Friday, June 29, 2018


When I was just a little kid, I learned a song that has somehow stuck in my head. It goes like this ...

It is my joy in life to find, at every turning of the road...
The strong arm of a comrade kind, to help me onward with my load.
And since I have no gold to give, and love alone must make amends,
My only prayer is, while I live, God make me worthy of my friends.

A stupid, left-handed, failure as a kid, my one great success has been picking out friends.

The load is sometimes frustrating ... like the blog comments not coming to my in-box ...
   But my left-handed quilting friend waved her magic wand in my direction and it was all fixed.
   Thank you Kitty!

Sometimes it is just too much to do at once ... scout stuff or onigiri delivery while I am away at camp... There, too, friends stepped up to lend a hand ... even at 5:am in the poring rain or in a rain-filled camp.

Then there are financial worries ... taxes and bills and things going bump in the night ...
but in addition to my wonderful kids (like picking friends, I did a good job picking kids too)
friends have stepped up to even the road.

And, sometimes it is just conversation with my quilting friends that fills the often quiet hours that sprang up when Paul died.

Today I celebrated such a day.
Our group used to be an active one  that met several times a month in the homes of members.

The International Quilters were from all over, many accompanying their spouses  on temporary postings to Tokyo and offering their spacious quarters for the group to meet.

Over the years, all but a few have left and others have aged out due to health issues. Today was special to welcome back a long-time member we had not seen for years. We played "catch up" over a lunch and coffee (and a piece of rhubarb pie provided by our hostess, Suzanne standing beside me) What fun to turn back the clock and get caught up.

My friend, Kuraishi-sensei, in front on the right, is having a quilt show in the fall. She has asked me to contribute my "Lucy Boston" quilts. Yesterday I finished sewing a sleeve on the big quilt and took it to the park for a photo-op, as it was made before the digital camera days.

Oh my, I took a step ladder to hang it on the fence but had to hang it sideways because there was no part of the fence tall enough. Seen here flapping in the wind, I began to worry that it would be way too big for my friend's show and gave her a call.
Today she assured me that the Garden Gallery that will host the show has very high ceilings and size will be no problem.

In addition, she would also like to display my first attempt at this pattern.

I had to explain my quilt titles ... this one being "Star Crossed" ... as in star-crossed lover ... when you meet a pattern and fate has it that you pull out your notebook and sketch it down because it calls to you to try it ....

And then "Double Crossed" .... because you are doomed to make it again. (after swearing that all those little set-in seams were never again)

So, thin is a day I walk home from the bus, with the little song circling over and over in my head.

God had indeed blessed me with the best of friends and now will hear my plea to be made worthy.

Thank you, my many blogging friends who add so much to my days in kind comments (I can now see) and inspiration that keeps me motivated.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Yokohama quilt show wrap-up

There were a few quilts by featured artists, this one by Shizuko Kuroha. who had an exhibit of log cabin quilts.

Her exhibit was only posted in Japanese so I am not sure if she is the maker of these three quilts. The first of kasuri fabric is one of her signature techniques.

This was also part of her area exhibit, an interesting way to arrange log cabin blocks, and nice quilting.

Now a few more random pictures...

This was a lovely "Cathedral Window" quilt made by Chizuko Otsuka, I think  in the traditional class.

This is a close up.

The quilt was too big to get it all  into my camera frame.

This technique, though one I have used in the past, was very unusual in the use of multiple fabrics.

There fancy flowers are by Shigeko Inoue ... a lot of fine piecing and quilting...

Very lovely variety of flower blocks and lots of bunnies ... made by Kyoko Okumura.

I was so happy to run into a long-time quilting friend,
Chikako Ueno, who belongs to a group that picks a theme each year and displays picture quilts from members and overseas groups they have connected with.

some of the lovely colorful quilts ....

                                       and a few more ....

some of the stalls....

and more ...

Lots to see and enjoy.
I am very much hoping this return to Yokohama will continue.

Having returned from camp in the rainy woods with barely enough voice to sing my tenor line ... due to a week of shouting instructions to knife-wielding scouts and hammering leather-workers,

I have yet to get back to my quilt border.

First on the agenda will be adding a hanging sleeve to this big quilt that has been invited to attend a show held by my friend Kurashi-sensei.

"Double-crossed" was my second try at a Lucy Boston quilt. After making this one, I saw her original for a second time since it caught my attention at a British fair many years ago. I noticed then, that the draft I had made used much smaller pieces than the original. Maybe I will have to re-visit this again some day with larger blocks. The use of fussy-cuts to create designs can be very addictive.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Yokohama quilt festival #4

There were a number of special featured quilters at this show.

One of the featured quilt artists was Danny Amazonas.

These were all what I would call "Art Quilts".

Some were bits and pieces of fabrics, cut, fused, and top-stitched.

Some were pieced.

Here is a close-up of a chin and neck area. Title, Mother and Child.

Lots of little scraps in this one.

This one named "Star I"

this one pieced ... named "Breeze I"
There was one of a group of dogs and an elephant, and a child.
Maybe you have seen his work before but if not, this should give you an idea.

Another featured quilter was Anna Dolanyi from Hungary "with 50 quilters". 
These were part of that exhibit 

Many items were in blue and white with Hungarian motifs.
This one named "Applique from Buzsak" by Molnar Janosne.

some scenery...

"Blue and White Flowerwreath" Bogdan Erzsebet-Szabo Miklosne.

"Stove in Embroidery" Csillaghegyi Oltogetok.

"Ancentress" Jofoldine Fejes Edit.

"Little Peacock" Gelencserne Lazarovits Klara.

"Hungarian Jugs" Csillaghegyi Oltogetok.

And a few quilts by other well known quilters, 
This one by Yoko Saito

There are still a few more pictures in my camera to share. 
One exhibit was titled in Japanese ... roughly translated "The thing I Like".
I recognised a quilt by Ms. Kuroha but other names were all in Japanese. 

My apologies to anyone to whom I may not respond to comments. With this change by blogger, the comments no longer come to my e-mail and after trying a number of suggestions, I have not been able to answer other than by going back to the comment on the post. As you may know, all the comments one gets do not come at the same time or even on the same day. That means taking lots of time to go back over former posts to check. I tried making a comment and then checking the little box to get comments but that did not work. About time I had a visit from my guru son. 

Meantime I will be out in the woods with the Scouts. No internet connection there. Knives ... leatherwork ... and lots of nature. The silkworms ... all but six of them ... have begun their cocoons.
That figures now that mulberry leaves will be easier to find, and I won't need to gather them any more.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Yokohama Quilt Festival #3

One category of the quilt contest was "Original".

Looking through these, I have a hard time figuring out the difference between these and the "Traditional" quilts. I am also wondering if there was a theme of flowers behind the contest, as certainly there were more flowers than anything else.

A number of those in this category were small and medium wall hangings. This one was made by Akemi Tajima.

Another hanging by Yukiko Ishizuka.

A medium sized hanging by Noriko Endo

A full sized quilt entitled "Dog Garden", by Ritsuko Shino.

Entitled "For You Arigato" (Thank You) by Yoshiko Sakai.

Roughly translated, "Flower Field" by Tomoko Kawahake.

Kazuko Yamada has put a lot of detail and quilting stitches into this one!

a close-up view...

Teruko Ono made this one.

Another small hanging by Fumiko Kitabatake, entitled "Gift".

This hydrangea hanging I photographed with the sign because it was small,
but now the writing is too small for me to read.

And the last one seems to have one some kind of prize...

I think the name is Etsuko Iitaka.

It was hard enough to grab a photo of the whole thing without heads and elbows and shoulders included, as there were many people checking out the details.

Lots of tiny applique in this quilt!

Most of my pictures subjects were hand-work, both stitching and quilting, so I may have missed a few. Hope you found some inspiration here. I know I did.

I think I need a change of plans

Thinking that with all these square blocks, the border needed something curvy like feathers, I looked through my templates. Of course, there was nothing that would work on a four-inch strip ...
... so, I drafted out a pattern and cut a template from plastic.
The plan was, to start in the corners and work to the center of each border.

After quilting  the first corner, I am thinking a whole border of feathers would be a big waste of time.
This batik is better than camouflage for hiding stitches.

I think I may go back to my stencil collection and join the corner feathers with a cable ... maybe putting one of these feather designs at the center of each side ... if the cables don't link up neatly.
I sure don't want to start un-stitching what is already in place.

The next four days are going to be super-busy with a juggling of schedules ... scouting stuff ... school stuff ... choir stuff ... and feeding these silkworms who managed to gobble up a dozen large leaves by the time I had finished my first cup of coffee.
I read all the busy stuff my blogging friends are getting done and wonder how they do it! Am I missing something?

Monday, June 4, 2018

Yokohama Quilt Festival #2

One section of the show exhibited contest quilts. Here are a few of those in the "Traditional" category that attracted my attention.

Titled, "Bara no Kuni" Rose country,  made by Sanae Kobayashi

Made by Shigemi Furuta

"Hana" (Flowers) by Yasuko Goto

"Hana no Sonnet" by Yoshie Mizukoshi

by Fusa Nomura

Another flower theme quilt. This one by Yoshiko Taniguchi

"Flower Star" This is an amazing combination of different blocks, made by Toshiko Nakamura.

"Hana no Kazeguruma" or Flower Pinwheel, by Reiko Hatakeyama.

Another flower sampler, this one by Kayomi Tamai.

Spring symphony ... by Harumi Asada

"Hexagon no Naka de" (Inside the hexagon)  by Yoko Ozaki
Flowers seemed to be a big part of many "traditional" quilts.

Life has been getting busier and busier with only a few rows of quilting getting done from time to time.

On Sunday I will attend a special Court of Honor, to be held at the U.S. Ambassador's residence.

One of the Scouts receiving his Eagle rank is one of my former cub scouts, so I carved him a wooden eagle neckerchief slide to celebrate.

After writing a note to go with it, I looked around for a small box to put it in ...
but the last box I had went a week ago with a slide carved for my younger sister's grandson who had met the"Cubmaster's Challenge" by completing his final Arrow of Light award, doing every requirement in the book.

Then, I recalled some fabric that came to me from my Blogging friend, Cheryl. What better than a fancy pouch with scouting symbols to hold the gift? Thank You, friend!