Taupe Chrysanthemum. The 16-petal “kiku” is the royal insignia, but the Japanese love all chrysanthemums. Not only are they appropriate at weddings, funerals, opening businesses, etc., but there are extreme contests to in the late fall to see how many trained blooms you can muster…usually showcased outdoors at a temple. As for this fabric color, well, we have the Japanese quilters to thank for opening our eyes and hearts and to our current awareness and acceptance of neutrals, known in the quilt world as “the Taupes.” The Japanese have shown just how many thousands of shades of neutrals there are besides black, white, and tan. I’ve been lecturing on this topic for a long time: one of the 6 major ways to identify a Japanese quilt is their daring use and explorations of neutral colors in such an elegant way. Before the taupes became popular, I would often pull them out of the mixed 1/2 yard pack and hold them back. Thus this amulet. Border choices reveal how to “stretch” the color and pattern from the center. Top border actually comes with krinkles. As for the Washerwoman? What can I say? An old jewelry pendant that has been waiting patiently for weeks and weeks on the table for her own special debut moment.