Sunday, September 15, 2013
This summer, at our family reunion, I was greeted by a bed with a quilt. Yes, it seems all the beds had real quilts on them.
The piecing seemed to be very accurate but the quilting... that was another story, this quilt was made in China and the stitches were not quite toe-grabbers, but only two, or at the most, three stitches to the inch.
This morning as I read the most recent post on Marjorie's blog, I thought about the value placed on hand quilting. Indeed, this comes to mind when the women of Tohoku wish to make something they might sell.
I can't help wondering how the quilters were paid for this work ... by hour? or by finished piece?... Is that why the stitches are so large, just to finish up as quickly as possible?
I was once asked to quilt a single-sized child's quilt for a friend. I did keep a record of time spent and quickly figured that no one could afford to pay a quilter by the hour (and I am rather faster at quilting than some). Instead I asked for an OTT light, and let the friend decide the size. It was a good deal because I am still enjoying that floor lamp and would not have been able to have it sent overseas, as she did. I wonder how my blogging quilters would figure out a fair price for something they have made. Do machine quilters charge by time spent?
Today is a National Holiday, Respect for the Aged day.
The other afternoon, a lady from the neighborhood association came to our door bearing a gift of special rice for my husband and me.
Note the festive wrapping.
These packages were made at a local store just for this "festive" occasion.
The rice contains red beans and toasted sesame seeds. This is something one eats on auspicious occasions.
I am not all that sure that getting old is something to celebrate unless one considers the alternative.
The little blue-lidded bottle contains more of the sesame seed and salt.
We celebrated last night because today my husband is off to a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Asian Rural Institute. I left him at Shibuya station at the finish of our rice delivery run. No, those homeless didn't get the fancy rice, though there are probably a few who are older than we.
Here is a view of the Tokyo Tower.
The sidewalk was obstructed with young people with cameras and cell phones, taking pictures.
There seems to be great excitement over selection of Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics. I remember well, the last Olympics held here in Tokyo. My husband was on the Olympic Organizing Committee. It was a time of great excitement. Now, however, not everyone is thrilled.
The newspapers are full of the designs and plans for facilities, new stadiums, an orgy of infrastructure investment, around 400 billion yen to be spent on Olympics related facilities, including the athlete's village and media centers. A new Olympic stadium will be built in an area where some 200 households, where a third of the residents are 70 years old or older, will have to move somewhere else. Meanwhile, two and a half years after the quake and tsunami, about 290,000 people are still living in temporary housing and no move has been made on re-building.
Since the majority of those people are elderly, I can't help wondering if the government is just waiting for them to die off and solve the problem. Meanwhile taxes and postage are scheduled to go up. Will the Olympic boom bring employment to the elderly and homeless? I seriously doubt it.
I guess it is time to get back to quilting.