While I was at the interpreter seminar on Saturday, the kindergarten was having its annual bazaar. Unfortunately it was a rainy day so I guess the whole thing had to be done indoors (usually it is held on the playground). I can imagine what a circus that was! The main event at the bazaar is always the quilt raffle that Mrs. Furui and I started some 15 years ago...maybe more than that? Anyway for a long time a few of us spent the year making a quilt and other small items and then setting up a raffle booth and selling tickets. A few years ago we "retired" from actual raffle selling and have just donated the first prize quilt. Since I couldn't be present at the raffle I had Mrs. Furui buy me some tickets and asked her to report about the reaction to our Neenie's Garden quilt. Saturday was the first time the kindergarten mothers and staff saw it and I do wish I'd been their to see the reactions. This year's quilt was such a beauty!
When I got back home from Saturday's work, there was an e-mail from Mrs. Furui with pictures of the lucky raffle winner! One of the former kindergarten teachers!!! This is amazing because last year's quilt had gone to a different former kindergarten teacher (both are now mothers at the kindergarten). In fact of the past 15 quilts, twice the kindergarten principal has pulled the winning tickets, three former kindergarten teachers have won, one current teacher and one current office lady also have won a raffle quilt. You would think the raffle is rigged! But it is not. I suppose the staff end up buying more tickets (it is all in the name of fund raising) but even so... No one complains! The teachers and staff are of course the most well known at the kindergarten, and when the principal wins the quilt it even stays AT the kindergarten so that everyone can enjoy it and be inspired through the years. It is a great consolation to think that even if I didn't win it, I know the person who did! Everyone is over joyed when one of our quilts goes home with staff.
This year's quilt was made from a Block of the Month series that Lorraine sent our patchwork group from Australia. Actually more than a year went into this... and the fantastic machine quilting was done by our friend Mrs. Okutomi who lives in another prefecture. She quilted this huge quilt on her domestic sewing machine! (She is one of the few machine quilters in Japan and has been featured in Japanese patchwork magazines. To think she had her start with our little group some 20 years ago!!!)
Okay... we are ready to start next year's bazaar quilt!