Week in Review 2024 – 03/01


Change is a constant. Sometimes change is due to outside forces. However, often change is a caused due to our own choice. After all, how many times have you been tempted try a new pattern, take a class or opt for a spontaneous weekend away?

Note the standard “roman” alphabet above the Japanese Hiragana characters

In November I decided to teach myself Japanese with the help of Duolingo. If I was going to do this I would need to change my overcrowded routine to include a daily lesson or two. Done. Surprisingly, I found learning Japanese this way rather fun and painless. I love doing puzzles and learning a new language helps if you pick out repetition of words and syntax.

No more roman alphabet. Also, the Japanese is written in a mix of Hiragana and Katakana characters.

Oh no! Unexpected change. Turns out I was using the roman alphabet as quite the crutch. Yes, I can very, make that VERY slowly sound out most of the Japanese Hiragana and Katakana characters, but I certainly can’t “instantly” read a word or sentence unless it is in roman or phonetic writing. It always was spelled out phonetically, until it wasn’t. Gasp! Panic! OK and fair amount of self doubt. It was very tempting to give up, now that 20 – 30 % of the questions take 500% longer to answer. No, I haven’t given up.


Sue’s thread painting phase is complete.

I haven’t give up on Sue, either. I had to set this piece aside while I made my SAQA Spotlight auction quilt. Next, several family situations demanding my attention outside of the studio cropped up. I can adapt to change, even challenging change. One of the difficulties of setting aside a work in progress is figuring out where you left off and what you planned to do next. Fortunately, with Sue, that was clear. She needed her upper arm thread painted. Next week I hope to replace her background. That will make quite the change. Ideas are welcome.

Rainbow Scrap Challenge

February’s red blocks are done just in time to start the March blocks.

At the start of each month I count up the number of blocks featuring the month’s assigned color. February is red. I need 3 red and blue combo blocks. Done! There are 16 red and green combo blocks. I finished those, too. Apparently, this quilt requires 51 red blocks combined with colors other than blue or green. Proof is in the image. All 51 half square red blocks are done. Today is March 1st. That means it is time to change colors. I wonder what it will be.

I’m linking up to the following posts:

By Gwyned Trefethen

I am an artist who uses fabric, thread and miscellany to create designs gifted to me by my imagination.


  1. Wow, I admire you for learning Japanese! Way to persevere! That thread painting piece is amazing! You must have lots of patience. Thank you for linking up with TGIFF today! It’s a treat to see your projects!

    1. Confession, Deonn, I will be heading to Japan in the near future. I believe in having at least minimal language skills when I visit a country whose language isn’t mine. Thank you for hosting TGIFF.

    1. Sara, let’s just say I am learning what brain power I have left. Definitely balancing between half empty and half full. Still, I am enjoying the challenge. Glad you like the RSC blocks. Looking forward to moving on to purple next week.

  2. Lovely post to read this morning by my fire! I am very impressed with your Japanese efforts. I am “learning” French with Duolingo and find the lessons excellent. I’m just doing it for brain exercise mostly. Sue is so beautiful and your RSC blocks too. Such inspired stitching to see here always!

    1. Bonjour or perhaps bonsoir by the time you are reading this. My sister is also learning French on Duolingo. She is heading to France this summer. Guess where I am going? I was thinking of learning Spanish next, since that is fast become the second most spoken language in the US. However, my son thinks we should learn Mandarin next. Gasp! I agree that Duolingo is excellent. Fun, too.

      Thanks for the positive feedback.

  3. Way to go on sticking with learning Japanese! That looks very challenging. Glad you’re continuing to making good progress on Sue and also met your goal for the red blocks you needed to make in February!

    1. The first few weeks of lessons are what got me hooked. Duolingo is quite a fun app. It does a great job of introducing new words and sentence structures. But oh, once I had to learn Hiragana and Katakana, yikes! Now that I have completed nearly 150 days in a row of learning they have raised the ante. It’s good to have an excuse to take a break and work in my studio.

  4. Oh boy! Am I impressed! Japanese? I told my kids a long time ago they should learn a second language! I said Spanish then. I might tend to agree with your son about the Mandarin though. Our son works for a company that has employees in Egypt! I never would have encouraged him to learn Arabic back when he was graduating high school!

    1. My son has incentive for the Mandarin. His partner’s grandparents are Chinese immigrants and Mandarin is the primary language spoken in the home. The family gets together to celebrate every holiday and birthday. My son is frequently goes, but like me, would like to be able to understand what is being said and politely converse in Mandarin.

  5. My nephew’s girlfriend is Japanese, and I love her culture. The language is not easy, and you are very brave to learn it! Have fun stitching Sue too, and well done with your 51 RSC red blocks!
    Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. There is much to be said about Japanese culture. The precision, beauty, reverence for seniors and respect is very appealing. The farther I along I get with my Japanese lessons the tougher it gets. Nevertheless, I am enjoying the challenge. However, spending sometime relaxing making my RSC blocks is super appealing right now.

  6. That is awesome to attempt learning a new language – I am impressed. and right? Change… Love it and hate it all at the same time haha!

    1. If I didn’t have the incentive that I will be vacationing in Japan, I think I might have given up. Japanese is certainly a far cry from my high school French. Yes, we often approach change kicking and screaming until it becomes the norm, then don’t want to let go because we appreciate it. Oh, the irony.

  7. I don’t like leaving a project midway for exactly that reason: wondering later where the heck I left off!!?? Lol! Sue is going to a great work of art.

    1. Notes and clues are essential. Of course, that assumes you know you are going to stop midway. I knew, I just didn’t realize for how long. Thanks for the thumbs up.

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