Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Birthday Celebration

 I have to admit that Halloween has never been the best choice for a birthday.

When I was a kid, we could never sit through a whole meal without jumping up to answer the doorbell many times over.

It also meant all kinds of nicknames like Witchy, Batty, and Bones.

In Tokyo we used to live in a small community with about 30 houses built for foreigners and the neighborhood kids came trick-or-treating and often were joined by Japanese kids who knew about the possibilities of getting candy ... but basically that custom is not well known and Halloween is a time for dressing up in costumes and walking in parades.

I think many stores take advantage of the holiday. Sales people could be found in costume ... even in the fabric store where they had Halloween fabrics and items for sale. Flower shops ... grocery stores with American style pumpkins (Japanese ones are not for carving but sweet to eat and the color is a dark green) There are gourds like mini-pumpkins, toys and costumes and of course sweets.

Norie, Hiro, and Leia came for dinner and to spend the night. Leia and I had a cookie date for Saturday all set up.

I had seen one of Leia's school projects where she had arranged color tiles in an interesting pattern, so I pulled out my cut fabric tins ... the 2x2, 4x4, and 1x2 and 1x4. I thought Leia might enjoy arranging them in patches of 4 two inch and 1 4 inch blocks. Oh, nothing that simple ... this was a great math problem and after it was all laid out, she began to sew the pieces together.

You would never to know to look at the finished piece that it was done by a seven-year-old, The stitches were straight along the marked lines, about six or seven to the inch, and the corners met with precision.
I helped her join the rows together and she decided on a white cotton backing. She did not want the back turned to make a binding so we sewed the piece along the border and then turned it right-side-out.

Her plan is to use it for a luncheon mat and it needs to be thin enough to fold up in her lunch bag so no batting or quilting was needed.

While she was putting the finishing touches on the cookies, I hand stitched around the edge just inside of the border.

Here she is with the finished product.
I would like to be a mouse in the corner when she shows up at school with that.

And here is the cookie master with one tray left to decorate.

Lots of pumpkins, cats, witches, ghosts, owls, and moons.
Some of those cookie cutters I made from tuna cans back when her mother was into cookie decorating.

Now all is packed up and ready to take for sharing.

What a nice way to spend a birthday.... and as you may notice, I have learned a trick to get to my pictures. It is still not as convenient as my old laptop but I am happy ...

and even happier because my Daughter and family brought me a CD player that I can plug into my laptop and use to read my mother's diary which my brother had scanned and sent to me over a year ago.

Nothing like a distraction or two to set my quilting on hold....

I hope your Halloween is just as much fun.


  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY wishes ..( its still the morning of 31st here xx).. how wonderful to have family come to spend time x AND how wonderful that your granddaughter has made her own mat xx Glad you worked out how to share your photos in time for us to share your happy time x

  2. Happy Birthday Julie! What a fabulous thing to teach Leia to piece. She did a beautiful job and has the satisfaction of something finished and useful.

  3. Happy Birthday Dear Julie, hoping you spend a wonderful day with your beloved family !
    Thank you so much for sharing so nice photos with us of your familly : it is really great to see you in person.
    Here, in Bordeaux, in the South-west of France, we don't cdelebrate very much Halloween but I always like to see photos of this so special holiday.
    Wishing you and your family a wonderful week-end Julie :)

  4. Happy Birthday Julie. Your protege is really doing well. Glad you had such a great time with family

  5. Happy Birthday, dearest friend. You had a wonderful time with family, a mini qult all sewn, with patches paid out in precision. This is only the start for Leia, a clever seamstress, and with you by her side, who knows what will be next. And to know that the batting wasn't needed, very smart indeed. I like the layout of the blocks. Hugs.XXX And all many happy wishes to you.

  6. Happy Birthday! (it's still your birthday in the USA). Looks like your granddaughter is following in your footsteps. How great!

  7. How does it feel to have a clone? You and your granddaughter are two of a kind. Watching her emulate you and do such a good job in so short a time must have been a fabulous birthday present! Happy birthday from me, too.

  8. Happy Birthday, Julie !! What a wonderful way to spend the day. Leia is adorable, and obviously very talented in the art of needlework, just as you are. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. She will remember her first patchwork always. Thank you for the great photo of your lovely family.
    Best wishes for a wonderful year, and many more ! :-) - Marina and Daryl

  9. What a delightful birthday - and what fun that your darling granddaughter can sew with you - that is always fun. Seems she has inherited your craftiness. The cookies, as always, are wonderful. The diary sounds like it will be very interesting - what a treasure. Happy birthday dear friend.

  10. Many happy returns of the day!
    I come from a country where there is no Halloween tradition and I am amazed to see how the trend of dressing up and going trick-or-treating has grown here.
    Nice to see so many of your pictures on the blog, and with a disc reader attached to your airMac you can add many things., like audio books or photos stored on discs.

  11. Happy Birthday Julie!!
    For last ten years or so, Irish are importing Halloween back from States and it has become very Americanised. My husband tells me it wasn't like this at all in his days and even I can tell you it wasn't like this 15 years ago.

  12. Happy Birthday. It looks like lovely way to spend your day. Love seeing your grand daughter enjoying her sewing!!

  13. Happy Birthday! I don't know... A Halloween birthday means there are lots of people celebrating with you!

    Leia is a whiz with that needle! You have an quilt apprentice there! Or a patissier (sp?) Love the picture of you all!

  14. Happy Birthday! So glad you are inspiring your granddaughter to be creative . Have many more fun times with Leia & your family. Did Nikko get a cookie??

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