Saturday, November 27, 2021

Breezy Day mini

For this month's mini quilt, I did another little collage quilt, using just these scraps from my Hands All Around tenugui quilt, which is just awaiting sashing and borders.

It's a very specific palette, just blue and white tenugui, with a bit of red here and there.   I don't usually work with such a limited palette but I took Rogue Quilter Janet's "baggie of scraps" challenge and had fun with it.   Thanks Wendy the Constant Quilter for hosting us month after month;).  

I had a breezy day on the water in mind: 

Added some sashiko to the little boat and machine quilted it with random diagonal lines: 

It's about 13x13 inches.  I bound it in the darkest of indigo kasuri: 

Meanwhile, the weather has been outstanding.  On Tuesday it was a national holiday so David had the day off, and we walked from our apartment to this spot famous for its beautiful ginkgo trees.  It seemed like everyone else had the same idea!  It's almost back to pre-Covid crowds, and that's with no tourists allowed into the country. 

This is a "Yaki-imo" truck - selling sweet potatoes.  Oh, the heavenly smell and such a sign of autumn.

Meanwhile we put up our little tree and this year decided to move my sewing table over,  in order to put the tree in the window.  We had noticed walking home the other day that the folks living right above us on floor 6,  put a tree in their window so we thought it would be fun to put ours in the window right below theirs.  

I guess the benefits of living in such a small place is that the tree is right there all the time to enjoy.... while preparing little appliqué circles for example ;).



Sunday, November 21, 2021

log cabin improv potholders, and a garden outing

Using a jar of random tiny scraps....  

I ended up making some potholders, log cabin style.  

I added some sashiko here and there for fun.  

 It was a good way to use up random extra batting too - four layers of thin cotton batting:

I used leftover tenugui for the backs - 

Very simple quilting and I made sure that I had a quilting line at or near the center, for pliability (think of the way you fold a potholder when you are using it).

 I'm keeping two sets, and giving one set to my son. 

This was inspired by Janet's "baggie challenge" which you can read about here... although I've started something different, with different scraps, for  Janet's challenge.  

Meanwhile the weather has been so gorgeous here and I've enjoyed some outings both solo and with small groups.  The parks are beautiful.  

This straw wrapping around the trunk of the pine tree is purely ornamental and signals autumn.  Historically it was done to capture (and then burn) caterpillars, but they eventually learned that other beneficial insects were also being captured.  So they discontinued the practice, but the wrapping is used each fall for aesthetic purposes. 

The park was not too far from the river:  

This is such a beautiful time of year in Tokyo.  If it was like this all year, I'd never want to leave! 

A few days later, the same river from a different perspective (Skytree):

Tokyo looks like this in every direction.  

It is overwhelming.  Population almost 14 million.  I prefer to think of *my* Tokyo as a series of a few small neighborhoods where I feel more or less at home... and I'm not a huge fan of views like this.  I always just feel anxious and think "if there's a major earthquake, I will never get out of here"...

After any outing, or quick trip across the street to the convenience store, here's my "view" getting back home (these are little things I will want to remember) -  the entrance to our building: 

We use our key or a code to open the lobby doors.  

Announcement board - mostly about safety, and garbage rules 

Check the mail (handy garbage can for the usual junk mail, usually ads for other apartments, and food, and things I completely do not understand): 

Elevator  (here I'm in the elevator looking back out to the lobby): 

This is what I see when the elevator doors open at the fifth floor.  The building is built around a central atrium.  

Turn right: 

Our front door (no decoration allowed) - 

Home sweet home;). 

On a completely different topic, this movie, Red Notice, was just pure fun, on Netflix: 

We also recently watched the new Marvel movie, Shang-Chi.  It was really good too!  We saw Dune a couple weeks ago in the theater and it was amazing to be back in a movie theater, with popcorn, an  audience, etc. again.  

That's about all for today!  I probably won't blog again before American Thanksgiving.  Happy Thanksgiving to those of you celebrating!  David and I will probably go out for a Japanese dinner;).  I'm of course thankful for so much.  Family mostly.  There's also a lot to love about living in Tokyo.  Thankful for quilting always!  Thank YOU for visiting this space. 



Saturday, November 13, 2021

Meiji Shrine on a beautiful fall day

A couple weeks ago there was a festival (sort of subdued, with the lack of tourists - Japan is still not open to tourists) at Meiji Shrine.  I met some friends there and we really enjoyed ourselves.  Not pictured are the many absolutely adorable children in their fancy kimono, being photographed.

At the entrance, an autumn display celebrating the harvest - with a ship made out of vegetables! 

A solemn procession of monks: 

A marvelous exhibit of ikebana: 

and chrysanthemums everywhere: 

I love spotting the Pawlonia kamon (family crest):  

Back home, I've not been doing much quilting lately.  I'm sort of stalled out.   I've been doing a lot of geneology, sitting at my kitchen table with the marvelous fresh air and sunshine streaming in: 

Cabell County West Virginia rural school class photo.  The tall guy in the back was my great-grandfather Garland Tennyson Brown.  We called him Pop: 

Last week in book group we discussed A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.  I read it for the second time (actually, the first time, I listened to it).  I took notes and really savored it because it was my turn to lead the discussion.  I highly recommend this epic, beautifully written novel! 

And now we are reading The Woman in the White Kimono by Ana Johns - much quicker read, really enjoying it too.