Wednesday, May 27, 2020


For weeks now, I have been seeing a notice saying "Try the new blogger". It has taken me forever to keep up with the changes blogger keeps making and so I have ignored that click spot.

Yesterday, when I logged on, there was a message saying the "new blogger" was going to take over in the coming month, so I decided to at least check it out. Well, that got me distracted and I wasted time looking for things that I might need for writing a post. In the end, I reverted back to the "Old" blogger and shut the computer.

Well, I really don't have a lot to post as I am slowly quilting my feedsack quilt ... mostly in the ditch where it is not going to show much.
Other time is spent tending silkworms and hunting for mulberry leaves to feed them, when I am not zooming and skypeing, and facetiming, and attending gotomeetings. I really needed a bit of handwork to do while at these meetings, and my bags of scraps came out because while checking what my blogging friends are up to, I came across the perfect bit of inspiration on Teresa's "Stitchin' Friends" blog... a corona village with a house representing each day of shutdown.

These little 4"x 3" houses might make a nice table runner or a border for a runner depending on how many days of shutdown they represent.

Or laid out in this topsy turvy way, and adding a one inch square in the middle or sashing, there are more possibilities.  They sure don't take as long to sew by hand as it does to mark and cut the scraps.

Of course I might be spending my time tidying up my messy room ... but then, it just gets messy right away again. With a bit of sewing instead, I have something to show for the time and a reminder of where I have been since mid February.

Thanks, Teresa, for your inspiration. (and an excuse not to do cleaning). Did you find the haunted house? Hopefully I will not celebrate my Halloween birthday still on lockdown.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

A finish at last

Over the weekend, I finished the last stitches in the binding, and Monday Norie took this picture of the quilt on the park fence. My plan is to give this to the church to raffle or auction off to raise money for the library ... what may be needed to get it back up and running ... and the rest to the homeless mission.

The last quilts with this block were quilted with big stitch - light on dark and dark on light with sashiko thread. Because the backing of this one was all white, I decided to quilt butterflies in the block side pieces. I used dark thread on the very light blocks and light on the darker areas. I liked the idea of butterflies in the garden of floral prints and it is the symbol for the "hidden Christians".  I made a stencil for the small vine in the inner border and used linked hearts for the outer border with the idea we are all tied together by the love of God.

I picked blue for the binding, as it matched the blue in the border print. Maybe I should have chosen a darker rose, but I didn't want the quilt to look too "girly". Anyway, It is ready to go to the church once the new normal arrives.

Speaking of church, we were asked to take a picture of out communion table and send it to the church website. An assortment of pictures were showed this past Sunday during the organ piece.

As one might notice,  I enjoyed some red wine ... and the bread here was made by my daughter. Norie.
The lovely runner on my coffee table was made for me by Tanya Watanabe. It makes me happy everytime I sit beside it
You may notice my guests in the background ... plenty of silkworms. They have all moved up to larger containers over this past week.

Days go by with slight changes in schedule. Monday homeless is the same except what I am delivering now is crackers rather than onigiri. Tuesday Sermon Lab is on Zoom. I can do that without leaving home. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, there is a community meeting. We have been joined by people in the states who were once members and a lady who has never been to the church in person but has been attending since services became live streamed.

Last night was training to join the virtual choir ... not sure I can do it but if I can get earphones at the 100 yen shop, I will try. Tonight, My cub scouts will have a campout. They have been preparing for the last few weeks for campfire entertainment. It should be fun. Maybe more so than the Scout Board training coming up on Sunday ... as a result of the training team meeting last Saturday. Honestly, I am beginning to feel rather zoomed out!

Every day I sweep our street from one end to the other. We have a number of very messy trees dropping leaves, flowers, and seeds parts. Between sweeping and pulling weeds in the park, I contribute several large bags to the trash collection. I did notice that, with people wearing masks, the number of cigarette butts I sweep up has lessened lately.

On the other hand, Thursday is collection day for glass bottles, cans, and pet bottles.

Normally, that square blue folding net container is set out in the morning. The neighborhood members are to remove the lids (those go into the "pura" that is collected on Fridays), and squash the bottle, putting it in the net container.

I did notice the squashing rule is less met these days, but....

Looking up the street, even if those bottles were crushed, there are now way too many .

It is interesting that the numbers have increased to so much.

Of course people are staying home and drinking there.
I don't even remember when I last bought a drink in a pet bottle. I get drinks like milk or yoghurt or juice in paper cartons that can be washed, flattened and recycled.

I carry my own nylon shopping bag. I use the bags left from onigiri delivery for "Pura" plastic from all kinds of wrappers, the fastest to fill up maybe twice a month to the pick-up-site.
Paper, cardboard, and milk cartons are recycled on Fridays. (for me, once a month or less). and burnable trash and garbage on Wednesday and Saturday. I put the bag of weeds out then but a lot are composted and the wastepaper basket small stuff like sewing scraps fills the slowest of all along with unburnable maybe once every two months if that much.

I wonder if the change in trash has changed in other places as well. I wonder if people stuck at home are drinking more. I do notice my coffee is going faster now that I am home more.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Almost there..

I have turned the last corner while quilting the border on the floral quilt. Today I walked into town to the next station hoping to do some shopping for dinner items. Sadly the store was out of anything I needed.
I took a quick trip around the corner to the little sewing shop and was glad to see it opened. I went to the bias tape section. I found some nice blue that matches the blue in the outer border print. I will be all ready to take the next step this weekend when the border is finished.

It is that time of year for tending silkworms. There are many more than I have ever had in years before, and I have managed to locate a few more mulberry trees in the area.

They can turn leaves to lace in no time.

I have been experimenting with putting five critters out on a young tree in the garden. I just wanted to see how long they can survive in nature. One of the five dropped down by a silk thread to a lower plant. It was a Kerria bush ... not edible material, and after three days, expired. The others remained on the leaves at the end of the branch and went through another instar. There was a big lot of rain and the four made it through, but now another one has left the group.

As my paper diary has filled to the last page, I have begun a second book with photographs and descriptions.  I happened to notice that my finished mandala never got photographed with the binding added. That was way back in September of last year. Today, with a bit of sun, I took a photo on the fence in the park so I could add the record to my diary.

Here is how it came out. Whether walking a real labyrinth or following the winding trail with one's finger, we are led to the center. As in life, patiently putting one foot in front of the other, and trusting in a deeper process that takes us home. Centered and secure.

The buttons are points on the native American Medicine Wheel. The points are different for different people and tribes, but following each path to the center is a way to look at any situation from different angles and points of view. In this time of lockdown, it is nice to have an alternative to worry and frustration.

Zoom and Skype and go to meetings seem to grab my days. It is fun getting together with the kids. Tonight was an Eagle Scout board of review. There is a virtual birthday party coming up soon and some scout training plus a community gathering.  All this virtual stuff makes me appreciate the real person to person contacts all the more.