Last week when Lorraine visited, she was lugging a suitcase when she came out of the train station.
"I didn't bring any clothes. This is filled with quilts."
Lorraine belongs to a quilting guild in Australia and when they heard that she was coming to Japan again, they sent along A LOT of donation quilts. They had no particular destination in mind. The Tohoku evacuation centers were at one time collecting donation quilts through Quilt Tsushin but no one is sure whether they still need quilts. Mrs. Furui and I donate quilts to the local Ronald McDonald house and Mrs. Furui also makes quilts for the university hospital. Lorraine was hoping that one of these places might find a use for the Australian ladies' quilts.
Actually, there are a lot more quilts still being stored at Lorraine's son's house. Too many for Lorraine to carry herself to my area so we have arranged for Mrs. Okutomi or Mrs. Harada to pick them up the next time they drive in... In the meantime, Lorraine brought what she could and showed them to me.
"Please find some way to use them... The hospital, the Ronald McDonald house, anywhere is fine."
When Tetsu came home that night, he politely admired the Australian quilts. (Tetsu doesn't really understand quilts. They are colorful and they can keep people warm. That's about the extent of his quilt knowledge.) But when Lorraine said that they could be donated anywhere, he spoke up.
"Would anybody mind if I took a quilt or two to the convalescent home? Those would really brighten up some of the rooms."
That's a nice idea, especially because he had given Lorraine a tour around his convalescent home when she visited in February. She could imagine which rooms he might be talking about and who might be admiring the quilts.
In the end, Tetsu took ALL the quilts (seven?) and though I gave him instructions to return any that the staff might not be able to use, NONE of the quilts came back! Staff and residents seem very excited to have all the pretty quilts up on the walls and draped over the sofas.
Ronald McDonald and the hospital will have to wait until someone picks up Lorraine's other quilts. This first batch is not coming back to us...