I've got some pretty pictures today. My patchwork friends are doing amazing things!
First of all take a look at Mrs. Ochiai's Australian quilt. This is from the pattern that Lorraine sent us a year or so ago. Mrs. Ochiai and I started making this together but I got ahead of her and my quilt has been up on the wall for nearly a year... Mrs. Ochiai got hung up on the quilting. She claimed that she wasn't going to be able to machine quilt this and kept putting off and putting off finishing this quilt. Last month she came over and practiced a bit on my machine and I gave her a few "lessons". HA HA! I mean I said things like,
"Here is a practice sandwich. Sew me some spirals. Next sew me some flowers. Now try some meandering."
Mrs. Ochiai never did get around to putting her quilt under the needle that day but she promised to do so before the next patchwork gathering.
CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT THIS IS A NOVICE MACHINE QUILTER'S WORK?!!! Mrs. Ochiai did such a fantastic job and she had FUN!!! Her confidence has gone up a thousand percent and I think she is ready to tackle anything! I just love the butterfly that she quilted on the koala's head! And all the feathering in the birds and the playful flowers in the background. I think she can call herself an bona fide machine quilter!!!
Okay. Why do I have so many wonderful things to show in one post and other days I have nothing interesting at all? Anyway. Here is the second beauty.
Mrs. Okutomi came bearing the bazaar quilt that she took home for us a month or so ago. Our group roped Mrs. Okutomi into quilting this for us on her domestic machine because 1) she was the only person who could machine quilt (now we can include Mrs. Ochiai... Don't look at me) and 2) because she introduced us to Lorraine who sent all the materials for the quilt.
Even though Mrs. Okutomi lives fairly far away she wanted to participate in Lorraine's gift but it was too difficult to arrange to send her pieces and blocks and put her on a deadline. Instead we cheerfully suggested that she could do the quilting. We all felt a bit sorry for her. That is a big quilt and Mrs. Okutomi keeps so busy making other things. We didn't expect this quilt back until early in October but TA-DAH!!! A finished quilt!!!
Ooh! The kindergarten bazaar is going to be so exciting this year with this sitting out as the raffle grand prize!!! Mrs. Okutomi said it took her about a week to quilt this and even though this was the largest quilt she's ever quilted on her machine, it didn't give her the headaches that I'm sure it would have given someone else. THANK YOU NORIKO-SAN!!! You did a wonderful, wonderful job!!!
And just to show you what else Mrs. Okutomi can do when she isn't claiming other people's work, here is a stained glass quilt she made for a recent exhibition. Oh, the colors are just stunning on this!!! They don't show up so well in the photo but even here it is a beauty! Mrs. Okutomi designs all her stained glass quilts herself and she has made it a sort of lifework to specialize in stained glass quilts with Christian themes. She has made many stained glass quilts depicting churches around Japan (she inspired me to try my own for MY church last year) and has been featured in numerous magazines.
So there you have some of my talented friends' handworks.