Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Heart for Japan ---

This morning I woke to 4 email messages in my inbox, one after the other asking me to help spread the word about things we can do to help those in Japan who are still reeling from the earthquake, the tsunami, and the fear of nuclear disaster.

I spent time in Japan in 1989 and I keep thinking of all of those memories…all of those people…and my mind just can’t fathom what they are going through. My heart is so heavy and I search for updates and watch with hope as they try to rebuild and put life back together.

I recently read this quote which says SO much about the nobleness of the Japanese people:

"When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something has suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful."

There will be a lot of cracks to fill. But I know there are things that we, as a community of quilters, can do to help.

Hi Bonnie,
Love your quilts and books. But today I join the many people that come to you with requests.

I am sorry. I wish I did not have the urge to do it; but you are such an inspiration that I thought of you when I came across this information.

It is a request for quilts for Japan. I copied the letter to you below:

"This is a copy of an email from the editor of Quilt Tsushin Magazine, Naomi Ichikawa, Naomi lives in Tokyo and her mother and brother survived the tsunami in Sendai.
Here is Naomi’s request translated into english.

It is still bad situation now in Japan. We are still nervous about shaking and radiation,but no way to escape. I start to announce to the quilters to send us comfort quilts for the people who are suffered.I would like to do it to the world quilters. We will deliver the comfort quilts to the people who are very difficult situation. Could you please help to announce it to the quilters? We accept any size of quilts(baby to adult).new or unused.
The deadline would be the end of May or later.

After May 1st:
Naomi Ichikawa
Patchwork Tsushin Co.,Ltd
2-21-2,Yushima,Bunkyo-ku,Tokyo,Japan zip:113-0034

I will appreciate if you help me.

My hope is that in the near future we will be collecting supplies for quilt groups in the Sendai region so they can use quilting to confort, heal, and express themselves.
Nomaiaci (Cissa) Kamakura

Another email came from Sandra Shigeno, and may be a better way for those of us in the USA to send quilts as Quilters Newsletter is heading up an effort for quilts to be sent to Japan as well:

Quilters Newsletter has long enjoyed a friendship with Patchwork Tsushin, a leading Japanese quilt magazine.

So when Editor in Chief Naomi Ichikawa emailed to say her magazine is collecting comfort quilts for those impacted by the recent earthquake in Japan, we wanted to join the effort.

QN will gather quilts from U.S. quiltmakers then forward them to Naomi and her staff, who will deliver them to those in need. (If you live outside the United States, email me as indicated below, and I will provide information on how you can send quilts directly to Naomi.)

Here’s how you can be part of this important worldwide response:

Send new quilts of any size from baby to adult to:

Dana Jones
Quilters Newsletter
741 Corporate Circle, Suite A
Golden, CO 80401

• Mark your box: “Quilts for Japan.”
• Send quilts as soon as possible and no later than April 30, 2011.
• Enclose your name, address, phone number, and email address with the quilts.

We did it for Katrina…we did it for the flooding in the midwest. We did it to help the Australians recently. I know we have it in us to help those in Japan as well!

***UPDATE*** This just in:
Dana Jones { 03.19.11 at 1:03 pm }

I emailed with Naomi Ichikawa today. She has asked that if you are sending quilts directly to Japan, that you do not send them until May 1 at the earliest. Please watch this blog for regular updates on this time frame as things are changing daily in Japan.

If you are sending quilts to Quilters Newsletter [in Colorado] and do not want to write “Quilts for Japan” on the box, please enclose a note that says this. We receive many quilts in our offices and will only send quilts to Japan that we know are intended for Japan.

Please send only new quilts.

I am amazed but not surprised at the compassionate response to this call for quilts. In just 24 hours, we at QN have heard from quilters in the United States, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, and Italy. We are truly an international community!

Dana Jones, QN managing editor


  1. I'm collecting quilt squares to make into a quilt if anyone wants to send me just a block. See my blog post today! One block might be easier for some than a whole quilt! I wanted to help and thought it would be a LOT MORE fun to do it together!!!

  2. When I saw the email from Japan (via EQ's list), I went home and pulled 6 quilts from my shelves and laundered them. I had one of your earlier mysteries (Carolina Crossroads) on my design wall (just needed the inset triangular pieces to finish it). But then I realized that instead of another queen-size quilt for me, I could re-purpose the blocks to make 3 smaller quilts suitable for kids (straight setting, not on-point). 2 of these quilts are ready for borders. I hope to have all 3 ready for quilting before I go to bed today. I hope to get all 9 quilts shipped to Quilters Newsletter by next weekend.

  3. I pulled two quilt tops from the closet and will quilt them this week. Also going to suggest the mini-retreat we do the 2nd of April be a bee to make at least a few more....thanks for passing on the info!

  4. I sent two quilts today. I sincerely hope they find someone to comfort. I am glad you are advertising this, Bonnie, you reach a wide audience.

  5. I put a link on my blog to your blog so more people can find this information......I'll be working on a few quilts to send.

    Thanks Bonnie and Happy Sewing

  6. Fall over seven times, get up eight - Japanese proverb.

  7. Thank you for posting this information. We lived in Misawa, Japan, from 1977 to 1980, which is about 200 miles north of Sendai. We enjoyed our time in Japan and have a great respect for the Japanese people. They will get through this with grace. I will be putting together a quilt or two to send when the 1st of May gets here.

  8. Glad this showed up on Pat Sloan's Forum. I'll be working on at least one. Maybe RRCB will go to Japan if I can get it done. It's huge. Thanks, Bonnie.

  9. Thanks Bonnie, I am going to copy and paste some of this info on my b log, I hope you don't mind.

  10. Thanks Bonnie! Have lots of tops, Will stop thinking about quilting them and just get them done to donate.

  11. Those photos are absolutely beautiful. I especially like the cherry blossom tree - the subject of many japanese quilts. I believe half my book-stash is of Japanese inspired quilting. The Japanese can make some absolutely beautiful things, and it would be my honor to give something back to them, after all the inspiration they have provided me.


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