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.


  1. Such an inspiring labour of LOVE ! xoxoxo

  2. It’s looking good at this stage. You have already made some decisions. When I come to a brick wall, I find that if I just let it sit for a day or two, an idea will come to me. By the time that you read this message of mine, I bet you will have had another breakthrough! I know that this banner is going to be wonderful.

  3. It is coming along quite nicely, so I have no ideas for improvement.

  4. Your ideas to arrange the scraps by color - and to add strips in the piano key border for new members to sign - are terrific. This is already on its way to becoming another BEAUTIFUL banner - ;))

  5. I like what you drafted. I also like the color idea. A nice combo of them would work. Good luck.

  6. The gradation color idea is a great one and just the corner blocks making the gradation really pulls it all together. It will be so beautiful!!

  7. You posted this on Monday, and today is Thursday... I wonder if you've already made your decisions? I love the rainbow colors for sure. This will be so beautiful and meaningful! I didn't know TUC had such a long history.

  8. Great to get inspiration from other quilters.
    Good luck.

  9. Whatever you decide, you will come up with what pleases your eyes. This is going to be a fabulous banner.

  10. I love this one, I enjoyed reading your posts!