Wednesday, January 20, 2021

This and that in January

I have finished Paulina's top, all except the borders (plain deep purple borders).  For some reason, I always tend to procrastinate anything to do with borders. 

The borders have been sitting there for a week!  

What do I do, when I'm in quilty procrastination mode?  I start, or think up, new projects, of course. 

I really have it in my head to make Christmas quilts for my kids this year.  I have a lot of scraps from the stockings I've made.  

Kaela loves this tree quilt.   I started this Tree quilt in MA in 2002, and finished it the last time we lived in Japan, in 2012,  Kaela's senior year of high school.   

One thing led to another and I went shopping at Tomato for fabric to make a Christmasy Tree quilt for Kaela. 

It's really kind of sad - normally this would be the time of the Tokyo Quilt Festival, and all the fabric shops would be chock full of tourists.  

I found some good "tree" fabrics among the fat-eighths: 

And it was fun to text Kaela back and forth a little as we chose a border fabric from within the modest Christmas fabrics section (this is a Riley Blake fabric): 

Plenty of physical distance on the train (sat across from this dapper fellow)

The pattern for this tree quilt is from an oldie but goodie 2002 book called Favorite Quilts Fast and Fun by Nancy Smith and Lynda Milligan (side note - I've always wanted to make a scrappy bear paw).  My copy is in storage in NH.   You can get your used copy on Amazon for about $8, NOT the outrageous price (about $165) pictured here: 

So I'm adding this Tree quilt to my already too-long list of projects for 2021.  But, it's just so fun to start something.  

I'm looking forward to starting Barbara Brackman's BOM Hands All Around - The Alcotts at War.  Easy piecing, and Louisa May Alcott.  I love sawtooth stars -  so excited to get started - today! 

Meanwhile in handwork, I am steadily making progress in the evenings on my Liberty EPP Hexie quilt: 

So, as 2021 begins, I realize the virus is still rampant and actually more troublesome now in Tokyo than it was back in March.   Our church building has been rebuilt (adjacent to the almost-finished newly renovated temple) and our congregation is meeting here again.  It's much more convenient to us - about a 35 minute walk, or a quick taxi ride. 

We hadn't been to church in person since last February.  So we attended 9:00 am church in person the other week.  Still, I think we will opt for Zoom church sometimes, most of the time? all of the time?  

Meanwhile the joy of our lives is FaceTiming our kids... and Charlotte.... seven months old now!

It snowed in Austin the other day!  I just love this little bunny bear! 

And so winter goes.  We are here, they are there.  Our hearts are knit together.  

Today is January 20 - the U.S. Presidential inauguration and I have a lot of hope in my heart.  It will be happening around 2:00 am on the 21st our time, so I will have to catch highlights on the news tomorrow morning.  

I hope if you are reading this, that you have high hopes for your new year.  Thanks for reading! 

x gratefully,



  1. Ha! I am really good at starting new things too. I am so excited about the new chapter in the US. I also have great hope for the nation under the new president.

  2. Your little Pink-clad Charlotte is so adorable; it must be hard being so far away...

    I have trouble figuring out borders also--somehow they seem a let down after getting the body of a quilt finished...
    I like the Christmas border you've chosen for your daughter's quilt-to-be.;)))
    Stay safe there; our cases are also on the upswing here...hugs, Julierose

  3. Charlotte just grows sweeter all the time! I've been pondering several tree quilt options as there's a bulging box of green scraps in the corner but first a few unfinished projects need to get off the table and into the finished pile. Watching with interest as your hexie project grows.

  4. I love following along with your new Christmas start and thinking about new stitching possibilities. The Liberty hexies are lovely and Charlotte in the snow is sweet. We should all try to recapture that wonderment and delight in our lives.

  5. I love the tree quilt. I've got a couple of Christmas quilts in different stages. Your hexies are beautiful. Charlotte is so adorable. Hugs

  6. Love the photo of Charlotte in the snow and on the quilt. She is a beautiful baby. I also have trouble doing borders. I dither forever, literally. Kate at Life in Pieces ( makes such beautiful, straight borders. Do you follow her?

  7. So much pretty purple in Paulina's top!
    That is a great tree quilt. Isn't it incredible that you can fabric shop "together" across the miles?
    Didn't know you were so close to the temple. Sometimes in the summer hubby chooses to walk to church here and I think it takes him about 40-45 minutes. But there are no sidewalks, and no shoulders to the road, so I prefer to drive.
    Oh, that sweet little Charlotte! What a charmer. :)

  8. Looks like you have lots of fun projects to keep you going. That little Charlotte is beyond cute. I have such high hopes for our country and our world. Today is a day to celebrate what we can do in our world with the right leadership. I know we will now be guided with dignity and grace. Our little ones deserve this bright future. Stay safe and healthy!

  9. Enjoy making that tree quilt, it looks like an easy one.

  10. You’ve got some great projects going! A “tree” quilt is on my long term “to do” list. Oh how I long to get back to the Tokyo International Quilt Festival some day! 2022???? Charlotte is so beautiful and looks so healthy and happy; you have much to look forward to! Yes, it’s a wonderful day for the country- a day to feel hope and optimism!

  11. Charlotte is a dear! I look at her and think what my grandson will be like in 6 months...

    I do envy you that Tomato fabric store! I have slim pickings around here but then again I don't need to have MORE fabric.

    Church is still online for us. The funny thing is recently Tetsu watches one service from our home church while I watch another service from our usual church. Tetsu feels sorry for the home church (in Morioka) because only 2 people seem to be watching it online whereas our usual church gets about 50 viewers...

  12. High hopes indeed!
    Paulina's quilt looks lovely - once you get those borders on, you'll wonder why you procrastinated. :-)
    Take care and stay safe!

  13. So grateful for yesterday's uplifting joy. NC is not doing too well here for Covid either. As I write this, they are putting up portable hospital beds in some trailer outside the closest hospital. Starting new..yes!!! xo

  14. At the beginning of the year isn't it natural to be eager to start new projects. I have done two! The tatting and a silk/felt embroidery cushion. I now have four project I have to balance each week.
    It must be hard to be so far away from your children and granddaughter, but they are in your heart and in your thoughts with new quilts being made.
    All the best for the future.

  15. What a wonderful post. Charlotte is so sweet in her little pink coat. What a living doll she is.
    Your new Temple is beautiful. I have visited the Temple in Salt Lake City. Incredible. It is weird that the virus is so so much worse,but we are used to it now? I was so afraid last april, and should be more afraid now. I guess we are living with the dangers.
    Sad to think about the quilt show. I had hoped to go this year - remember that distant dream?
    Love your tree quilt idea and your other ongoing projects.
    I too have always wanted to do a scrappy bear paw and have a lot of them pinned.
    I'll enjoy watching your BOM on BB blog.
    yay for the new administration~

  16. Looks like you have some wonderful projects to work on! I keep adding to my want-to-make list all the time. Glad you have a fabric store to indulge in. That is something I really miss. No shops around here so order online and take my chances. Charlotte is so cute!

  17. Your tree quilt is amazing! And I procrastinate borders, too. And bindings. They can make or break a quilt (imho, anyway). You've probably already finished this border by now....
    Your Liberty hexagons are so beautiful.
    Charlotte's adorable and growing so fast. It looks like she enjoyed the snow.

  18. UGh. Borders. I feel the same. I just finished a quilt and the borders are all wavy, and I even blocked it. I'm choosing to ignore it as I'm not re-doing the binding.
    I love the photos of Charlotte, the picture of your church buildings/temple, and all your projects that are cooking along. I just got my new Barbara Brackman Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt patterns. When you get home, be sure to get one, as you will love it. (If you need me to snag you one, I'll be happy to do that and then save it for you--they are already on their second printing.)
    Sad about the Tokyo Quilt Show. So many things are leaving us because of this pandemic. I hope good things will return.


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