Tuesday, May 3, 2016

creative problem solving

Here we are in May, and in Japan, the middle of "Golden Week".

With a number of holidays falling here and there, mixed with weekends, it makes one long week of days off from work and school.

Of course, when all help is on holiday, it is not a very good week to have problems.

The first problem was my wi-fi.
Suddenly, with no warning, all connections were shut off.
This caused for a very quiet week because my telephone line is also connected to that server.

I was able to get in touch with daughter Norie and she called the server to find out I will have to re-apply and wait anywhere from a week to a month or two.

I can see some of my e-mail on my cell phone but many of those I can not open and it is not very handy to text on that little screen.
Well, my young neighbor to the rescue. He told Norie I could piggy-back off his server and gave her the password.  So... after five frustrating days ... I am back on line ... kind-of.

The server-on-loan is very very SLOW. It is very true that one does not realize what is important until it is gone. After all, I was able to live over half my life without the internet or even a computer.

Anyway, I had plenty of time for other things ... keeping busy to aid my frustration. The last few days have been sunny and I was able to wash and put away my warm sweatsuits. I put my sleeping bag out in the blustery balcony to air and then packed it up for the season.

In the winter my greenhouse is quite cold so I sleep in a sleeping bag with a down comforter over top and blankets as needed. Now it was time to take out my quilts so I pulled out the one in the picture above to spread on my futon.

Many years ago, I taught classes in "Quilt-as-you-go" for the women's society at church and the Tokyo American club. This quilt was one of the demonstration quilts made in 1994 and 1995.
Since these classes were mostly for foreigners, I chose Japanese patterns which I drafted into 12-inch blocks. There was a series of 9 classes, beginning with choosing fabrics and maps of where to look for and buy fabric, hand piecing, applique, adding sashing and preparing for quilting, quilting and couching, joining blocks, adding borders, then making and adding and turning binding.

The students had patterns for anything from a table runner to a wall quilt to a full size bed cover and could decide how much time they wanted to spend to make something using the techniques. (I think there were a few runners, a few baby quilts, and many full sized bed quilts finished. )

Well, this quilt is still in pretty good shape considering the years of use, but this morning in the light of day, I found the places sewed with purple thread are all coming apart.

I was not sure how the very slow connection would impact blogging so decided to take a picture of my mending challenge and give it a try.

Of course, while waiting for things to happen, I have sewed an entire block for the I-spy quilt.
I will also have to figure out if I can fix the couching as I had used a gold thread over a gold cord to add designs to some of the blocks, and that thread has not held up well. Some broken thread can be seen along the top edge of the floral fabric on the fan... so this will be the block I begin to fix.

After a night of rain, the sun is out. The wind is blasting all the plums off the tree, but otherwise this is about the quietest golden week I can remember. Maybe it was planned this way. Frustrations are falling away and problems are being taken care of. Gotta get creative if you walk in my shoes.


  1. That quilt is beautiful - love the colors - and I agree that it looks to be in pretty good shape considering it's over 20 years old. With your skill set, I'm sure that you'll be able to fix the blocks with some new thread and have it still looking good 20 years from now - ;))

  2. How very frustrating to be cut off like that. Yes, we don't realise how depended on wi-fi and servers we have become. Good to have good neighbours that will let you use their wifi.
    You take good care of your quilts, and so they last long. Isn't it interesting to see how an 'anicent' quilt deteriorates in stages; the purple thread was not as strong as the other colours.
    Parts of Tokyo is very crowded during Golden Week, other areas are truly deserted.
    Anywy, enjoy the GW!

  3. This quilt is absolutely beautiful Julie and I am sure you will be able to fix the damaged blocks !!!
    Not having Wifi , yes, it is now a problem..... so useful to connect with other people :)
    In France, too, the sun is here and I think I will take this opportunity to take rest on my terrasse stitching....:)
    Take care Julie :)

  4. That is a great quilt. I've never tried the quilt as you go method.

  5. That is such a beautiful quilt, you have such a gift with color selections and the overall balance in a quilt. I think I need to unplug more often, it gets distracting and I know when I go camping, I am just fine without it;)


  6. I do the same thing when we have slow WiFi. I click on a link and then spend the waiting time catching up on reading or sewing. It can be very frustrating especially when I'm trying to reply back and I'm not sure the message is going through. Which is why I have been off the computer more than on it.
    Beautiful quilt and I love the colors. I still have not tried the quilt-as-you-go. I should try it since I am limited on space.

  7. No wonder you have gone quiet. Poor you though. Hope they can sort you out much quicker. Love your Japanese quilt. Full pictures please, when you have time :)

  8. Wonderful quilt - repairs of any kind on a quilt are really trying, at best. I haven't noticed you not on the internet because I have been busy enjoying springtime that I've not been to read blogs for well over two weeks - but if I had been here I know I would have missed you. Glad you are back for a bit with help from your neighbor - and hope it all gets resolved quickly. Our weather has been wonderful - I have been sewing out on the deck and loving all the warm sunshine. Today is chilly - only about 55 but then back into the mid 70s and perfection for a good two weeks. I either will get a lot of sewing done on doll clothes (for a friend) or I'll sit and chat with neighbors and get absolutely nothing done - which is ok too.

  9. Sorry you are having trouble with the wifi. I couldn't connect when I was at my mother's house and had to walk across the lawn every morning to my brother's. I too often think that if I've lived without all this stuff all these years why is it so important to me now... I'd like to go the natural way but I've got to have a computer, wifi, sewing machine and now cell phone! Good of you to keep your hands busy.

  10. We rely so much on technology and electronics these days. In Australia, a major phone company went off line for a couple of days, it was reported that some people went to hospital with anxiety attacks because they could not access their mobile phones. Quilting wise, love your quilt.

  11. so beautiful, both colours and motif

  12. it is so hard when we gat used to having something .. internet that not only works .. but works FAST.. that it is hard to be without it xx Glad your neighbour has come to the rescue x You are keeping busy with out it though xx Hope the warm weather continues xx

  13. Isn't it a lovely time of year when the weather is warm enough to finally pack away the heavy bedding.
    It is lovely to see your quilt and read the story behind the making.

  14. Slow wifi is almost (almost) as frustrating as no wifi! Hope you get back on line soon. Your sampler quilt looks awesome, timeless really. I can imagine you were a great teacher to those 90's expat ladies.