Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Stitching with Friends, parks, and self compassion


I started an interest group at our church (we are getting back to in-person gatherings) called "Stitching with Friends".   The concept is super simple - we set up a few tables, and people bring their own hand work projects.   Two hours of chatting, show and tell, working side by side, sharing ideas.   

We had five people the first week and ten people on Monday - with a wide range of projects:  cross stitch,  appliqué, embroidery, sashiko, hand quilting, pressing and cutting, EPP hexies.  

I recently got Aya started with sashiko and she is really taking off - making some beautiful placemats!   

This is my young friend Christina, who I coincidentally also knew from back in Massachusetts (I taught her how to quilt way back when).  She lives in a different part of Tokyo and we hadn't seen each other in months.  

Our weather is really turning and it is just gorgeous these days.  

This morning David had some free time so I showed him the beautiful garden behind the Hotel New Otani.  We taxied there, walked all around the garden, and then walked home together.  

Blue skies today! 

In Hinokicho-koen, the park near our apartment, we are seeing little hints of fall color.  These photos are from yesterday - a gray day but so cool and crisp.   

I listen to music or podcasts when I walk.  One of my favorite podcasts is Hidden Brain.  The guest on  Oct 12th was Dr. Kristin Neff, talking about self-compassion.   She's got a good website here and I look forward to exploring it.  

I pass by this sculpture near our apartment all the time, but now it brings to mind Dr. Neff's idea of taking a self-compassion break (sort of hitting reset, with kind words, and hand on heart).  



  1. Great job getting a stitching group going at the church. We used to have a quilting group when I first moved here 37 years ago. Haven't met for almost 20 years now. Looks like a nice size group, and that is fun that you have a friend from home in the group.
    Those gardens are so peaceful looking. That would go a long way toward self compassion, to spend some time there in meditation.

  2. I can’t wait for the return of stitching groups. And that sky is beautiful! Thanks for taking us on your walk.

  3. What a nice group of stitchers! And I love the variety of projects, I'm sure I would spend a lot of the time observing what others are working on! So many ideas. Your garden walk with David and the park pictures are beautiful! It's gorgeous here in MA and NH with the fall colors. Not as nice as some years but still glorious. We are blessed to have some of the best colors right here out our windows. Just missing the mountains but the commute is easier lol. Jan in MA

  4. What a beautiful week. Filled with joyful moments.

  5. Beautiful photos. So nice that you're able to have your weekly stitching group meet again. Your friend's sashiko table mats are beautiful.

  6. So nice to start returning to a more "normal" life!

  7. what a nice gentle themes in this post. How wonderful to be sewing with people in person again.
    The gardens you have to enjoy are simply gorgeous. Serene and lovely. Nice to share them with David.
    I haven't listened to hidden brain in a while, I'll have to get back to it. Lovely sculpture and thought. I've been practising self care and radical acceptance of self and the world.

  8. What a great idea, to organize a stitching group - or any other kind of interest group, as a time to connect and create. A small stitching group sounds heavenly. Meanwhile you continue to find the most beautiful, interesting, and inspiring places to show us in and around Tokyo! Being that I’ll surely never get there in my lifetime, I thank you for that. Oh a d thank you for reminding me about The Hidden Brain, and I will surely check out Dr. Neff’s website. Self-compassion … what a beautiful concept!

  9. Love that you organized a stitching group to share ideas and projects. I always enjoy seeing photos of your trips around Tokyo. So many beautiful parks to explore!

  10. Your stitching circle is a wonderful idea. I love getting together with my pals to stitch or at the church to quilt, though we haven't been able to do that in ages. It's a great way to be inspired and move a few things along, isn't it?

  11. Oh what fun! It must be wonderful to finally venture out in groups. Stitching together is such a wonderful feeling. Thanks for the links. I think we could all use a few self help reading these days.

  12. It's great that things are starting to get back to normal there in Japan, even with masks. Here, everyone acts like Covid is over.
    Aya's work is beautiful. Love the background color she's using.
    The red bridge is just delightful, especially against the green background of the leaves.
    Hidden Brain looks like it has some interesting podcasts. Thanks for pointing us toward it.

  13. We haven't done stitching with friends or as we called it 'craft night' for several years now. So glad you're getting a chance to visit in person again!:)


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