Friday, November 30, 2012

Boredom deferred

It is going to take a long time, but the quilting has begun.
Since these blocks are rather random fabrics, I decided that quilting in the ditch is probably the best way to go.

After spending half a day crawling around on the floor at my rice store friend's tatami room, I had pinned and basted and un-basted without ending up much farther than I had begun.

In the end, this was mostly basted with safety pins. There will probably be some final adjustments to make while quilting so I have found the center block and will try to work my way out to the borders, hoping any lumps and bumps will get worked out.

The layers seem to be flat and I am not expecting much trouble ... as long as I keep working from the center out. I am thinking I may add a sparkly twist-em to that pin in the center block so I can keep going evenly and not get lost in the process..

I have this on my large floor hoop now and I can pile all the edges up on top when I go to do other things. That prevents Nikko from lounging on the edges. Goodness knows, there is already a ton of dog hair in this quilt without adding more! The days are getting colder and I am looking forward to snuggling and quilting.

Meanwhile, there are a few more projects nagging for attention. I need to make a gift for the Women's Conference speaker by the end of January. I also have to do some work on the ASIJ Gala quilt ... drafting patterns from my drawings. Then there are all those signed pieces of fabric from the church's 140th anniversary gathering to figure out how to use in a hanging or banner.

Meanwhile, tomorrow I hike with the Cubs through Kamakura with the Japanese Scouts, during the day and attend a Far East Council  anniversary Gala in the evening. Then Sunday is "Choir Sunday" and we sing two services. Following that I race off to another Cub Scout activity in the afternoon. Monday will begin very early with rice ball delivery to the homeless.

I remember my twin brother always complaining, "I'm bored"! My mother would suggest things he could do, none of which had any appeal to him, and I just couldn't see HOW anyone could ever be bored ... there were never enough hours in the day to do all I wanted. Over seventy five years later, I am still scrambling to make time for all I want to do.

And there are a few things I needed to begin a bit earlier on.

This advent calendar ... well, the hanging part ... went flying off to my daughter. I didn't get the wooden decorations carved and painted but she has some older ones we made long ago that she thinks will work.

I had the pieces all cut and in a baggie with my knives, thinking I would work on whittling them during the BSA-SAJ Friendship Patrol-o-ree weekend. Little did I know that "helping" meant running one of the stations.
I really prefer to make all that mess outside but now it is getting a bit cold for whittling in the woods.

In addition, I remembered after cutting all those pieces, that I had planned to make 24 different kinds of birds to go in that tree. For another birder in the family, that might be fun but would take a whole lot more drafting and cutting. Too much procrastination causes delays.

I read on other blogs about all kinds of presents in the works so I know I am not the only one on a count-down. I hope you all have a happy and productive weekend as December rolls in... and no boredom!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fall has arrived

With each rainy day, the temperatures drop little by little.

Finally, the garden strip has gotten the clues. The "dodan-tsutsuji" or Enkianthus has turned red.

The lacy cut-leaf maple is also tinged in red.

Along the street, the pink-headed knot-weed, (which I do not consider a weed at all) is in full glory.

Some of the more delicate plants have come indoors to my third floor greenhouse.

Last year, this maple turned brown during the hot late summer but this year the few remaining leaves are also tinged in red.

When this tree was planted, I was told it was a snake-bark maple. I had asked the nursery for a maple variety that would turn red in the fall and not grow too fast.

Certainly, what I got is something else. This Acer cissifolium , or vine-leafed maple grows rather tall and sparse.
It's first year it had good color in the fall and it may fill out as the top is trimmed.  I  have gotten to like it and don't intend to change it for it's more colorful cousin.

I am on a count-down on this project. It needs to be finished up and be put in the mail as soon as possible.

These one-inch numbers have been driving me nuts. Only one more to go and this will become a little pocket. With some luck, one of my Portland grand kids will be reaching into that pocket in one month to take out a decoration to place on the Advent calendar tree.

I can say now, I should have been better at counting backwards!

Today is a holiday in Japan.

Paul left the house before I even got up in the morning to attend a board meeting of the Asian Rural Institute.

He will follow that with another engagement. Thinking I was on my own for the day, I set about quilting those remaining numbers.  Then, a call from my #3 daughter, Norie, who was in town for a class with Leia, and we agreed to meet for lunch.

Well, I can stitch on the train and there is never enough time together ... so why not?       Thank You Emperor Meiji , or whoever's birthday we are enjoying on this cold and rainy Friday. With all that lunch, I won't even have to stop for dinner and I may get that present finished yet!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

An Early Thanksgiving

One week has passed since saying "Good-bye" to  my #1 son, Ken, and his wife, Zia.

I am so happy that in those short two weeks, we could cram in so much family time. Norie, Hiro (behind the camera), and Leia joined us to make our days more special.

We do not need a turkey on the table to give thanks for the joy this year has brought... or even wait for the "real" day to arrive.

The meal was prepared by Ken and Zia and all I had to do was make the pie. The request was for a pecan pie from a recipe given me long ago by a family friend.

For once I didn't over-cook it because I stayed in the tiny kitchen and watched it while I cleaned up sticky areas, picked up crums and dog hair, and arranged shelves.

In the week that has just passed I have tried to fit in a Christmas present I have been working on.

Meanwhile, the Bible quilt class made big progress but I forgot my camera.

There was a spectacular Art show at Jiyu Gakuen, which I had to enjoy in less time than I might have wished because I was scheduled to take off with Nikko to the BSA-SAJ friendship Patrol-o-ree Friday afternoon.

All day Saturday I ran the knot-tying challenge ... plenty of rain and wet rope ... and a campfire that didn't take place that evening, then rush home in time to get up early for Church and choir, then off to my Pack's raingutter regatta. (blowing those boats into a gusty wind on the roof of the Tokyo American Club).

No stitching to show from me. BUT... Here is some cute stitchery by Naomi, my granddaughter. Can you believe this work came from the hands of a three-year-old?

Here is some more!

A little pouch and a necklace of felt pieces.

Naomi made these at school so probably did not get lots of individual instruction. I wish I could have been a little mouse in the corner of that classroom to watch the process.

And while I am bragging about my talented granddaughter, I will show you what her mother, my #1 daughter is making as a napping quilt for Naomi.

I love those birds in the air!

I also love the fact that some of those nuts have not fallen far from the tree.

So, as others are preparing that turkey and getting ready to sit down to a feast, I will get back to my Christmas project and choir practice and give lots of thanks for the blessings of family, friends, Scouting, yes, and even dog hair.

May your Blessings be Many too!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Quilt Week Yokohama 2012 part 2

Here are a few more quilts that caught my eye .

These blocks are all variations of the same pattern of stars made with pieced diamonds and triangles. I thought the joining areas very unusual.

It was made by Atsuko Akatsuka.

This tree was by Misa Kato in the Japanese quilt category.

This quilt by Yoko Otani has lots of kanji.
It reminds me of a calligraphy piece goven me many years ago of 100 ways of writing Fuku, or good fortune as many are that kanji.

If you would like to see some fine details of this quilt, check out Cynthia"s post on the .

She also has some other quilts in detail and A few I have not posted.

Flower baskets by Teruko Yamaguchi.

A lot of work went into this one!

A hanakurama or flower cart by Mami Hosotani.

Festival lanterns by Shizuko Yoshizawa.

I have seen this pattern before but this had a nice festive twist.

I think this plum tree quilt was made by Hatsue Kobayashi.

This was certainly an interesting construction of individual plates, each with a different selection of food items.

It was in the contemporary category and the name seemed to be "cherry basket"

 Also among the contemporary was this quilt that seems to be made in the style of Paula Nadelstern, who was mentioned on the tag. A number of years ago Paula was featured at a Tokyo show.

Some other displays....

The usual small exhibits and the giant banner quilts above.

There were numerous areas with classes by different groups.

 A winner made from sword shield designs  by Junko Kubo.

Another winner by Chieko Sharaishi
and another of the winners called "Lace in the Garden" by Junko Sano.

I am so glad it was not my job to pick a winner. There were so many beautiful quilts there. 
I was glad, too, that I didn't miss this show entirely. I looked around for one of my favorite vendors that usually comes from Hawaii but there didn't seem to be any foreign vendors at all this time. Luckily, I was able to leave the venue without adding to my stash. I did see some lovely Kasuri but though the shop-keeper stated his goods were cheap, 500 yen for a tiny piece about 8"x 10" seemed way out of my range.

 Only two and a half days left to enjoy my family time. I have taken some nice nature shots and am slowly figuring out how to use my new camera.
That's all for now.

International Quilt Week Yokohama 2012 Part 1

I just can't figure out why something lasting only three days is called "Quilt Week"!  I came very close to missing this one. Included in Thursday dinner guests, was a good family friend of the family who wanted to meet up with my son while he is in town. He happened to ask me if I had been to the quilt show in Yokohama. Huh? He had seen the signs advertising the show the day before.

Only two days left and both of those days with major activities.
Since all day Saturday I would be teaching Scout leaders in the nature parts of Introduction to Outdoor Leadership, there was only Friday morning left and that was tight because of a Cub pack meeting in the evening.

I rushed off to see as much as I could of the show.

I have been attending every year since the beginning and this year's exhibit seemed to be the best so far. There was much more room to walk around so that people were not crammed up against the quilts Also there were more areas where photographs were allowed.

This butterfly quilt by Kikuko Miawaki was just inside the entry.

There was a category called "memorial and pictorial message quilts"

I thought this house by Kazuko Kida was interesting.

The labels were all in Japanese but most of them had the quilter's name in Roman lettering.

I rather liked this version of azure-winged magpies attaching the ripe persimmons. Quite right for this season.
The quilter,I think, Sanae Takata.

Here is a happy quilt group made by Kazuko Suwa.

Ans another of a family group.
It could have been Suwa-san who made this one. I took notes in the border of me floor-plan map while I was walking and it is a bit hard to figure out.

thse trees in all seasons was by Kumiko Minami.

This stunning red quilt was the creation of  (again, I have two names together, but I think this was done by Yoshiko  Hozumi.), and the following detail is a section of one made by Yumi Odashima.

The handwork was very detailed and I love the kasuri background.

These pups are so cute! They are all dressed in different neckties. The title in Japanese was, Papa no necktie niyou? (meaning do I look good in Papa's neckties?)

My sweet garden by Kako Kusamoto.

All in blue and white was striking. I think those quilts against the colored walls were winners. If this one wasn't, it should have been.

This quilt was in the "traditional" catagory. It isn't what I might label as traditional. It was by Hisako Chiba.

This red and white quilt. also "traditional" was made by Tomoko Hosokawa.

Stay tuned, I still have a few more pictures stored in my files.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

quilt time vs family time

The ASIJ auction quilt group met for the first time on the 30th of October. For a quilter who loves kasuri, this is going to be a great quilt. Here is the background ... stay tuned for the rest.

That was the end of quilting for a while. Family time began Thursday evening when Ken and Zia arrived from Oregon.

Ken has not been back to Japan for 16 years and this is the first trip for Zia. We have so many things to do and see.

A new camera came with them, a birthday gift from another daughter and son. I still have to figure out how to transfer those pictures to my computer before you can see them.

We spent a few hours on Friday checking out the birds at the Meiji shrine. Then, on Saturday, joined by Norie and Leia, we set out to an Owl park at the foot of Mt. Fuji.

It was a National holiday, the birthday of Emperor Meiji, and traffic was in creep mode. Ken figured out how to use the GPS navigator on my cell phone and at least we did not waste time getting lost.

The park contained about 30+ species of owls. Interestingly, only one Japanese variety. There was an indoor greenhouse with thousands of gardenias and open areas where birds were brought for holding and shows. There was a section of tropical birds, penguins, and an outdoor area with swans and ducks and emu.

Leia got a 100 yen cup of fish-food and took lots of time making certain every fish got at least one tidbit.

Have you had one yet?

Although it had been cloudy on the drive to the park, we pulled out of the parking spot into a glorious view of Mt. Fuji. Luckily, there was a place to park and enjoy the view without a background of buildings and power wires

Well, there were a lot of cars .....

And a shot of the old folks ......

And Sunday afternoon we stopped off at Hamarikyu, the old  gardens of the Tokugawa Shogun and the only tidewater ponds remaining in Tokyo.

We went in search of birds and did find some.

And the shutter bugs found a few willing subjects.

Now, all I have to do is figure out how to download the pictures to my computer.

I hope your weekend was as much fun as mine.