Saturday, June 23, 2012

Scrappy blue 4-patch - progress

I'm in the middle of three relatively quiet weeks here in Tokyo, with two out of my three chicks back home in the U.S... Miss K here but working full time... me working only very part time... so a quiet (air conditioned!) apartment and long stretches of time for quilting - wow!  I know it won't last... soooo... Tommy's 4 patch beckons. 

Tommy picked out most of these fabrics and even pieced a bunch of these blocks (truly eclectic and scrappy, little boy style, love it!) when he was about 10 years old.  I supplemented later, with fabric from outgrown shirts, plus some neato Japanese finds.  

Time to get it done.  

A little bit of work to figure out the numbers.... 

Auditioning backgrounds...

Only two fabrics showed up for auditions... muslin and... this shirting, originally meant for the backing... but I like it so much... 

It's Heirloom Shirtings by Sara Morgan for Blue Bill fabrics.   

I know I don't have the floor space or the patience to lay out all these little blocks... 

So I conveniently decide to wing it, Two's style...   

"Two" was my great-grandma and always had a quilt going.  I knew her well but as a girl I wasn't tuned into her quilting side!  My grandma describes how she pieced... just randomly picking out patches from her basket and piecing them together.  Design wall?  Um, no.  

Mmmm.... but now that I've really started... I figure I'd better make a plan to piece this thing in four manageable sections... sticking with "random", yes, but building each row off of what's already pieced...  just enough control to somewhat balance out the red bits. 

 Moving to the carpet now... for once thankful to not have cats and dog underfoot...  

Will have to move furniture soon... but not yet... and that's all the quilting I can do today!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sashiko and tenegui at Blue and White

The second Thursday of each month I take a sashiko class at Amy Katoh's shop Blue and White, which, lucky for me, happens to be walking distance from my apartment.  

One highlight is the casual show-and-tell aspect of the class.  

Our lovely teacher Kazuko Yoshiura designed and created this bag:


Kazuko (right) confers and advises as class begins... with four or five ladies clustered around a small table in the back of the shop.

A few months ago Kazuko appeared wearing an indigo scarf studded with thick stitches and knots... and I used all kinds of sign language, smiles, and wagging eyebrows to convey my desire to make one too!  I am this close to finishing mine (just one more raw edge to hem):

Sensei set me up with some lovely chijimi, cotton indigo crepe, this thick yarn, and an appropriate needle.  This might be the closest I ever get to knitting - ha ha. 

It was so satisfying, making these big stitches and knots. 

I stitched while watching TV in the evenings with David.  Some lines were made with doubled yarn, some with single.  When I wash the scarf it will shrink up, crepe style. 

I will miss the sashiko classes this summer, partly because it's always such a treat to stop by the shop. 

But I have signed up for the September class.  I guess it's true - we're going to be back in Tokyo for one more year!

Recently my daughters and I stopped in and we were captivated by the tenegui window display by Sayoko Hayasawa:  

The sign, written in hiragana, says "Is is possible that even tenegui can be modern?"

How about this for a modern tenegui?
It is perfect for my friend who took care of Molly the poodle while we've been away in Tokyo.  

And how about this fireworks tenegui... perfect for summer.  Blue and White never disappoints when it comes to neighborliness and inspiration!

Lily's Quilts
Linking up today with the Small Blog Meet at Lily's Quilts.  Particularly if you are a new-ish blogger like me, it's fun to find other small blogs there.  I continue to be amazed by the sheer volume of quilting blogs out there!  Also linking with Show Off Friday at Pieceful Life and Let's Get Acquainted Monday at Plum and June.