My antenna was repaired yesterday. TV has gone back to inane programing (well, they are trying to keep the stupidest things off air and giving us cheering dramas and documentaries.) The government has put a hold on spinach and dairy products coming out of Fukushima (radiation levels). Tetsu was able to get 10 liters of gasoline after a two hour wait. I am doing applique.
10 days ago, I was enjoying patchwork camaraderie with friends at Mrs. Furui's house. 24 hours later I was racing up a stairway and shaking like a leaf and since then I've been camping out in the living room.
On the Thursday 10 days ago, Mrs. Harada couldn't come to patchwork because of a fever. The rest of us ate a lot and chatted a lot and did the handwork that we had brought. Our block boxes were exchanged and new homework was assigned. Mrs. Okutomi's Hawaiian quilt blocks are looking beautiful and the box has gone around once to all of us. She wants 9 blocks and so far she has 7.
"I'll make one!" volunteered Lorraine.
Yeah! So Lorraine took home one block and a pattern to work on in the next few weeks. That leaves one more... Is anyone going to volunteer?
"Let's draw lots."
Mrs. Furui made up an Amidakuji... Hmm. Like English Eeeny Meeny Miny Mo. First she wrote down all our names. We took pity on our Least Confident Quilter because already her homework was one Hawaiian block. Two would send her over the edge! Oh, add Mrs. Harada's name. She'd feel left out if she wasn't included.
Vertical lines were drawn and then the paper was passed around to all of us to add horizontal and diagonal lines wherever we wanted and as many as we pleased. And finally a star was added at the bottom.
"Okay. Are we ready for the final results? Here I go."
Mrs. Furui started from the star at the bottom and followed the vertical line up to the first horizontal line. At whatever line (vertical or horizontal) her red pencil encountered, she continued up the path until....
"Mrs. Harada is chosen as the person to make a Hawaiian block!"
Oh no! Poor Mrs. Harada. And she's not even here to accept her "defeat" gracefully. Anyway, that's the way lots are drawn in Japan...
When Lorraine and I were gathering things up to go home I looked at our Amidakuji and decided to take pity on Mrs. Harada home sick with a fever.
"I'll do it. Mrs. Harada has been working hard on the bazaar quilt all month. Let's give her a break." And I took the block home with me.
Am I ever glad I did! Being confined to my house and kotatsu has been wonderful for doing hand applique on a Hawaiian block! Yesterday I finished.
By the way, Sandra e-mailed me again with more information about Comfort quilts. Here is a message from "Quilter's Newsletter".
I emailed with Naomi Ichikawa today. She has asked that if you are sending quilts directly to Japan, that you do not send them until May 1 at the earliest. Please watch this blog for regular updates on this time frame as things are changing daily in Japan.
If you are sending quilts to Quilters Newsletter [in Colorado] and do not want to write “Quilts for Japan” on the box, please enclose a note that says this. We receive many quilts in our offices and will only send quilts to Japan that we know are intended for Japan.
Please send only new quilts.
I am amazed but not surprised at the compassionate response to this call for quilts. In just 24 hours, we at QN have heard from quilters in the United States, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, and Italy. We are truly an international community!
Dana Jones, QN managing editor