Thursday, March 31, 2022

TGIFF & Cherry 🌸 Blossom Quilt

Happy Cherry Blossom season!!! And welcome to this week's TGIFF--Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday!!!
TGIFF--Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday is an international quilt link party that begins Thursday at 5 pm CDT and ends at midnight Saturday, so you have plenty of time to link up a finish! The link-up for this week is at the bottom of this blog post.
I have a special finish today! This is my 4th National Day quilt out of 8 that I'm finishing in 2022!!

This quilt commemorates Japanese cherry blossoms, called "Sakura" in Japanese, and coincides with cherry blossom season in Tokyo. The season can fluctuate depending on the weather each year. The Japanese school year begins on April 1st and Japanese associate the start of the school year with cherry blossoms in bloom. 
Here is our youngest daughter with DH on the opening day of 1st grade at the local Japanese elementary school in 2002!!! Cherry blossoms and formal wear! Parents participate in opening day ceremonies, too!!!

Quilt Info: 
Makers: Tama Quilters of Fuchu-shi, Tokyo, Japan
Size: 20" X 28"
Batting: Quilters Dream Poly
Thread: Glide--Cardinal, and Monofilament
Quilting: Stitch-in-the-Ditch, Micro-Meandering and Matchstick
Interesting Info: My DH and I met in Japan where we were missionaries for 24 years. We lived in several areas, including Tokyo from 1999 to 2007, where I quilted with a small group of Japanese women. These blocks were part of our "summer homework" block swap. Since returning to the USA in 2007, I continue to do "summer homework" with these quilters, although we've switched to every other summer. I can't remember the year, but these were made sometime in the past 10 years!!!  
Here are close-ups of each block. We used the same Japanese indigo background fabric.
There are plenty of beads, sequins, embroidery and french knots on these blocks, which called for custom quilting!!!
A tip I've shared before for "micro-meandering" is to use a very short stitch length. I put my longarm on the shortest stitch length possible--not something I normally do!
This is my block--I used cherry blossom prints for the petals and the center, in keeping with the theme!!! ⤵️
I used this sashiko-like print for the backing and hanging sleeve: ⤵️
Choosing the sashing fabric was easy, as one of the Japanese women kindly sent a piece of this red cherry blossom fabric along with her block!!! The binding is a Japanese indigo print! ⤵️
I put this Sakura wall hanging in my longarm studio, a wonderful reminder of my Japanese quilt friends and time spent in Japan!!! ⤵️
Three of the four "Summer Homework" quilts I've put together so far this year can be seen in this photo!!! ⤵️
A special thanks to Mihoko-san, Setsuko-san, Keiko-san, Yoshie-san and Akiko-san for their blocks!!!

Here are my first four National Day quilts!!! I'm excited to have all 8 finished this year!!!
Stop by again on June 5th for my next National Day quilt, National Hot Air Balloon Day!!! And come by sooner, of course, to see what else is quilting up in my studio!!!
Now, for the TGIFF link party!!! 🎉 Link up your finish this week and visit, be inspired and share the love with a comment on other's finishes!!!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Grace and peace!!! ~Nancy


  1. I love this! The quilts you do for summer homework are always so interesting and intricate, each in its own way. The cherry blossom fabric is perfect with it as is the quilting! Thanks for hosting!

  2. Nancy, I love the Cherry Blossom quilt details. It's spectacular! Even better, the first day of school photo <3 Thanks for telling a little bit more about your years in Japan. I didn't know that you met your husband there; I assumed that you were married already and went over together. Thanks for hosting the link up!

  3. Nancy your Cherry Blossom quilt is beautiful. I love the flower centers in each. I agree with Tracie, it was nice hearing a bit about your years in Japan.

  4. I think it is so fun that you still quilt together. The details on the flowers is amazing, and it finished to such a pretty little quilt. Your studio walls are looking so nice! Thanks for hosting TGIFF!

  5. That is lovely, Nancy! I love the different cherry blossom blocks. Do you each make enough to send one to each of the others in your group? That sounds like a wonderful way to remember your friends and your time in Japan!

  6. So many interesting and wonderful National Day quilts! The Japanese fabrics are gorgeous!

  7. I love all the hand stitched detail on the cherry blossoms. xo

  8. Your wall hangings are so beautiful and cheery! Love the cherry blossoms picture of 2002! Hugs

  9. I so love finding other wonderful traditions. We in the West seem to negate the value of
    tradition in favor of the hurry up attitude we've adopted. The cherry blossom blocks are gorgeous and you've really captured the delicate beauty of these wonderful blooms. Thank you !Stay safe and sew on !

  10. Your Cherry Blossom quilt is so beautiful and it looks wonderful displayed on your studio wall. And such a lovely quilt to remind you of your time in Japan and your friends. Have a lovely weekend.

  11. This is such a delightful little quilt. I love how, using the same pattern each maker has added her own hand embroidery and embellishments. The additions are perfectly restrained - a beautiful example of "less is more"!

  12. What a beautiful piece - with such a great story and memories!! Those cherry Blossoms are just gorgeous!

  13. Cherry Blossoms is beautiful, a fun Summer Homework ;) I love all the versions of Sakura, pretty flowers, and embellishments.
    Thank you for sharing your lovely challenges!

  14. What a special quilt with memories of Japan. Love the cute picture of Susanna and Mahlon!
    Quilter Bonnie

  15. Hi Nancy, you have an other gorgeous finish! Each block is beautiful on the indigo background. Love the quilting. Thanks so much for linking up to Free Motion Mavericks.

  16. I really enjoy hearing about your experience in Japan -- whether the stories are quilting related or not! Twenty-four years is a long time to live outside of the US; you've led such a different life than I have. I love how distance hasn't prevented you for staying in contact -- and even quilting with -- the community you developed there. : )


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