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).

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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.

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

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AllFriendsinHeaven_Label

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

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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:

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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.

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Chuck Nohara_photo

Thank you, Chuck Nohara!

 

Chuck Nohara Quilt Top Finished!

We interrupt this tour of France and the European Patchwork Meeting to bring you breaking news: I finished the Chuck Nohara Quilt Top!

My husband held it up for me, but it’s big — about 80″ wide, and similar height.

Chuck Nohara Blocks_Final

Above are the Chuck Nohara blocks that Susan and I chose; we took turns choosing blocks to make–four a month, which sometimes about did me in.  I’ll have you know that she is ALL DONE with her quilt.  (I took this photo inside, the quilt smoothed up on my design wall, so all the blocks were visible.)

Chuck Nohara Signature Block SS

And then we made signature blocks for each other, to commemorate that year-plus of making weensy little fussy blocks. (How did we decide to do this?  Blame the Chuck Nohara QAL Instagram Feed.)  The above signature block is hers, surrounded by my tiny plus-sign blocks and the final star borders.  I have other posts tagged with “Chuck Nohara” so you can either click on the label at the bottom of this one to get more info, or do a search in the box to the right.Chuck Nohara Signature Block ESE

Here’s my signature block.  Do I love love this quilt?  Parts of it, most of it.  If I had another millennium, I might have tried something different besides the two borders, then star borders.  Let me rephrase that… I DID try a lot of different things but nothing clicked to me (now I have a lot of cut fabric for string blocks).  At some point, the old mantra clicked in my head:  “Better done, than perfect”  as well as  “The perfect is the enemy of the good.”

Sometimes it’s fine to have some good quilts.  I love so much of what I learned with this quilt–so many different techniques.  But I’m also glad it’s at this spot.  I’ll bring it back when I finish quilting it, but for now, I’m putting it up on the 200 Quilts List.