Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Tokyo Dome spin-off

In one of Tanya's earlier posts, she introduced Fumiko Nakayama with some lovely pictures.

Nakayama-sensei is known for her Mola-style quilting.

Though from, I believe, Kyoto, her classes are taught around Japan and I met some of her deshi from both Kobe and Tokyo.

Several "Sensei" had special booths to show off their work and meet up with quilters curious about learning more.

 This was the quilt made by Nakayama-sensei in the exhibit set aside for teachers.

Title, "Flower the Macrocosm"

This is not a small wall quilt but quite large and full of colorful detail.

It has already been mentioned that the wallpaper in this section and the lighting with shadows did not set off the quilts to their best.

This quilt missed the shadow problem but the wallpaper hardly does much to set it off. Still, a lovely colorful piece of work!

In her booth, Sensei had several copies of books she had written on Mola and some demonstration pieces.
There was also a shop selling her things in the area where all the shops were located...
Among them fabrics and kits with instructions...
Not cheap!

Her demonstration piece showed the layers basted and then cut and needle turned.

As Tanya has mentioned, the three of us decided on a challenge of trying Mola and making something using that technique.

We had gone by the shop and looked over the kits, then decided to go it alone.

Now, do I think I can figure out how to do something like this?

I thought I might have a magazine or two with Mola designs for inspiration but I am yet to find them on my shelf and anything I could locate was all in Japanese.

Guess I really am on my own.

Well, I drew up a plan and traced it onto a piece of navy scrap fabric.
Then I made a sandwich like the one I had seen and basted it together.

Well, this is what I came up with...

On Tuesday afternoon, a day before the closing, I went back to the Tokyo Dome to see if I could get a few pictures without waiting for the crowds to move.

I stopped off at Nakayama-sansei's booth to ask her how to turn that yellow into borders, showing the red underneath.

Kindly, she did nor say, "you stupid fool, you are doing this all wrong!"
but she pulled out fabric and scissors and thread, giving me a one-on-one demonstration of putting the under fabric on first and turning that, then putting the top fabric in place and turning the top fabric, leaving a nice neat frame in each space.

She did not tell me to go and buy something from her shop and read the instructions but patiently showed me how I should have done it.

I have to admit I am quite impressed with the lesson I got and the patient friendly way it was delivered.

But, now I have a piece of yellow sun and I do not want to take it out and start over so....

Last night, after a busy day at school, with the cold wind rattling the windows,
I curled up on the sofa and attacked the problem head-on the "wrong" way.

With the navy stitches already in place, there isn't much room to turn the yellow under ... but there really isn't a very wide strip of yellow to begin with. The yellow rays are only about 3/8 of an inch in width.

I think I will have a bit of fun along with the frustration.

Meanwhile, the table runner for the conference speaker is now in the hands of it's new owner.

I finished off the spare pieces for a runner, now on my coffee table.

(being motivated to remove the Christmas/New Years one still in that spot).

As I was  thinking of my Mola and the Christmas present for Norie yet to begin and a whittling project I wanted to start this month ...

along comes the news that a member of our church choir is expecting a baby in MARCH!

Not a lot of time ... and I need to make a baby quilt for all the choir to sign.

Last night ... among other things ... I dug into my kid-friendly prints and pulled out a pile of pre-cut blocks.
Today I laid them out on the dog hair covered carpet and played around with possible arrangements for an I-Spy quilt ... (no time to gather alphabet  prints .. though mola letters might give me more experience.

Tonight I will present my plan to the choir president.

Here's to all my friends who use those things called "Patterns"!
My quilting seems to be just like my life... a bit backward, and definitely "Plan as you go".


  1. Wonderful to have some blocks to play with, ( for the baby quilt) and Mola, what a technique. I can see you will have lots of fun with this.

  2. Great! You have gone to the right place to learn how to make Mola. I will have to rely on the internet, but think I understand the basic idea of needle turning each layer in turn.
    Some Molas also have appliqu├ęd tiny triangles and slits with a multitude of colours underneath. We will have to learn at least three things on this project. Are you turning that sun into your bag or is it only a piece to practice on?
    You have been productive with the runners, and have your hands full for the future, too, now with that extra emergency quilt for March.
    Knowing you, you will juggle all these projects without dropping a single one!

  3. That Mola looks hard to me. I also need to make a baby quilt, and the shower is Feb 25th. Not sure it will be ready, since I haven't even thought about it till a few days ago.

  4. Oh Julie!!! Your Mola is doing just wonderfully!!! I am so impressed!!! I went ahead and ordered Mrs. nakayama's book and am still trying to figure out an original pattern to work on. My goodness! If you are at this stage on February 2, what will you do for the rest of the year!!!

  5. Those are beautiful quilts and I think you are doing a beautiful job on your sun.
    I also love how the runner came out, I assume she loved it.
    The baby quilt sounds nice and I know you will come up with the perfect design.
    I tend to do better when I don't use a pattern or think too much;)


  6. The quilt you have shown that was on display is stunning. The detail must have been wonderful.
    I like seeing your attempts at Mola and how lovely to have a personal demonstration. I think your sun looks great. And how good is it to have your own table runner to use too. Looks lovely.
    Good luck with all the busy plans that have come your way.

  7. Love your mola!! I'm with Tanya - if you're doing that already - what will you do for the rest of the year!!! - ;))

  8. I like your Mola sun! Great design. I like looking at Mola quilt but not quite fun of those colours. But very interested to do it some day.

  9. I love the way the sun is coming along - and how nicely you received help for it. It certainly is eye catching. I'm always marveling at all that you get done - and without a machine.