Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sendai Block Finished

The deadline to finish the Hearts and Hands for Sendai block was June 30.  Here it is, July 5th, and I am finally done.  As usual, I am juggling too many balls.  But at my age (over the half-century mark), things aren’t likely to be changing, LOL.   This block will, however, be in the mail to Leslie (who is coordinating this effort and assembling the quilts) tomorrow.

I have had the lace Geisha for years, and knew this was the perfect piece for it.  The blue brocade on the right side had swirl patterns in it that reminded me of waves (as in tsunami), so I added the blue scroll lace in that area to represent the water.  The other blue section is stitched with a traditional Japanese pattern which also signifies water.

The two pink fabrics were patterned with cherry blossoms, so to the bottom I added a spray of white lace flowers that I painted pink. A little center, some stitches representing stamens, some leaves... viola!

The trim that goes across the top had the perfect colors for the block, except the edges were red. So, I just stitched over them with pink metallic Kreinik braid.  The fan in the top corner was made from lace that Hideko donated to the auction at our Crazy Quilting International Retreat in September last year.  I bid on it and won. It is a cherry blossom pattern, and I love that I was able to use it to make a lace fan for this block that will benefit Japan!

The kite was the last motif I added, and it seemed appropriate since the shape of the fabric it rests on is roughly a kite shape.  There are two layers of fabric for the kite; the background pink with red is a piece of silk from a vintage kimono, and the top blue butterfly fabric was a recent (maybe 10 years old) cotton print here in the US.   The green and blue fabric the kite rests on (also in left bottom) was the first fabric - from a vintage dress -  I selected for this jewel-toned block.  Everything grew from that.  I wanted it to be a colorful, cheerful piece.

And speaking of colorful and cheerful, my sweet friend Wilma from the Netherlands send me this wonderful gift of fabrics she had left over from her Austria wall hanging.  You can see her lovely quilt here.   Wilma had recently visited Austria, and we talked about that beautiful country when we met at the CQ Adventure in Connecticut last April. I had spent a summer there going to school while I was in high school.  I only had one scrap of fabric left from my trip , and lots of ribbons in red, white, black and green. They will be lovely trims on the crazy quilt block I make with these.  Thank you, Wilma!!

The Austria Block will move up on my priority list for this year!

And now I will leave you with some pictures from the front yard today. We had our new living room window installed today, which made tending London rather interesting.  She thought it was so cool after they removed the old window, and we could stand there waving through the hole at everyone!  I did take before and after pictures of the living room window, but I am not posting them (they are, after all, just windows).  You’re welcome.

Flower pots are growing nicely. Delphiniums blooming!

Delphiniums and yarrow. Soon the daylilies and friends will join them.

An old birdbath that no longer holds water is still useful as a decoration.
I’m off to bed with high hopes that the neighborhood delinquents that were shooting off fireworks last night until after midnight will not be giving us an encore.  I don’t want to turn into the cranky old lady who has the police on speed dial...

Cathy maroon


  1. Your block for Sendai is gorgeous! It is indeed a happy, cheerful piece.
    Have a beautiful day!

  2. The block is beautiful and full of symbolism!

  3. Your block turned out beautiful!
    Love your photos of the flowers...sigh. One of these days I'll manage something out here LOL! Your birdbath gave me some great ideas for mosaic tile work :)

  4. The Sendai block is very beautiful. Where did you ever find the lace figure with the umbrella? It is perfect! Also, lovely seams, flowers and whimsical kite. Love, love, LOVE all of it. Katy

  5. I love your block and all the symbolism you incorporated into its design. Your gardens look wonderful, too.

  6. Your block is very special because of the way you have incorpoated all the things that Hideko will understand and appreciate. Very nice.

    My BIL from Toronto is an avid gardener and was here until this morning. We got talking roses and I mentioned the one in front of your house. I brought up the pics for him to see and he too said he has never seen so many blooms on one bush at one time. You have a very green thumb and a very prolific rose bush. He said to tell you how beautiful it is.



  7. yoour block is so beautiful love everything about it gorjus and the many symbol;ls are perfect
    love n hugs bear xoxoxoxoxo

  8. Cathy, I love your block. You certainly put a lot of thought into all its parts! What a clever idea to add the kite.
    And your garden is looking so lovely. Isn't it great to have real delphiniums to study. Please take a close up photo!

  9. Just lovely Cathy! I love the fan you made - gonna have to try this technique myself! lol Remember imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, or so they say! Your kite is very cool and the geisha is to die for - obviously it was meant for this block!
    Maybe a couple days late but I would say well worth the wait!

  10. How very much I enjoy your blog. Would hate to have to choose between the flowers and the CQ. Each so enjoyable. And a question. How do you start designing a flag with 3 different color sections or 3 stripes - 2 the same color. I am so curious about the process because I have to do the same thing. I'm still collecting fabric in the colors but the design process is not pleasing me. Have managed a couple of designs but none that are good enough.

    Hugs, Berta

  11. Beautiful Sendai block Cathy, full of symbolism. Glad you liked the Austrian fabrics, enjoy making your CQ block with them. Hugs from Holland,


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