Week in Review 2024 – 05/24


A space shuttle mission isn’t complete until re-entry occurs. I am in the midst of my own re-entry. The Senior Executive Director of Studio Operations and I have just returned from a 19 day cruise around Japan. What an experience! It’s been a week and we are still playing catch-up and settling back into our routine.

I’m Watching You

How do you cope with re-entry when your routine has been interrupted? Personally, I ease back in. I do this by focusing on priorities, such as paying bills, laundry and groceries. Now, it is time to return to my pre-trip routine. There are priorities there, too. The SEDOSO is busy collecting and delivering my art to several exhibitions. We both attended a lovely, local artist reception at the Nantasket Beach Resort for an exhibition that included I’m Watching You. Next week Sunrise at Minot Beach gets dropped off at the Attleboro Arts Museum.

Sunrise at Minot Beach

Rainbow Scrap Challenge

April’s yellow blocks are finished except for the alternate color around the perimeter.

I like to re-enter the studio by tackling simple sewing first. My 2024 Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt is perfect for that. I had a couple days between my last post and leaving for Japan to complete the yellow blocks. Now it is time to tackle pink for May.

The star is more subtle in real life than in the pattern. I’m OK with that.

I call this a successful re-entry. There is something satisfying about actually finishing and trimming my 2024 Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks. I have so many that are two thirds complete, waiting for the next colors to be announced.

A few pink half square triangles combine with pale yellow

What are your thoughts on re-entry? Does it come naturally to you or do you struggle to become productive again? Tips are welcome.

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. Very interesting take on re-entry; I try to have a plan before I leave with everything all set out so that I can land and go right into it. How cool, your trip to Japan!

    1. We are similar, Jenny. My RSC is set up so that I can pick it up and put it down easily. Seemed a good place to start/ease myself back into my studio practice.

  2. The cruise sounds like an amazing experience even without hearing details. Location alone would be awesome! Easing back in is always a struggle for me when I’ve been gone for awhile. Your RSC blocks are going to look so good together.

    1. It truly was an amazing experience, Sarah. Japan was and wasn’t what I was expecting. Actually, not that different from tackling a new technique or working on one of my own designs. Seems despite the experience of knowing that attempting something new results in many unanticipated experiences I have difficulty remembering that. Travel is like that. You think you “know” a country from all you have read and seen, but you don’t.

      Part of the fun of being 5 months into the RSC is seeing the quilt start to take shape. I can’t wait to have enough blocks to actually begin piecing.

      Good to hear from you, Sara.

  3. back from Japan! how was it? I want to hear about your trip… and how you felt using the language there! Welcome back, take your time

    1. Japan was and wan’t what I expected. I learned so much about just how little I really knew about Japan. I felt off kilter speaking Japanese, but I persevered anyway. Most of my fellow travelers on the ship who I greeted in Japanese broke into smiles. 95% of the passengers spoke Japanese as their primary language, 4% spoke English and the remaining spoke a variety of other primary languages. Could I make myself understood? Maybe 50% of the time at a toddler lever. Still it was important to me to show that I cared enough to make the attempt.

      Perhaps the most fun were the Japanese fish markets. They are a mixture of select your live octopus/crab/sea worm, etc and have it prepared there to buying your groceries to bring home and cook yourself. Markets were often 20 blocks or more of shop after shop.

  4. Did you buy some pretty Japanese fabrics? Welcome home, and managing your re-entry 😉 Have fun preparing your quilts for the show, and bravo for the pink blocks done.
    About re-entry, I’m the kind of person who struggles to become productive again 😉 My head stays on vacation in this other country, this different culture, and I’m finding it hard to get back into my routine. Thank you for sharing some details of your trip in the comments!

    1. Unfortunately, I never came across a fabric store during our various times on shore. One thing I did learn on the ship, as part of culture related arts and crafts is furoshiki I did see furoshiki clothes for sale, but none caught my fancy. If you didn’t know what they were you would think they were napkins. What I love is that furoshiki cloth is part of the gift. No idea if they re-gift it.

  5. Your trip sounds wonderful. I recently had some distractions that prevented me from sewing/creating for almost six months. I found it’s hard to re-entry, I love how you put it, but I got back into the routine last week and it felt so good to be sewing and making again. Have fun preparing and sending your wonderful quilts for shows. I had such a terrible experience with the Houston show last year that I find it’s hard to overcome. I’m still working through it so that, one day, I can re-entry to the quilt shows again.

    1. When I first started entering exhibitions I focused on the large quilt shows such AQS, IQF and the Mancuso shows. However, as my work changed and my goals for my work have changed, I tend to enter either SAQA exhibitions or gallery/museum shows. It is very rare for me to apply to a call where there will be 100’s of quilts. In fact, I apply to as many art shows, maybe more, than I do exhibitions exclusively for quilts. I’m frequently the only or one of less than a handful of fiber artists with work in the exhibit. I also look for calls where my work will travel and be up for a minimum of month. I think your work would do well this way, too. Good to hear you have re-entered your studio and are back creating.

    1. Yes it was amazing, Jenny. We took excursions at each port. I tried hard to vary the excursions. We saw shrines, temples, gardens, morning markets, fish markets, old towns, new cities and even a herring mansion. Actually, that last one is a bit of a misnomer. It was a herring merchant’s gift to, can you believe it, his 17 year old daughter who wanted daddy to her build her home similar to one she visited. It was relatively new compared with the shrines. The mansion was built in the late 1800’s. The artwork on the paper walls, ceiling and few furniture pieces were fabulous.

  6. Your trip sounds fabulous! I agree that re-entry after something like that starts with the “must dos” like laundry or paying bills, and then something straight forward in the sewing room like your string blocks. It is definitely fun to start seeing your design come together!

    1. Take care of business, then get that machine whirring. We are simpatico, Diann. I’m rather enjoying seeing the string blocks come together, too. I have so many 2/3 finished blocks that it is hard to get a clear picture of how this queen sized quilt will look.

  7. Welcome home from Japan! That sounds like an interesting trip. Re-entry, I’ve never had any problems with getting into routines agaun. Maybe 1-2 days adjusting to time difference, if any, that’s all. Things have to done whether we’ve been on holiday or not. Love your RSC blocks, the black borders really sets it off, so pretty.

    1. Oh, lucky you, Astrid. I struggle to simply re-enter after a lunch break. Jet lag was definitely an issue. There is a 13 hour difference between Tokyo and Boston, where I live. Oddly, I did well the first couple of days. Then I had a delayed reaction, crashing in the afternoon.

      Glad you like the black borders. I can’t take credit for the block design. I spotted similar on Pinterest. I simply stole the idea and modified it to make a quilt for our bedroom that meets the RSC.

  8. 19 days in Japan and you expect me to feel sorry for you about re-entry? Insert eye roll emoji here. Honestly though, I am happy that you got to visit. Japan is on my bucket list. Laundry, grocery etc. can wait. For me, the best part of returning home is getting to sleep in my own bed. Oh those dips and lumps fit my curves and bulges like an old lover. A good night’s rest plus simple home-cooked food would be my way to ease in. Hugs!

    1. Even I don’t feel sorry for me, Preeti. I feel amazingly fortunate to have the time, wherewithal and companion to tackle such a trip. Much as I enjoyed every morsel that passed my lips, and an obscene amount of food did so, what I love is returning to my healthy diet. There were just to many temptations and novel to me items to explore.

      I hope you make it to Japan someday. There is the Tokyo Quilt Festival. Perhaps it needs an Island Batik Ambassador. Note the festival has moved from Tokyo to Yokohama approximately 45 minutes away. Yokohama is a port city and start and end point of my cruise.

  9. I love everything about your RSC strippy blocks & sashing but my heart belongs to the kitty! Welcome home. What a wonderful vacation. Glad you have the time, finances, and companion to enjoy it with you. 💕

    1. That kitty is sleeping beside me as I type. She made quite a splash at the artist reception. The exhibition is directly across the street from Nantasket Beach. Quite the popular destination in my youth since had an amusement park, plus a beach before Walt Disney even conceived of the Disney land. The amusement park is long gone, but the beach remains a favorite local destination. No surprise most of the art was ocean, beach front and sailing related. I’m watching you was the sole fiber art and of course, the only cat.

      Thanks for your consistent, positive feedback, Sue.

    1. So true, Sylvia. I thought I wouldn’t be too surprised by Japan. I was. A fair amount, especially the landscape, was unexpected. Also, how immaculately clean everything is since carrying home one’s litter is embedded in the culture.

      Glad you are enjoying the string blocks. They are coming together nicely.

  10. Love your Re-entry!!! I hope your vacation was spectacular!!!
    ( okay – I don’t like the paperwork catch up of re-entry tho) Your RSC is coming along so pretty!!

    1. Yes, the vacation was truly amazing. I purposefully took a break from all things fabric and thread. Just soaked in the landscape, food and testing my skills at translating signs and speaking Japanese. Wish I knew I was going much earlier, so I could have started my language pursuit years vs six months in advance.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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