Thursday, 23 September 2021

What's In A Quilt -19

I recently completed my crazy quilt project Crazy for Crazy, and now want to write its history.

There are only two blocks left that I have not written about. When I had completed block number 18, the white and orange one (shown last week), I felt impatient to finish the two remaining blocks, and so at last be able to complete the quilt. 

Therefore I worked block #19 and #20 side by side, and completed them more or less at the same time, but will tell you about one today and the last one next week.

So here is block #19,  in brown with details in light blue and silver.

In the centre I placed a piece of craft felt - this quilt will never be washed, so why not? It is flanked by a piece of cocoa coloured linen from Obuse (I wrote about Obuse here), and on the other side is a William Morris pattern from a quilter's charm pack, and on the left is a piece of silk, probably the lining of a kimono jacket. 

To the right you can see a piece of lawn (I think it is a Liberty of London lawn, but have not been able to confirm this). Anyway, it originally had a purple and pink floral print. I filled in the print with light blue silk embroidery, simply to make the fabric fit the colour scheme I had selected - I didn't have a lot of brown in my stash and had to 'stretch' it. 

Finally at the top of the block is a brick pattern quilter's cotton, the source is unknown. It was in a fat quarter,  I guess I bought it to use for something special, then changed my mind. Oh, isn't it frustrating when the memory fails?

By the time I made block #19 I had made many Dorset Buttons, so whipping up this one was fast. 
Tatting, however, was something I had just started practising, and I had reached the level where I added beads. It was just a trial bit, but I liked the arch and added it to the block.

There are two ribbons. The one of woven strips of silver foil is from a wrapped gift. I have a LOT of small pieces of ribbon. Why? There are two reasons. 1) I am a stingy, thrifty ribbon collector! 2) I have been able to hoard this collection because gift wrapping is VERY important in Japan. Even the smallest present is wrapped up. 
It is seen as impolite to hand over a 'naked' item, even cash is often offered in an envelope. The wrapping is an extension of the gift itself, so many gifts are exquisitely packaged. 

Chocolates are popular to give for birthdays, Christmas and THE thing to give on St Valentine's Day. Manufacturers of chocolate sell their pralines in pretty boxes. A paper wrapped over the box is then not needed, but a ribbon will indicate the season - red and green for Christmas, pink in spring when the cherry trees are in bloom, yellow or light green for Easter, orange for Halloween, red for St Valentine and white, light blue or silver for White Day. 

White Day? What on earth is White Day? It is a clever marketing ploy to sell more chocolates! On February 14th girls (of all ages) give Valentine chocolates to boys (of all ages). A month later, on March 14th those boys should give a return gift to the girls, the day has been named White Day. 
Here are some interesting articles to read: Gift Wrapping, St Valentine's DayWhite Day

So my ribbon is silver, it must have been from a return gift on White Day from my hubby!

The other ribbon on the crazy quilt block is light blue velvet with silver edges. I remember buying a whole reel of it at Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival one year. There used to be many traders at the show and one area was for wholesale where you could buy buttons, ribbons and ric rac in bulk. This ribbon was too pretty to pass.

On the block are also some dangling ornaments. They are a pair of earrings, bought on impulse in a shop of Indian imports. They were great fun for a casual summer look, but actually to heavy for comfort. That is why they ended up here, where I think they are just perfect.

I made this block between 10th February and 24th March, 2021 (St Valentine and White Day time!)

Many thanks to: Honey, Grandmother, Jacquie, Catherine, Sylvia, Kathleen, Kaoru, Auntie, Indiska, Obuse, and all you readers, who have supported me through this project.


  1. Lovely crazy block in brown, silver and blue! With beautiful embroidery and tatting! I like the story of White Day too.
    I have a similar pair of heavy ear rings, good idea to save them for embellishment.
    I enjoy your textile history and culture stories. You must start another one.

  2. I love a combination of blue and brown, a beautiful block. Before I read your post Milk Chocolate came to mind as I saw your fabrics. Those earrings beautifully compliment the block.

  3. This color combination is very appealing. The tatting is such a nice addition!

  4. A White Day ribbon from your hubby is very important to include!

  5. I'd never heard of White Day - and even if it is a ploy to sell more chocolates, it's a charming idea!

  6. In Canada the men are expected to buy chocolates. No White Day here. We have enough white snow at that time of year!


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