Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Great workday!

When I went off to the Gala quilt day on Tuesday, I was very discouraged. (well, probably tired as well). I had been working solidly on quilting the background of the blocks since our last session, my fingers were sore and there was still so much left to do. I have to admit I rather felt like giving up.

Sunday I worked to midnight and got up at four to deliver rice. Instead of going back to bed upon our return, I went back to work on quilting.

I had an afternoon English class but returned to quilting upon my return and kept at it until midnight again. As ten is my usual bedtime, I think my brain is getting a bit foggy.

Tuesday we met for a full day of work and I was able to mark more of the borders but it is too difficult to quilt in the middle when the group is working around the border so last night I stayed up to midnight again. I work with a large hoop and sit with the quilt all bunched up so it is hard to tell how much is done and I was still feeling panic about the amount left to do.

This morning when we began our second all day session, the quilt was laid out on the table and we could see that only part of the two bottom rows are left to do. We were able to finish marking the borders and with many hands, a lot of those borders were finished.

We were also able to come up with a plan for the corners that will make the borders easy to finish off. We decided at the end of the day to lay the quilt out on the floor and take a picture. I think everyone was happy at the progress and the end is in sight. We will make the deadline ... maybe with time to spare. The positive mood of the group did much to make me feel happier.

Our lovely quilt inspector got close and personal to check out the work.

Does this look like an approval to you?

Since returning home, I have been quilting the outlines for the corners. Three of those are far enough done for the group to finish.

Maybe another hour and I will go to bed.

In January, when Queenie and I met up with Tanya at the Tokyo Dome show, Tanya came bearing gifts for each of us.

Tanya had made us each a little quilt with a flower and the message, "Bloom Where You're Planted".

I just love it and I already have a nice table center Tanya made a while ago.

I was sorry I had nothing to give in return. The gala quilt has really been consuming all my time and energy. BUT, now that the quilting was in progress, I did need something to do while riding the train and sitting in meetings.

I had picked out the print fabric at the Dome show and thought it would be a good reminder of the short time we had to meet.

I know Tanya's six cats are not this color but I pulled a few prints out of my stash that would show up fairly well in a group.

In a box of fabric gifted by my friend in Maryland I found a bright cat print for the backing and I had some of the "night patrol" cats, left over from a quilt made for my son, that could be used for the border.

Several Scout committee meetings and many train rides later, he cats were ready to take a trip to their new home. Today, someone in my group asked if I had finished the cats. Well, yes I had but I had been waiting until they arrived at their new home to post a picture.

It was 1992 that I drafted this pattern on graph paper with my white cat, Pearl, as the model. Two of my daughters have used it for baby quilts for their friends and I have lost count of how many I have made. At one time I was working on a draft for tessellating cats and dogs. One of these days I should dig it out and put it together. Next in line is another baby quilt for a friend. It will be my next take-along project and it could be next week I will actually have time to play in my stash boxes.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

slowly moving along

Last week's snow is slowly melting and the snow that was predicted for this week did not make a showing.

Each day more and more of the street pavement is showing. The piles are getting more and more dirty as they freeze each night.

The paths in front of single family dwellings have been pretty well cleared...

But the apartment buildings are a different story.

Each year, more and more of these huge condominiums and apartment buildings are going up.

Not only do they add a few hundred more people to our sardine-can trains, but I find that everyone's property is no one's responsibility.

Though the single dwellings beyond have the walks cleared, those around the apartment buildings are left for nature to clear ... and certainly add to the time it takes to walk any where.

Monday I had to go out to an afternoon English class and Wednesday morning the Gala quilt group met for a few hours of work.

My daughter and granddaughter came over and while I was reading to Leya, Norie took over my quilting for me.

Other than those times, I was glad to stay indoors working on quilting the background of the fan blocks, Friday's new group ... well, new to me ... met in a home that had a large wooden floor behind the sitting area. It was warm and sunny and I could spread the Gala quilt on the floor and mark the remaining background and one border for quilting.

That was a really big help, even if I didn't get any quilting done. I quilted all day today until I had to leave for an evening Scout meeting.

I think this is about a quarter of the blocks done. The quilting in to border will be a straight line cable. This is not really heavily quilted but the thinsulate batting is not going to shift even if the quilt should get heavy wear.

On the wall outside my window I enjoyed the winter visitors.

This Brown-eared Bulbul was working on that apple almost before the door was shut.

I don't know where they hang out but they really keep a close eye on the wall.

 The feeder is just a piece of plywood with two groups of nails hammered up from the bottom and some side pieces to hold it on the wall.

Sometimes I put tangerines and sometimes apples.

This little Japanese White-eye was waiting on the laundry poles for his turn.

This afternoon I put out a glass of juice for these guys but I was too busy working on the quilt to stop for pictures.

Tomorrow after church I have to take part in a special music practice,  then return home for more quilting.

My fingers are getting rather sore. I have a thin rubber thimble that helps  ... if I remember to wear it. Usually I have to stab my fingers a few times before hunting it up.

A good night's sleep and a break tomorrow morning are going to help even more.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tokyo Dome ... a few final observations part 8

I have already mentioned the spiders and cats that got plenty of wall space at the Tokyo Dome Quilt show. There was one other observation I have thought to mention, and that is the use of fabric printed with text.

This quilt, note the title was in English, was called "Dear daddy".

It was a Corporate Award winner and made by Tomoko Aida.

In the center are piles of letters and the surrounding blocks are post boxes in an assortment of styles.

You can see the cleverly added postmarks.

Below is a closer view of the center area.

Ans another view showing a post box....

This quilter was not afraid to use English text.

Here are some more details from quilts you have already seen.



Well, I guess you get the idea and I don't have to show you all the pictures in my file. Needless to say, every category of quilts included some with fabric containing English text.

And, even in the shops selling fabric, there were plenty of selections of English text. 

For an "International" quilt show where hardly any information can be found with Roman lettering, there was no shortage to view.

And, though I have no shortage of fabric myself ... in fact, I will have to live to two hundred to use up all I have ... I did make one small purchase ....

Well, it kinda shouted at me as I was passing ... 
A little birthday pillow for my cat-loving dog?  Well, no, but I do have something in mind.

The Gala is only about two weeks away and there is way too much left to do. Any other work I do will have to fall into the take-along category.

Besides, after the first picture, my computer stopped letting my put writing next to the pictures. Rather than frustrate myself further or waste more time trying to figure it out, I'd better get back to the Gala quilt. Do you think this might be a hidden message????

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tokyo Dome part 7 ... a few more things that caught my eye

As with all Tokyo Dome shows, there was a theme, this year, "Moomin" characters. There were wonderful little quilted wall-hangings very closely resembling the book illustrations.

Ms Kuroha had a large display area that included her earlier quilts, an exhibit of a loom and thread dyed for kasuri weaving,

and in the midst, Kuroha-san, herself, (all day, every day, speaking with her many fans.

It was impossible to get close enough to see or hear her.
I have seen her at other quilt shows and she is a very engaging quilter.

Another great exhibit was a "Junior" category. Groups of Junior high quilters participated and there were all degrees of creativity, as you might imagine. There was also a section in that exhibit where teachers were engaging young children in a fabric art project.

There has been a Junior category for many years but this is the first time it became one of the show features. Not a bad way to encourage the next generation of quilters. (I was given the pattern for the kid's project to bring home to my granddaughter).

Of course I took pictures of these exhibits but Queeniepatch has already made much better posts than I might do on these. If you haven't checked out her posts, you need to rush right over there.
There was also a wonderful exhibit of Swedish embroidery where no photos were allowed.

 This fine quilt caught my eye and must have caught a few others because it won a corporate award.

This "Piling up Flowers" is the creation of Akemi Sugiyama.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Tokyo Dome part 6

Are you  ready for something more colorful?

The quilters among the well-known group certainly weren't afraid to use lots of color.

This quilt, "To Hana"
is the work of Yoshiko Fujita.

Here is some more red...

"Flowers in a Red Room"
by Keiko Miyauchi.

This is "Red Kitchen"

by Ito-san

Now adding a bit more color to the red, here is a "Mola"

Roughly translated "The Dinosaurs have Returned"

by Shizuko Yabe.

This quilt won a "special award", as did the one above.

Another with lots of red tones is
"Iroha maple leaves"

This quilt by Reiko Watnabe was a award winner in the "Wa" category.

Chieko Akada created this quilt of


Fireworks ...
From the original design category.

This original design quilt is titled

"Happiness" and was created by Yakushiji-san.

It had a good spot for viewing on an outer partition.
222 x 200 cm. so those were lots of tiny pieces!

Speaking of tiny pieces ... here is "Fantasy Land by  TadakoNagasawa?, another original.

Another original design is this one

"Mysterious Arrows", by Yoshida-san

Though red was a popular color, there were plenty of mixes too.

Roughly translated, "The Milky-way towards it's fall"

This original design by Kikuchi-san

This "Summer Night Fireworks"

won a "Corporate Award" and is made by a Chinese quilter.

I have no idea how "Cho" is read in Chinese.

It was in the Original category.

Just look at the sparkle in this detail!
Another with the colors shown off by a black background ...

And another winner of a Corporate Award,

"Applique" by Ezawa-san

Another award winner and also in black is "Starry sky in Sydney"

by Sanae Shitmomura .

Also an original design quilt,

"Spool Flower"

Can you find the spools in this quilt?
They are almost hidden by all the flowers.

Miwako Yamai Is the quilter.

"A Dream Come True"

by Katsumi Kinoshita.

"A Fragment of Memory"

This quilt by Motoko Akaike.

"Sparkling Quilt" by Nakazawa-san

The detail does show the sparkles.(Machine quilted with sparkly thread).

I still have some pictures I want to share but the Gala quilt is waiting.

I thought maybe the sun would come out and warm my third floor room but it doesn't look like that is going to happen .... SO.....

I will add another layer and get back to work!
Enjoy a touch of color!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

More Tokyo Dome show

Are you getting tired of this show? I have hardly begun to scratch the surface.
There were so many quilts that caught my eye.

I have only been to one quilt show in the States, and though I saw a lot of creative quilts, I also saw many quilts made from patterns I had seen in magazines or on other blogs. I have to say that other than the partnership quilt blocks, most quilts were much more the creation of the quilter.

Many quilters used these rather quiet colors such as in this "traditional" quilt ,

"Spring Breeze" by Ishihara-san.

This has a few bright colors but the basic tones are quiet.

By Tomoko Matsuno.

"Bloom" By Harumi Okawa

What a lot of work in each of the borders, let alone the center picture.

"My Garden"

by Masae Utsunomiya.

The title of this is "Pyrotechnics "

But those look like the quietest fireworks I have ever seen.

The designer and quilter is
Chieko Ishizue.

The lower half was in the shadow of the opposing wall.
(Unfortunately there were quite a few poorly lit quilts)

Roughly translated ...

This quilt by Sachiko Chiba.

(Yes, I might long to make a quilt like this)!

This "White Amaryllis"
is the creation of Kiyomi Takahashi.

Note the trapunto setting off those beautiful flower arrangements!

Another quiet quilt,

"Gift of Spring Breeze"
by Takako Nakamura.

Just look at the detail in the applique and quilting!

"L'espoire" by Sumiko Tachibana

And a detail shows there are bright colors but they don't take over the quilt.

"Mille Fleur" (The title was in katakana but that doesn't help me much)

This is by Kyoko Takemoto. and another detail to enjoy!

These were all from the "Traditional" category. 
Even the "Original" quilts had a few neutral toned quilts.

This "Twilight Scene" (roughly translated) is by Ishinami-san.

Another "Original" ... "Snowy Day" by Ando-san

Well, this is a lot of calming eye-candy to view. There were plenty of colorful quilts ... still on my camera and waiting for another post.

The Gala quilt is basted and waiting beside me ... with a DEADLINE ... so I'd better stop playing with my lap-top and get down to quilting.