Thursday, August 13, 2020

Hexies and Okinawan glass

 Oh it is hot hot hot these days in Tokyo.  Hot and humid.  Indoor time.  I continue to work on geneology every single day, and also try to quilt at least a bit every day. 

My random Liberty hexies are coming along.  Two inch hexies make big flowers! 

While we were in Okinawa, one day we walked about half a kilometer down the road, to a glass factory, known for letting people experience glass blowing.  

Here's David in the "sample" section - believe it or not, we could browse this area and pick out *anything* we wanted to make ourselves. 

I say that loosely, because obviously it was more like we helped a little.  It was so fun. 

And a few days ago our pieces arrived in the mail.  Here's David's little cup, with ocean blue - to hold these shells he collected (rocks are from his fly fishing trips): 
And my chunky little vase or votive candle holder... 

Meanwhile our lives are just so pared down.  I am trying to stay positive, but I am so frustrated that Japan won't allow non-Japanese people to travel back and forth from abroad.  I can see not allowing tourists (although I wish our college age son could come over), but visa holders and even permanent residents (even people who have lived here for decades and are married to Japanese people) are impacted.  There are over 2000 people on the "Return to Japan Support Group" on Facebook.  

Anyway, I really can't make a move until I know I can return to Japan, because I would never want to leave David here alone "indefinitely." 

So, for now, it's lots and lots of texting and FaceTime with our kids, who are all doing well in the U.S.  I just can't get enough of baby Charlotte Jane!  I am trying to let go of expectations on the timing of when I will be able to travel to see her.  Please tell me I won't miss her whole first year.  


Friday, August 7, 2020

New Hexie project... and a few days in Okinawa


A few weeks ago while on Instagram, some scrappy hexies caught my eye - and now I'm just hooked.  I'm just going to take my time making these random hexie flowers and then sew them all together.  They are BIG.  It shouldn't take years.  Maybe one year;).  

I've collected bits of Liberty for years and I use it here and there in my quilts.  For this project I ordered some 2" hexies, some precuts, as well as a couple "lucky dip" bundles of green and teal,  from The Strawberry Thief in Australia.  My "rules" for this quilt (and rules can be broken) is that each hexie flower contain some green and/or teal somewhere.   Here is a good tutorial from Strawberry Thief.  

Apples have nothing to do with hexies.... 

.... except for the fact that the cardboard basket they come in, makes a great organizer for my prepped hexies.  I sort of geeked out about that! 

I even brought some hexies to work on during our little getaway earlier this week to Okinawa: 

With cases of COVID rising somewhat in Tokyo we had mixed feelings about going, but we did it.  The hotel/resort took really good social distancing measures.  We were insanely careful the whole time and so was everyone around us.   

Airport was all but empty: 

We were the only two passengers on our little glass-bottom boat tour, so off came our masks: 

Everywhere else, masks on, except when literally eating food (which was amazing).  This seaweed called umibudo - sea grapes - was something new to me (the other item is prosciutto wrapped pineapple):  

Each morning the hotel brought our breakfast to our room (including green salad with cabbage and corn; dried soybeans in the cereal; unsweetened yogurt, fruit, juice, rolls): 

A nice getaway to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary which is later this month.  We had been looking forward to gathering our kids and new grand baby Charlotte in New Hampshire for a week but of course those plans blew up.  Sigh.  So this was Plan B and I think really important for David to get *out of Tokyo* for a few days.  

Farewell Okinawa, hello again Tokyo.   Grateful for health, employment, each other, our faraway family.  



Monday, July 27, 2020

July Mini - doll quilt with three flowers

This month I made a sweet doll quilt,  from the "Esse and Ayla" doll quilt in this beautiful book by Susan Smith:

I used some of the leftovers from Charlotte's baby quilt and my "Soft Quilt for Hard Times" as well as bits from the 2 1/2" squares bin.  Hand quilted it and bound it with some leftover fabric from last month's mini.  

On a cloudy day, hard to get a photo - this is real life - foyer not staged;). 

Pinning it here for a photo gave me the thought that I could use this wall near my machine as a design wall.... mmmm maybe.  We aren't really supposed to put anything on the walls.  But, the interior walls are paper thin and it's easy to just use a pin or an old machine needle, which won't mar the wall paper.  

The other day David had two days off work and one of those days, we beat the rain, just barely, and ventured out to Hibiya Park - it was a short train ride away.  Socially distant the whole time - train and stations nearly empty, wore masks, didn't touch a THING.  It's the first time we've been on a train together since February.  

Hibiya Park is the first Western style park in Japan, created in 1903 in the style of a "thickly treed" German park: 

Benches all but empty.... 

In Tokyo you never know what you'll find - this monument shows an ancient Viking epitaph: 

Bluebells so pretty: 

Loved this old expressive tree: 

Thanks Wendy for gathering us for our monthly challenge to make a mini!  I am finding that it guides my quilting life in a nice way, during this stressful COVID time.  I will link here to The Constant Quilter when Wendy posts our links!