200 Quilts · Chuck Nohara · Quilt Finish · Quilts

All Are Friends In Heaven • Quilt Finish

AllFriendsinHeaven_4full quilt

All Are Friends in Heaven
Quilt #188  • 78″ square

This quilt, made of 6″ blocks designed by famous Japanese quilter Chuck Nohara, is finally finished.  We took it out to the local area for some shots with wildflowers, as it’s been such a beautiful year.  My husband was the best quilt holder (thank you, dear). Although her name reads masculine, Chuck Nohara is a woman who taught quilting to many in Japan in the 1970s and 80s.

While I am currently past 200 quilts in the listing, I first posted about this top at the #188 slot.  Rather than rework my lengthy listings, I decided to slide it into place where I first wrote about it.  I will link it to this post, showing its completion (which is why I don’t like to only post the quilt tops, preferring instead to number the quilts when they are finished).




Why has it taken so long?  I had always wanted to quilt it myself.  But one bad week during my recent recovery from rotator cuff surgery, I realized (or believed) that I would never quilt again, so had my husband help me box it up and send it off to Darby for quilting.


I chose this meandering loopy pattern for the quilting, and I’m quite happy with it.



The title comes from a poem by Robert Pollock, a religious poet from Scotland.  I liked the idea of that line, that we are all friends in heaven, as this quilt was made when Susan from Australia, and I (from California) corresponded and chose blocks to work on, as we both had a hankering to make a “Chuck Nohara” quilt.  That seems so far away, although with FaceTime videos, emails and notes, the distance does shrink.

When I first did research on all these little tiny blocks, one blogger called them Friendship Blocks.  They were made by the hundreds by Japanese quilters, sent in to teams who would take all the blocks, make quilts with them, which would then be auctioned off with money going to charity at the Tokyo Quilt Show.  Now these blocks are pretty widely called Charity Blocks, but because Susan and I, friends across the ocean, chose to make them together, I’ve always thought of them as an expression of friendship.  And as we participated in the online groups, we made other friends.  So they still remain Friendship Blocks in my mind.

Chuck Nohara book


We each chose two per month, and I’d make a little sign like this and we’d put them up on our IG accounts and blogs and get to making.  I realize that the quilt photos in this post are from far away, you can head to the link #chucknohara_opquilt on Instagram and see all the blocks that I have posted.  We also tagged them #chucknoharaQAL so they’d be grouped with others around the world who were making these tiny blocks.

Chuck Nohara11_15 blocks

My first set of blocks, finished in December 2015.  Yes, from start to finish, it’s been a little over three years to finish up this quilt.  I seem to excel at the long game.  Here’s Susan’s quilt:

Chuck Nohara_SusanS.jpg

Such a different, and wonderful, quilt from the same blocks.  Here’s a closer picture of my quilt without the quilting:

Chuck Nohara Final TopThe upper left block is her signature block.  The lower right block is mine.  I planned that the outer stars would run from deeper green, to yellow, and back to green as they moved along the edges.


Chuck Nohara_photo

Thank you, Chuck Nohara!


22 thoughts on “All Are Friends In Heaven • Quilt Finish

  1. Hi Elizabeth – It’s been quite awhile since I last corresponded with you but wanted to tell you how beautiful your quilt turned out to be. I remember when you started it and followed your progress as you went along the way. LOve the stars as your border too. It really finishes off the quilt beautifully. I am sorry you won’t be able to quilt your quilts but the gal that did the quilting job did a beautiful job too. Take care my friend.

    1. Nice quilt “Hanger”, beautiful quilt and the label,
      to me, helps to tell the story behind the quilt.
      I remember when you first began Chuck Nohara blocks.
      Love the finish!

  2. Such a special and lovely quilt. I’m so impressed that both of you not only finished all those little blocks but also finished the tops. Well done.

  3. I love this one. The bright colors are wonderful, and the quilting pattern adds to the overall playful, joyous feel of the quilt.

  4. Of course I love your Chuck quilt! And the name and label add another beautiful layer to its story! And yours took so much longer than mine because of all those wonderful stars you added as a brilliant border! My dearest wish is that some day we will indeed meet!

  5. What a huge undertaking, to make this quilt! Congratulations for persevering to see it through to a finish, even to having someone longarm it for you. That’s part of the quilt’s story, how you were not quite your usual self and made a different decision because of it. It’s really glorious, and especially significant because you shared the experience with Susan. Just fabulous, Elizabeth! And I can’t help but be a little jealous of you, having a patient quilt-holder. I’m not quite that fortunate. Though he WILL hold a quilt, if I don’t get a satisfactory picture after one or two snaps, it’s over. Sigh. Oh, what some of us quilters have to put up with. 🙂

  6. WOW!!! That is so beautiful!!! How is the shoulder? You will be able to quilt again, right? Thank you for sharing!

  7. What a beautiful quilt this is! I love your use of plus signs in the borders! I would never have thought of it, but it is wonderful! You inspired me to buy this book some time ago and now I’m thinking I need to find it! Thank you for the inspiration!

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