Monday, October 22, 2012

Time flies when you're having fun

Has it really been over two weeks since I last posted?

I knew it was a while but it seems time really got away from me. Our church celebrated it's 140th anniversary with many activities. I had a pack meeting with my Cub Scouts so couldn't make one of the events but the choir held a concert and there were many long-time friends returning for the festivities. I cut strips of white fabric and left them to be signed by those attending. I have some ideas in my head for a quilted banner using those strips but haven't picked them up yet.
I have to admit, when you have said good-bye to so many people over the years, it is quite a blessing to see them again, even for a short time.

In the midst of this, my daughter's best friend was in town and I had saved days to spend with her (Above is the view from her hotel room window. These buildings are so unusual in shape but certainly hard to find at ground level.) One trip was to the fabric wholesale district, "fabric town", and I was pretty proud that I managed to come away without buying more than two tiny pieces of fabric for my polka-dot stash. As for the friend, after that trip I had to take her shopping for another suitcase! We had a great time and some great food, joined by my food-loving husband, and I do believe my daughter is an expert at picking friends.

 This past weekend was our choir retreat. Our site is at the foot of Mt. Fuji. The weather couldn't have been nicer. Here is a view from the window at the foot of my bed. Now, THAT is something to wake up to!

Each year we return to the YMCA facility to work on our music for "Choir Sunday" ,in early December. This year we are singing The Magnificat by John Rutter. I have sung it several times in the past so it was not such hard work for me. The fellowship is always great and that choir knows how to party!

I cut sashing from a piece of blue fabric that had come from a friend. I have lots of solid blues but this was the shade that seemed to go best with those blocks.
(and it was right there for take-along work).

There is a slight problem, however. As you can see by the picture, the fabric has faded streaks where it has been folded and possibly left in the sun. It isn't a problem for cutting five inch sashing bits and I can probably manage the 18 inches across without difficulty.
There is no difference between the back and front except the back is less faded. Getting a long strip for each side might be a stretch

I tried laying it out with cornerstones. I still have lots of one-inch pieces but I thought the effect was a bit distracting. Someone suggested red cornerstones but I am not sure I want to add another color. I may just go with the faded fabric and cut very carefully.

I am rather pleased with the random blocks. I have four left over and am now thinking of bringing that number up to nine and making a pillow cover to match the table runner. Today, after a lovely visit with Cynthia , and a small group of her friends, I stopped off at "Blue and White" (sorry, I don't have the link) as they have a basket of scraps. I was happy to see Amy Katoh, the owner, there and we had a nice chat which ended in a gift of a few more scraps ... seen in the picture above. A pillow cover is now looking even more possible.

And now, for today's flower. This is the season for Kin-mokusei. I think I posted about this last year.
Osmanthus fragrans , is called Sweet Olive in English and you smell it long before you see it hiding among the leaves. This particular plant is growing in a large pot in front of a neighborhood garage. It is about six feet tall and has a Southern exposure and it is the most flower-covered specimen I have ever seen.

This is a hardy garden evergreen plant originally from China. I understand that in warm climates, this plant shows its relationship to the olive by developing small purple-black fruits. Interestingly, most mokusei plants in Japan are male.

Fall brings cooler weather which is such a relief from the hot humid days of summer. The leaves only have a hint of fall color as yet. First to turn are the dogwoods and first to bloom are the spider-lilies. Now we will have the
Sweet Olive until rain washes them all away and soon the other leaves will begin to turn. Halloween decorations are in the shop windows all over town. Friends are getting together after a summer away and following my birthday, I will have a visit from my first son and his wife. If posts don't happen, you will know I am still busy having fun.


  1. You have certainly been busy and it sounds like you've been enjoying yourself tremendously. I'm so glad you're doing the things that make you happy. WTG!

  2. Julie, you sound as if you have been having a busy eventful but happy few weeks. Love the view of Mt Fuji. great blues in your blocks.

  3. What amazing views, perfect place to relax and enjoy God's beauty. I like the blues you are using and the sun fading, just adds character to the piece;)


  4. sounds like your usual busy time xx hope your birthday was fun xx

  5. That quilt is going to be so pretty! Love the washing - I hope you can find enough useable fabric.

  6. Julie I love your blue fabrics - those colors just draw me in. And the picture of Mt. Fuji is incredibly beautiful - it had to have been wonderful to wake to that in the mornings. blessings, marlene

  7. A great post to catch up on what you've been up to. The picture of Fuji san is wonderful, a sight to wake up to indeed. I love the blue/white pieces and am pleased to read all about your celebrations and singing. Enjoy yourself and do tell us all about it, even if it's a while afterwards - we know you're having a good time while you're not blogging!

  8. It certainly sounds like you're having a lot of fun! Fabric town sounds like a blast. I think I would have been more like your friend. ;) I had to ship knitting supplies home last time I visited my MIL.

    I love all the blues. I can't wait to see the finished product!

    I hope you have a fantastic birthday and tons more fun! :)

  9. I wouldn't worry about the faded bits that's part of the charm of the fabric. What about black cornerstones?

  10. Mom, I bought a sweet olive, Osmanthus fragrans, for Kimie after she said she was wishing for one in her yard. Then I went back and bought another one for me. Several diffent species in this genera are in the nurseries around Portland, but this particular one with orange flowers is rare. Can't wait to enjoy the color and fragrance in my own yard some day! Love, Julie