Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Great little quilt shop in Provo UT

David and I took a quick trip to from North Carolina to Colorado and Utah, and wow, over the week we saw a lot of family -  my step mother, then David's brother and family, his parents, aunties, cousins,  my niece and her boyfriend, and our son Tommy and his girlfriend.   David's Dad made dinner for 20, on Mother's Day. It was just so wonderful to connect with so many loved ones, most of whom we hadn't seen in two or three years.   

I had one "quilty" connection on the trip, in Provo, and thanks to Tommy's girlfriend Camille, who took us to her favorite fabric store,  Harmony.  It is absolutely my kind of shop!  They carry a small and carefully curated selection of fabrics, as well as yarn (Camille is a knitter), dressmaking fabrics, gifts, etc.  The place was hopping, friendly, fun, colorful.   I met the owner briefly and expressed my appreciation for how the fabric is organized mostly by color, not "line"or designer's collection.   She said she never buys all the fabrics from any one particular line.  We agreed that being able to browse by color is the way to go! 

I was also aware that David hates being in fabric stores (actually, he was really patient), so I made quick work of picking out some fat quarters, just for the "stash" - 

That's Tommy and Camille;).  I'm going to make Camille some pot holders when I have enough batting scraps again. 

See how great it is when stores arrange quilting cottons in rainbow order? 

I also picked up two pieces of broadcloth (?) for my mother in law, who wants to make some aprons. 

Absolutely love this Ruby Star Society print.  The centers are metallic.  It will make such a cute apron!  

The shop has some wonderful novelties, and low-volumes: 

For me, the rainbow layout is so conducive to creating interesting, spontaneous combinations.  And yet I realize that a quilter who likes to create a cohesive top out of mostly various fabrics from one line or style, would be really frustrated by this approach in a fabric store.   

I'm so curious - which way do you prefer? 

Back home now, regular life resumes.... and tomorrow, my thoughts will turn back to the quilts for Baby A and Baby B (all is going great with Kaela's pregnancy and with their plans to move to North Carolina this summer - I can't wait!).  



Tuesday, May 3, 2022

David's last week in Tokyo, and May already!

David is finally with me in North Carolina and it is wonderful to have him home-home.  He snapped this photo from our nearly empty apartment on his last day "camping out" there.  I admit it makes me wistful! 

Sayonara to this apartment which will always hold memories of almost two years of Covid times.   Before those quiet two years, a wonderful year filled with many visits from family and friends. 

Neighbors took almost all our furniture and leftover household goods, which was a big help to David because rehoming things and discarding things is a challenge in Japan.  

Then the movers made quick and quiet work of packing up our things.  We are bringing back the TV, David's favorite chair, and lots of dishes and books that we accumulated over three years.  Plus, all my sewing stuff of course and probably a lifetime supply of indigo.   

We have four large boxes coming by air, to arrive in a few weeks.  And 50+ more boxes (what?!) will be shipped by sea, to arrive who knows when, could be months?  

David's last Saturday in Japan was spent fly fishing with a friend and his young son, near Mt. Fuji. 

Colorful carp streamers in the park, to anticipate Children's Day on May 5th: 

He had a great last week but he was ready to leave.  His job is shifting somewhat as he transitions back to the American arm of his company.  What a blessing that he can work from home.  This is what allows us to live near family.   He is all set up in his home office on the first floor of our rental, and I'm in nine-patch mode upstairs in the sewing room on the third floor.  We meet in the middle (second floor kitchen and living room) for meals, lol.   

I finished Baby A's top yesterday: 

Working on Baby B's top.  I like assembling a quilt in chunks, not rows.   (Baby A and Baby B refer to Kaela's twins, due in August;).  

Having David home means we are sort of back to our routine of watching some TV after dinner.  We are really enjoying the show Julia on HBOMax.  Delightful, highly recommend it.   Also my favorite show, This is Us, which is in its final season.  

TV time in the evening means I'm back to appliqué.  Slowly making progress on this free BOM from Sentimental Stitches.  The quilt is called Poppy's Polka Dot Garden .  I had kept up with it in Japan but with the move, I fell way behind.  

Today I need to pack for our trip to Colorado and Utah.  A quick trip to see family including my step mother, David's folks, and our son Tommy!  Much as I dread travel, it will be wonderful to see folks we haven't seen in so long. 



Friday, April 22, 2022

Two babies on the way (!) and minky receiving blankets

The very exciting news around here is that my middle daughter Kaela is pregnant.... with twins (!!) ..... identical twin girls (!!!!) 

Charlotte will be a big sister in August!  

AND ... to add to our happiness and excitement... they have decided to move from Austin Texas, to North Carolina.  It makes sense for them on a number of levels, including being close to family, since they will be needing a lot of help especially during the first couple years!  

One of the first things I did immediately was make two receiving blankets from some "minky" and yardage I'd already had in storage.  

I used a tutorial on line from Missouri Star Quilting Company - for a self binding.  It's really a genius method.  

You cut the back piece larger, and miter the corners: 

and then tuck the top piece into the back piece,  pin really well, and top stitch all around. 

Spring is in full swing and I love the trees behind our townhouse, 

 My kids sent me this really neat canvas market tote for my birthday.  Theoretically I want to start going to farmers markets.  I had a quiet Easter weekend on my own.   David will be back from Japan next Friday! 

I think I will really start to miss Japan and feel the bittersweet, once he's moved back here.  For all these weeks, I've still felt connected to our life there, sort of continuing to live it through him.   He sent this photo from the park this morning - a fantasmical installation (playscape?): 

Now he's  mainly in the process of sort of shutting down the apartment and giving stuff away, etc.   Everything from furniture, to extra food and cleaning supplies, to emergency supplies, to washer/dryer unit, to light fixtures (yes you have to remove even the ceiling light fixtures when you leave a Japanese apartment!  And the next tenants will supply their own).  We consult on these things daily....  and it's so nice to be able to finally say he will be coming "home next week"!