Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Work in progress

This morning I added the last row of houses to the border. I still have a lot of leftovers and am thinking a table runner might be a better way to use them than another border or on the backside.


My plan is to use the dark sky print in the outer border. I am now trying to decide whether to add a sashing in either the light or dark blues used in the inner sashing, or to add the border directly. Laying it out with the choices has not really helped me decide.

So ... what should I do now? Stop and tidy up my messy house while I wait for inspiration? Or maybe put some of the leftover houses together for a table runner...  Decisions, decisions, always decisions!

Sunday, October 25, 2020

A new week has begun

 When I came to Japan in the early 60s, hardly anyone had ever heard of Halloween.

For the first time I can remember, I could sit at the table and enjoy a birthday dinner without jumping up to answer the trick-or-treaters at the door.

It wasn't till our few years in New Jersey that my kids got to dress up in costumes.

When we came back to Japan, the company paid for a large western style house in "Tokugawa Village", a compound of about 40 western style houses in Mejiro, mostly rented by ex-pat families.

Many kept the trick or treating tradition, but except for a few Japanese families, the children coming to the door were just that small part of the international community.

Spring forward about 40 years, and things have changed. 

Young people in Japan seem to love to dress in costumes, and here was a great chance to justify that activity. Now it is not just an activity of a bunch of foreigners. These pictures were taken less than a week ago on a trip to the dentist.

This apartment building is in an area with a number of foreign embassies and residents and international schools. I don't know if foreigners live there, but for the past few years, the decorations have become more and more profuse.

The 100 yen shop about ten minutes walk away had Halloween items for sale out front before the end of September.

Last year, as I went for onigiri delivery in Shibuya, the streets and crosswalks were crammed with young adults celebrating in costume.

Since my delivery schedule falls at the end of a weekend, around 5:am, I will probably get a good view of the way things are going.
By the way, these young people don't seem much worried about the virus and maybe only a third are wearing masks, (and about half of those, on their chins).
There probably won't be a parade this year, but I'll bet there will be plenty of costumed dogs walking by our church. Halloween seems to be here to stay.

Sunday I delivered the Stewardship banner to church, as well as the I-Spy quilt made for the new pastor's family. I think they will be arriving very soon and it might be good to have something to play with while two weeks in quarantine, especially with a two-year-old to entertain.

Now I can go back to focus on my Coronaville.  I added a row of houses along the first border. Not a very clear picture but that row will be the next round ... three more sides to go. Then I will have to figure out where all the leftover houses will go. Another round? The backside? This is becoming a very interesting neighborhood. At least a few of them got their day in the sun.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020



After using the word "making", I got some messages stating the verse they are using is "doing". This afternoon I un-sewed the mak letters and added do. It seems a lot easier to un sew hand work than if I had fused it or sewed by machine. The balance isn't so good with a shorter word, but I think it will do.

I still have a bit of time and may decide to add some quilting in the "BEHOLD" area.  I embroidered       Is. 43 - 19 with blue pearl cotton, in the lower right corner. 

I have added the sleeve and put eye-screws in the dowel, so it will be ready to hang. Now... I'd better go shopping if I am going to have dinner ... and I can take out my little houses after I eat.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

On a roll

All the blocks are together, and the inner sashing has been added.
Now I will be lining up the row houses for the border.
And though this is calling out to me to have my attention, there are other axes to grind.

 The new stewardship banner is way behind time and I can dither no longer, so move aside, Coronaville and let me get to it.

The selected Bible verse is, Isaiah 43; 19, "Behold, I will do a new thing."

We have used a similar theme a few years ago when the fellowship hall was under renovation.

My thinking was a pair of hands, offering a sprouting seed.

The leaves will represent time, talents, and treasures.

I needed a background for the banner, and, instead of a solid print or a tye-dye which I have done before, I decided to piece the background out of light floral prints.

I am thinking I will embroider the hands in the center rather than applique them over the top. 

Then, I will not have to decide on a particular color for the hands. I can applique the soil and seed and leaves into the hands. 

Once that is done, I will decide the border and the placing of the words.

I am feeling some relief to finally get this going. Hopefully once on a roll, I will be able to concentrate on it until it is done.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Community gathering

       Today the last bit of sashing was added to the crazy blocks. I laid them out on the floor to arrange them, trying for a good balance of color and dark and light. Some of them I switched around and some only needed the blocks rotated. Looking at the photograph, I decided to rotate some in the second row. Now I think they are ready to be sewed together.

        Meanwhile, I have to come up with a new stewardship banner for this year. Our committee is very small and I am wishing for a few good thinkers to run my idea by, before starting with fabric. The biggest problem is, that I don't want to be rushed at the last minute. I was handed a bible verse ... quite like one we have used in the past.

Of course, now that the blocks are all prepared in order, it will be hard to ignore them while working on something else. I have not laid out the rest of the houses to figure out if I will have enough, but until these are sewed together, the next steps can wait ... and there will be more houses added because we are still rather confined to home.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Playing with blogger in the rain

      I guess the only way to overcome these obstacles is to start jumping.

    First things to jump over are the puddles, at we are having several days of rain. In the early morning I went out and swept up the leaves as usual. I didn't bother with my portable bin, but just picked up the leaves from the pile and put them in the bag. My bin-carrying hand was holding the umbrella.

     Then, as the rain let up a bit around noon, I stepped out to see what was up along the street, and found a small lake on the east side of the walk. this street has only been paved since the mid 70s and it has only been a few years since a sewer system was added, but that was only to small parts of the west side where property had been taken by the city when new houses were built. My side does have a few "drains" but those are the little holes in the sewer lids. Those, in the rain, are instantly clogged by leaves and, in this case, flowers from the sweet olive, leaving half the street under water. 

     Some areas one can get past without wading,  but a few put the whole street under water.

     One minute after removing the flowers clogging the drain, the petals were clogging it up again. This will go on until the rain, which is predicted to keep falling until Tuesday, stops filling the pond.

     I took out my portable bin and swept up some of the fallen flowers, hoping to clear some of the puddles for passers by. Those little flowers smelled so wonderful early in the week, but it sure would be nice if they could stay on the tree a bit longer.

    These bags are leftover from the onigiri delivery on Monday mornings, so they are not small. Two sweeping bins full is not a small amount. We shall see how long the the street stays de-laked.

Having down time has its benefits. 

The house blocks are getting sashing. I am thinking of a floral sashing between the row houses and the blocks. I have some tree print I can use to adjust the measurements in the border houses.

Mostly, I want to thank my blogging friends. We are all having challenges with new hoops to jump through, but I am so grateful for all the hints and helpful suggestions my blogging family have provided. Separated in time and space, yet so truly supportive. I could not ask for more. You are not only great quilters but great technical gurus and the  kind of friends everyone needs in these challenging times.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Time for an update

Not much of interest going on around here. As usual, I sweep the street every day from one end of our block to the corner and back. That is my morning exercise ... and sometimes when I get tired of just sitting, I go out for a second sweep. (or maybe a third) The burnable trash is collected twice a week and between sweeping and pulling weeds,  I usually have two large bags to take to the corner. 

The first day of autumn was celebrated by my spider lilies by the gate. There are pink and white ones on the east side of the house, now all in bloom.

The next signs of fall have also arrived  

.Just stepping out the door, the scent of the gardenias fills the air around you

There are Sweet Olive trees to the north and south gardens, and this one is blooming along my small     
garden path in the backyard

  The third flower of the Night-blooming Cereus has given a showing. This time I didn't miss it.                          Two smaller buds did not finish growing. Maybe seeing their large siblings, they decided not to   


 card.  The weeks go by in slow motion. I had to go to immigration to renew my residence.
Yesterday I took the cognition part of the senior driving test. Two hours by three trains and a bus to be demeaned buy assorted employees of the licensing bureau. Luckily, I had my cell phone with me and could call my daughter to stand up for me, that I actually had an appointment for the test and was there in time. 
Though I passed the test with 100%, I have a lot of complaints with the way it was run. Clearly, it was an English version of a test that was written for Japanese people. The 16 pictures we were showed four at a time and expected to remember, were sketches in black and white. We were showed four, and the instructor then said what the pictures were, having the class repeat. one picture of a bird with a darkened   head, could have been a finch or a warbler or any number of birds. If they had shown a crow, everyone might have answered correctly, but when one man asked if the picture could be referred to as just a bird, the teacher said no, it had to be a sparrow, and that man did not know that word. There were a number of 
pictures that were probably more familiar to Japanese people than foreigners. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   I could write more, but this "new" Blogger" seems to have been designed by the driving school. Nothing works like it used to and I am more frustrated by the  minute.
Needless to say, with the long trip both ways, I was able to add sashing to some of the house blocks. I didn't want to just sew them all together, though that would probably been a good representation of the mess this virus has caused. I decided to alternate sashing on the blocks and think I will put a sashing of floral prints around the outer edge before adding the row of extra houses ... now over 200... and an outer 
If anyone can find hints of how to  move pictures left or right and get the words arranged, I sure could use a lot of coaching. NEW IS NOT BETTER ... OR EVEN HALF AS GOOD. Mr Blogger needs to find a better way to waste his time