Soon after the big earthquake and tsunami of March 2011, I decided to make a Japan-inspired quilt. I had been reading Dan Rouse's blog and was loving his incredible reverse-appliqué quilts (seriously, go check it out), so I decided to do reverse appliqué using red background fabric and an off-white fabric on the front. The idea was to sort of mimic the Japanese flag. This quilt took me a long time to finish (about 2 years??), although it was sitting around waiting for a long time. After doing the appliqué and then basting the quilt, I got hung up on how to quilt it. My favorite suggestion from someone was to use free motion quilting in the Japan portion to make it look like topography. However, I had tried free motion before and decided it didn't work on my machine because I constantly had tension issues. I finally read more about FMQ and decided I needed to put my tension way up (to 9 or10) and try again. I finally bit the bullet and decided to go for it. It actually worked really well! I had a lot of starts and stops and I wanted to do it "right," so I decided to bury all the threads by hand. That took quite a bit of time but it was worth it. You can't really see the topography lines on the front, but because I used red thread, they look great on the back. Here are some overall photos (sorry for the poor photo quality - I'll need to work on getting better photos in the future!) and some detail shots. I hope you enjoy it!