch split in the fabric. I began looking at other places where the dye is darkest and this is not the only place. I am NOT going to take out all this work, that is for sure. I thought of cutting green bamboo leaves and appliqueing them over the slits but one of my friends at camp suggested I repeat the colored dots I used for the flower centers. I think that would be a lot easier and tie the front and back together.
I had a whole roll of this bamboo print and have used it in other places, mostly backs of quilts. Those have been washed a few times and have no problems so I suppose the dye sitting un-washed on this vintage fabric was the problem. I think I will ever be suspicious of black fabric from now on.
This is a disappointing end to a two-year project and I wonder how my blogging friends would deal with the situation. In a week I leave for the states and this quilt is asking to go to Kimie. I sure don't want it to become her problem. As is, it will have to be washed right off. Dirt from camp... dog hair ... and a husband with allergies... and my washing machine is too small to do the job. This is one time I might say, "It isn't over 'till it's over"! If you don't hear from me, you will know what I am doing with my time.