When I’m not quilting, I have a full-time job working for a not-for-profit on a college campus. Two years ago I volunteered to be a “chat partner” for an international student from Japan. The International Office program coordinator told me that Yuki was shy and that she thought we would be good partners. How very wrong she was.

No, I don’t mean that Yuki and I didn’t get along — I mean that there is nothing shy about her. She’s quiet, but brave and it’s been a wonderful two years getting to know her.

Yuki did what I would want my child to do in a new place: she dove into every challenge and squeezed great experiences out of things that could have been ‘boring’, ‘weird’, or uncomfortable. For instance, she attended every kind of church service to which she was invited because she wanted to understand that side of America. Although she was raised in Osaka, where public transportation is everywhere, she learned how to drive, because, well, that’s what Americans do. She hopped on a plane during one winter break and spent 2 months in a home stay in Guatemala because she wanted to learn Spanish. She spent another winter break couch surfing while taking the bus out west where she visited Texas, Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico where she worked for board at an Alpaca farm.

We ended up spending more than an hour a week together, talking about our families and school and the unique culture of America. She joined clubs, worked two jobs, learned to salsa and she took up yoga. Did I mention that she is graduating with honors?

Yuki is a lovely young woman. I wanted to make something for her that would always remind her of her time in America. A couple of months ago, I spotted a fun pattern from Splish Splash Stash. The pattern is called the cinched jelly roll. I had a USA themed jelly roll on hand, so I zipped this quilt together with Yuki in mind.


A gold star helps give the cinch focus


Cinched jelly roll displayed on the “design floor”

Ms. G. did a lovely job of quilting the cinched jelly roll using a star pattern and blue thread.


If only the sun would shine, I think that star would really sparkle!

Tomorrow I’ll give the quilt to Yuki. I hope it will remind her of her American adventure!


Yuki with her quilt. I hope it brings her warm memories of her time in the US.

2 thoughts on “USA! USA!

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