Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Christmas trees, and furoshiki

 I've been really busy lately but just about every day, I make a few trees for Kaela's Christmas quilt.  I have 24 out of the 38 trees made, and most of the cutting done, which is half the battle.  

It's really straightforward piecing for a very straightforward quilt.   I love making these while listening to music, a podcast, or a book. 

The other day I saw this wonderful episode on NHK (Japanese public television) about furoshiki.  

Furoshiki are wrapping cloths, used to carry goods or wrap presents. If used as gift wrapping, the furoshiki stays with the giver to be used over and over again. 

Click here for a link to the program.  

I collect furoshiki with Christmas wrapping in mind.  They are beautiful and eco-friendly.  Theoretically if I have enough furoshiki, at some point I won't be buying wrapping paper anymore (except for any gifts I might mail).   I also love the idea of the wrapping becoming familiar year after year.  

Of course we quilters can also hem pieces of nice Christmas fabric and use that!   Do you ever use fabric as wrapping paper??  

Anyway, David helped me find the shop featured in the program -  Musubi, which was quite tucked away in Harajuku.   I really wanted to support a local business while adding to my collection.  

Very hard to choose. 

Some were beyond beautiful and prohibitively expensive. 

Others were in my range and I did purchase a few, to add to my budding collection.   

They wrapped my parcel up in a complimentary furoshiki (photo taken with permission) - 

"Shippo" (seven treasures): 

David really liked this little "confetti" furoshiki: 

There is so much to appreciate in Japan in terms of design!

I loved this one featuring trees and animals, and an injunction to "MOTTAINAI" (waste not):

I leave you with this just for fun - the storefront of a small boutique clothing store in the same neighborhood - gotta love Tokyo!   

Back to my forest of pieced trees... 

xo gratefully 

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Kita Kamakura outing and more hydrangea


Nothing quilty today, but here are some photos (in no particular order) from an outing I took earlier this week with two friends, to Kita Kamakura to see more hydrangea.  I walked countless steps and stairs, and it was soooo hot.  It took me two days to recover but it was worth it! 

More hydrangea! 

I never get tired of seeing gardens with their raked rock "ponds" 

Don't we quilters see quilty things everywhere??? 

gratefully xo


Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Mt. Fuji outing, and indigo sofa throw progress

In the evenings I'm slowly working on my indigo sofa throw  - it's so fun to add these simple sashiko stitches.   I love handling these new and vintage indigo fabrics. 

A bit of red here and there and I like exposing knots now and then: 

Recently some young friends who are leaving Tokyo soon, invited us along on a day trip to the fifth station of Mount Fuji.  We had a wonderful time (they have the cutest 2 year old, need I say more?), and it was just so nice to get out of Tokyo.  They are very careful about COVID precautions and so are we.  We all stayed masked the whole time in the car, and we ate our lunch at separate tables separated by plastic sheeting.  

Another lion-dog (I am seeing them everywhere now)

Super cold and windy up at the fifth station - David bought a sweatshirt at the gift shop.  I think he looks so cute! 

Mt. Fuji is closed to hikers.  There were so many empty bus parking spots, and the place was nearly empty.  It was nice for us, but I really feel for the small business people trying to make a living. 

We ate at a little restaurant up there.  The food was so-so but the presentation was spot on - Fuji-san themed - and on a cold windy day, it was nice to have a hot meal.   This is katsu curry - a chicken cutlet, with a curry sauce, over rice.  Don't you love the pickled "lava"? 

Such a cute display at the restaurant: 

I can't help but see "QUILT" in grids like these! 

Masks off for a quick photo: 

The days are flying by.  One month until we leave for our U.S. vacation.  

In a few minutes I'm joining in a Zoom book group with ladies from my church.  We will discuss the Y.A. novel The Hired Girl, by Laura Amy Schlitz.  I listened to it on Audible and absolutely loved it.  

xo gratefully,