Monday, May 24, 2021


 2022 will be the 150th anniversary of Tokyo Union Church. 

Nine years ago, when we celebrated out 140th anniversary, I set up a table with four inch strips, some one inch wide and some two inches wide, and fabric markers for those attending to sign their names or a message.  My plan was to create a banner in celebration of next year's anniversary. 

Time has flown, and I need to get this banner in progress. My original idea was to use the white strips to form a trellis, applique flowers above and around and the words "150 Years and Still Growing". I have more or less given up on that idea after trying to combine the two different sizes of white strips.

I made random floral pieced blocks to separate the strips. Since the wider strips have more writing, I thought those would be better placed at the bottom, therefore easier to read.

At that time I was thinking of maybe light gray cornerstones between blocks.

I laid those out on my carpet to get an  idea of how they would look in the upper corner.

Then, everything kind of ground to a halt while I dither over where to go from here.

I drafted the idea on graph paper to get an idea of how this might go together. 

I can picture a large sunflower and vines or other flowers against a light blue for the sky and the words at an angle. Maybe use the sky blue in the binding?

I still have not begun sewing the corner areas because I haven't decided what to put in those little squares.

Then, this week, while scrolling through blogs, I noticed that Susan Snooks, Patchwork n Play,  had made pieced blocks for a project she is working on, and arranged the scraps by color. 

The more I thought about it, the more I thought those would be better to use than the random ones I have made. Saturday I laid out some of my cut scraps with closer colors, and I have been sewing those together.

Here they are laid out in a square pattern, and I definitely think this is less distracting than the random pieces.

I could grade them up from the bottom to meet the blue sky strip running through the center. Just to check, I laid out some two-inch squares in the corner area. Maybe better than using gray ...?

Maybe I could use the random floral blocks in the upper area with the one-inch strips...

Those could use floral cornerstones as well.

I really wish I could decide this basic part of the banner so I could move along. 

I am planning to add strips of both two and one inch as piano keys separated by floral strips. in the border for members who were not here nine years ago to sign.  

I do not have a deadline as to when the celebration will be, but I prefer not to have to do a lot of last minute work. Finishing early and adding detail is more to my liking.  Before adding the words, I will probably run my idea past some friends at TUC.

For now, I am open to suggestions.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Golden week

 I have to admit, the gold in "Golden Week" was rather gray. I was at least blessed to have the company of Flat Stanley, tagging along on daily activities.

He joined me on my weeding activities in the park. 

Luckily, the mosquitoes were not yet out. A week later they have returned and are voracious.

He was eager to see lots of koinobori flying in the wind.

Many local places that usually display carp streamers did not have them  out this year.  Maybe to control crowds during recent surge in virus cases.

333 koi were enjoying a breezy afternoon, and I had to hang on to Stanley to keep him from blowing away.

Stanley was very impressed with the "Boy's Day" things we saw on sale, walking through the local department store.

He really wanted a samurai outfit to celebrate the week, so I dug through my paper scraps and assembled a basic set of armour.

Many tasks are just daily events for me, but it was rather nice to have Samurai Stanley go along to hold the sweeping bin.

We had lots of windy days the past week and there were lots of leaves and flower petals cluttering our street and following us into the house stuck to our shoes. 

Stanley was a bit surprised to see what looked like fall, coming in the spring.

On "boy's Day", we visited a friend who set out lots of traditional displays. My friend is going to the states next week. She will get her vaccine there and visit her sons. She offered to take the laptop case I made for Kimie last year, that I have not been able to mail... since the US postal service made new rules.

Since Flat Stanley needed a little larger envelope for his return trip, and those are not allowed as they are a bit bigger than a postcard, my friend offered to take Stanley with her and mail the envelope from there. 

We had a nice sayonara party for Stanley, and he could wait in his envelope with my friend, and didn't get wet in the wind and rain on the way home.

Meanwhile, The I-Spy quilt went to its new home and the kids are enjoying it.

House repairs are moving along and the recent rain is not coming inside anymore. 

Assorted cacti are beginning to bloom and plums are falling from the tree. Each day there are victims of human feet, squashed on the street ... but a few useful ones too. (If I want to make plum wine).

In a bit of time, I will have an early Mother's day zoom visit with my wonderful kids. The Gold from Golden Week may be arriving a wee bit late ... but worth the wait.