Thursday, August 30, 2012

Works in Progress

I enjoyed a rather unproductive patchwork day at Mrs. Furui's house yesterday. None of us really thought to bring projects... we basically chatted about summer happenings. Three regulars couldn't attend but one new friend (recently retired) joined us.

Mrs. W's mother was a long time sewer and quilter but her eyes and hands have slowed down with age and the mother told Mrs. W to take everything and do with it as she wished. Mrs. W came laden yesterday with a huge bag of her mother's Works-In-Progress. Many blocks in all sizes, many ALREADY quilted blocks in all sizes. Stained glass blocks, Pineapple blocks, Cathedral Window blocks, Trapunto blocks, Mariner's Compass blocks. And of course in all different color schemes.

"What am I going to do with all this?"

What indeed. We separated already quilted from non-quilted, we grouped Stained Glass away from Mariner's Compass.

"Okay, at the very least you're going to have to bind some of those quilted blocks and you'll have a few quick wall hangings. Next month we'll teach you how to bind a quilt block. And here are these lovely Stained Glass blocks.. Make one more and this will be a beautiful quilt. That will be your other homework. You can worry about the rest later... Maybe an orphan block quilt?" (I had to explain what orphan blocks were.)

Knowing nothing about Mrs. W's mother, I'd say a lot of these blocks were practice runs before she made the real thing... Or maybe she just liked the challenge of trying something new and turned out block after block in many different styles and techniques.

It made me stop and think about the W-I-Ps that I have myself. I do have an orphan block box on my shelf but I don't think there are THAT many blocks in it. I can imagine that someday Leiya will be happier to inherit finished quilts and even fabric stash over a bunch of W-I-Ps. Let this be a lesson to all of us! Finish what we start or our families (and our families' friends) are going to spend a lot of time wondering how to "dispose" of things without negating our hard work.

Our friend Mrs. W has a few years of work cut out for her...


Mrs. Furui put together her game blocks this summer (we all made blocks for each other over the last year or two) and she is close to getting this to flimsy stage. She was auditioning border fabrics yesterday.

Patchwork trees always make me smile.


Just before I left for the States, Mrs. Ochiai, my camera and electronics mentor, brought me a bracelet to give to Leiya. Mrs. Ochiai also does beading and Chinese knotting and she'd made this beautiful, stylish bracelet. Leiya was overjoyed when I gave it to her, (Leiya, did you ever e-mail Mrs. Ochiai and thank her!?!) and you might have noticed it on Leiya's wrist in many of our summer pictures. Yesterday Mrs. Ochiai brought one for me too!!!

Now, I am not normally a bracelet person but I absolutely LOVE this one. It is not a sophisticated, fashion queen statement... more of a relaxed, post-hippie era, nonchalantly worn accessory. It is colorful as well as a bit sparkly and casual enough to wear with my everyday jeans. I may never take it off! (but I must admit it doesn't go well with my crosswalk guard uniform.) Isn't it lovely?! It is Mrs. Ochiai's own design... well she saw something similar on the Internet and figured out how to make it herself. I think she could go into business. Leiya and I are sure happy!

Thank you Ochiai-san!

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