Friday, August 28, 2020

A quick finish

Just a little over three weeks from start to finish, this must be one of the quickest quilts in the collection.  It was on August second that our congregation voted on the choice of a new associate pastor. and the following day I heard he had a two year old son they were thinking of sending to a Japanese pre-school so he could learn Japanese.

That gave me the idea of the I-Spy. The basting went well on the 18th, even though the room was very hot and humid. Because I used #60 thinsulate, it rolled out smoothly over the flimsy back with all seams lying nicely. The "gifted" backing was just the right width, so didn't need to be pieced. I pin basted it and when I flipped it over, everything was fine and no adjustment needed.

Carrying things back, arms full, I slipped on the stairs at the bottom and hit my knee and toe.
Ouch! The knee wasn't that bad but I got out an ice pack for my toe. By the middle of the afternoon, though I was pretty sure it was not broken, I decided to go to the clinic for a check.

No, it wasn't broken this time. Actually it had been broken in the past and grown back stronger than before. Still, it was getting swollen and the color was spreading over the whole foot,
They put a cast on it and it has been getting regular ultrasonic treatment daily. The purple color has spread over a good part of the foot and all the toes. The cast made walking easier and has now been removed.

I have had plenty of time to sit and quilt. The blocks are all quilted in the ditch. Thinsulate will not shift as it is made for wearables, so within four inches is enough. I quilted the bamboo print in the border along most of the white lines. It gives it a nice texture.

The finished size is 49" x 59", good size to toss over a napping child but really not enough to tuck in on a single bed. I had been thinking something to toss over the back of a sofa, ready to play or use.

I still have the game to work on and have been making a list of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and numbers that can be combined in a game. I had been thinking of cards, but another idea might be a notebook with folded pages having english on one side and japanese on the other.  With restrictions on travel, it will be some time before this quilt can meet up with its new owners.

Now I am dithering over what to work on next. The houses are gathering into neighborhoods and the log cabin is waiting for decisions as to what it wants to become. Down the road is a big girl quilt for my eldest granddaughter. (I have an idea for a Hawaiian quilt ... her choice ... but would like to get a large piece of fabric, dyed from yellow to blue. I have seen that in some Hawaiian quilts and think it would be nice for the design.) I also need to put together a kotatsu cover for Norie's family and I have Marie's name for a Christmas gift. 

I know I am getting more done while in lockdown, but my motivation has declined in the heat and humidity. I began turning on the AC in the afternoons a few weeks ago but the electric bill shot up to the moon this month. Good thing I'm not made of butter!

Monday, August 17, 2020

A few weeks gone

The first Sunday this month, after our livestreamed church service, a congregational meeting was held on zoom to vote on the pastoral search committee choice for a new associate pastor.
The ballots were sent to our email which took some time, and we had until 5:pm to respond. I was away from home when the time was near  but luckily I was with my daughter who helped me to first get my mail into my call phone, and then vote. (no small task, as I had not been able to access my email on my device for years.)

The results were declared at a second zoom meeting at 7:pm. Over the past few weeks we have been able to learn more about our next pastor, though it may be a while until he and his family can come to Tokyo.  A team has been set up to assist the family when they do arrive. There was some mention of their two-year-old son learning Japanese. I thought right away of an I-Spy quilt, and dug out my tin of four-inch blocks. Last night I put the outer border on this quilt and now am thinking of where I can go to get this basted and ready to quilt. I have yet to check my supply of batting. I have some that was "gifted" but know nothing about what type it is. I may need to go shopping if I need more thinsulate but need to know if the store has a supply before setting out in the heat on a shopping trip.

So, this is what I have so far. The bamboo border is left-overs from my youngest grandson's quilt border. I thought that would be fitting for the family's Japan adventure. I used a few one and two inch  prints to make my scraps fit. I have some light violet binding and enough solid pale blue for the backing.
All I will need is space to lay it out for a few hours of basting. Maybe with the morning breeze I should see if there is enough floor space that is cool enough not to  drip sweat all over it while working.
Meanwhile I am thinking of creating a game with cards ... English on one side and Japanese on the other ... that they could draw with the Japanese side up and turn over to check if they found it. Maybe a set with colors or numbers or verbs or animal names. Well, I still have time ... lots of ot ... to work on the final plans.  Any ideas welcome

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Another day down

Thursday mornings are my "park" day.
Last week was missed because of rain, though I have gone to the park when rain is rather light.

I take with me one of the bags that was used for my Monday morning onigiri delivery, and bring it home filled with weeds.

Park maintenance in my area ... and also in the last place I lived ... is very strange. They plant very fine grass, the kind one might see on a golf course. This grass grows by runners rather than going to seed.

The gardners come every other day or so and rake the leaves. Two guys mostly standing and talking, one with a bamboo broom and the other with a dustpan. They don't seem to throw out the leaves, but pile them up at the base of a tree.
About twice in the summer, they come with a weed whacker and cut all the grass, spreading the weed seeds all over. In all these years, I have never seen one gardner bend over and pull a weed.

The Thursday park has the good grass, but it has been taken over by weeds. This grass is still young, about a foot tall, but beginning to form weeds. Here I have pulled the front section of  a plot to give the good grass an equal chance.

Here is the other side of the grassy hill. The weeds were cut here once a few weeks ago.

The hedge is about three feet high, so those weeds are big enough to see and pull.

This is the left front of the park along the street.

Three years ago it was all knee-high weeds.
Last fall, my cub scouts came for a community service project and pulled all the weeds in this area.

I give it a "once over" each week but very few weeds have come back and, with the nice grass, which I was able to bring back by planting runners, the weeds are very easy to spot.

This is the right front of the park which was also knee-high weeds a few years ago. The bare area was a trash collection spot until last year.

All the grass around the sign was planted three years ago and toward the street are runners that have been added since this spring.

A few of the runners planted in the past month are beginning to take hold.

The biggest challenge now might be the gardeners with their bamboo rakes uncovering the grass roots.

This area has some plants that come up from small bulbs while the good grass is dormant. They don't seem to bother the grass at all.

This park was built with  water coming out from the top of the hill behind the hedges, running down a concrete path into a shallow pond with stepping stones and a small sculpture, then being pumped back to the top from the bottom drain.

I don't know whose idea this was, but for some reason it did not last more than a year or two. Maybe kids fell in the water or parents were afraid they might. Now the water just sits below the grate at the bottom and breeds mosquitoes. My nickname for this site is "Mosquito Park". The only people who I have seen here are truck drivers and construction workers coming to use the toilet, guys sitting on one of the rock seats to smoke, and people sometimes cutting through to the back road. Since it is along the road leading to a school, sometimes I see mothers dragging their kids out of the dry pond.

Here is one of the trees that gets the sweepings.

This is the park closest to my home. It seems the rotting leaves under the tree have made good compost for growing weeds ... and I see those weeds now creeping out into the grass.

This afternoon I spent three hours or more visiting the Toyota dealer to have my car inspected.
The car goes in every year at this time for a check up, and every three years that means an inspection.
It is never a cheap event. I will be sent a sticker to place on my front window, indicating it is in good running order. That is the way things are here in Japan.
Though it is expensive to own a car, it means the cars around you on the road are all in good working order.

Though there is a dealer within walking distance of my home, I have used this place about half an hour's drive to where we lived when I bought the car. They know me and they know my car. If there is anything to discuss, they call Norie and explain it to her. Last fall, when I went to have the break pads replaced, they gifted me a miniature potted rose. This morning, as I went out to the car park, I noticed that little rose had two buds, one beginning to open.

As to quilting ... While I was sitting in their over-cooled waiting room with a cup if iced coffee and a cookie, I managed to piece 8 new houses for my Coronaville. I had been thinking of making a runner for my coffee table, but now with close to 100 houses, it is looking like something a bit larger. (and the days continue to be piling up).

Well, time to hit the shower and call it a day.