Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Out and about again, and start of Noelle's Snowball quilt

Another week goes by.  The weather is heavenly.  Sunny and brisk.  I know that many of you are still in deep freeze winter, and trust me I will be envying you during our brutal Tokyo summers - but for now, every day is just a gift, weather wise. 

I took myself to Nippori on Monday, for one specific purpose - to find simple replacement buttons for a jacket - 

Ummmmmmm make a decision! 

The shop had some nice precuts and I picked up three or four: 

Here is what I decided on - something more subtle to replace the gold: 

I decided to stroll down this street and just browse.  Another button shop: 

And a little hole-in-the-wall shop: 

All of those shops are on up and down the street directly opposite the main 5 floor Tomato fabric store.  

Then I took a different train from Nippori Station and met David for an early (4:30!) dinner.  This machine automatically takes your temperature.

Seated inside, we read the notice on the plexiglass dividers between tables: 

A screenshot of the translation (notice the mascots - there are mascots for *everything* here): 

We kept our voices down, lol.   We also didn't linger at all.  Yummy soup dumplings. 

Out and about yesterday for a good walk - 

People of all ages jogging (not me):

Glimpse of the Imperial Palace.  It was the Emperor's Birthday.  

More plum blossoms: 


In quilting, I'm working on blocks for my first (of three?) Christmas quilts.  

Here's how a plan can evolve.  I wanted to make THE simplest nine patch: 

And I made a few blocks.  Ho hum, not exciting to make at this large scale (the blocks will be 9 inches finished).  Also, too much green for Noelle.  

So, first I pared down the green to be just 1/3 green, 2/3 white.  

That was a start but what about snowballing the white corner squares with the red snowflake fabric I love so much.  

That was cool and when I turned the piece the other way, I *really loved* the effect, how the snowballed corners connected the green bars.  

So, how about then also snowballing the opposite corners, with solid red?   

Now we're cookin' with gas!   The centers will be a whole variety of scraps. 

After figuring all that out I made a sketch and looked to find the block in Barbara Brackman's new encyclopedia (which is gorgeous!) and couldn't find exactly this, but it is most similar to #1729 (Blockhouse, Nancy Cabot) which is "like Rolling Stone", or even #1647 (Crow's Nest or Attic Window), which is "like Shoo Fly".   

I will call this quilt Noelle's Snowball quilt so if the block itself needs a name, I'm calling it 2021 Snowball.  

I feel so good about this.  I love a good nine patch and this one, when paired with plain white alternate blocks, will have the "mostly red and white" and spare look I think Noelle will like.  

Next on my list for tomorrow is to finish up a little mini for February.  Short month, flying by.  



  1. I'm so happy to see you out and about! Thanks so much for taking us with you. I enjoy all the wonderful eye candy. Love the button shops.
    Your Christmas project is so festive and pretty! You'll enjoy working on this one for sure. Can't wait to see more of those sweet blocks.

  2. Loving those signs--esp'ly the one about lowered voices--
    I really liked watching how that block evolved for you..thanks for sharing...hugs, Julierose

  3. Lovely start on Noelle's Christmas quilt. I love your posts about your walks and shopping excursions around Tokyo, a nice armchair travelogue. We haven't been inside a restaurant since the pandemic nonsense began except for a fish fry takeout once a month or so, and we always order for 4:30 pickup, that's our normal supper hour around here. Glad to see your plum blossoms and hear that spring has indeed arrived there!

  4. Oh my! You have an entire block that is all your own. I must admit I have never seen one like it and it is fantastic. She will love it. I'm just amazed that you have started Christmas gifts already. I always say I will and then... Good for you! The pear blossoms are gorgeous. What a gorgeous place to be this time of year. Enjoy your lovely walks.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing pictures of your excursions!! I totally identify with your joy at figuring out a design that pleases you and it's all the more fun if it's something entirely new. Your block should make a lovely quilt and I look forward to seeing it develop.

  6. The question is: Did you find a button?😉 Love how your 9 patch evolved. Glad you had a chance to go exploring.

    1. Kyle - yes, lol! I just now edited my post to add a photo;). Now I just have to actually sew them on.

  7. Thanks so much for sharing your outings with us. My goodness! How can you ever make a decision to buy anything?? So many wonderful things in those little shops. Love the way your Snowball block has evolved. The finished quilt will be striking!

  8. Oh my gosh--all those buttons--what fun! I really love your snowball block and can't wait to see it as a quilt. It's going to be very striking, I think.

  9. So enjoyed your photos of your walks. How fascinating it all is and what a fabric/notions shop! And lovely dumpling soup. YOur version of a Snowball makes me want to make one, sigh, that's the danger of reading inspiring posts like yours. Thanks, Cynthia, for sharing!!

  10. This is a really lovely block. I love that it's so crisp and clean looking. (That was high praise coming from my mother -ha!) It's going to be so fun to work upon. I would have gotten lost in those button shops. I really like what you chose.

  11. I wish I had access to fabric and button shops where I live. There really are mascots for everything here!

  12. So much fun to see your travels around Tokyo! The "new" snowball block looks like fun, too...look forward to seeing how the quilt progresses.

  13. Don't you love it when all your ideas finally come together in the best possible way! Looks to be a great quilt. I love the photos of the store merchandise. I really don't know how you can leave with so few items.:)

  14. I love it when you take us on trips with you. I wish I were there in person to touch the fabric in the shops.
    It's always so interesting to see how blocks and quilts evolve as we play. The red and green (one of my favorite color combinations) look great together.

  15. Such a change from just ole 9-patches! Wow!

  16. Such fun in the fabric stores. All the buttons are amazing!

    It looks like you will be keeping yourself busy for the rest of the year with your new quilt!


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