Gene is of Chinese ancestry and actually does know how to read and write Chinese characters. (This is a significant point, as I later made a wedding quilt for another Chinese ancestry friend of mine, carefully and deliberately hand-appliquing Chinese characters for good wishes onto the quilt .. only to find out that the bride and groom don't know how to read Chinese!! Silly me for assuming that they did!)
In November 2004, I was very self-indulgent and bought a Janome 300e embroidery machine. During one of my subsequent frenzied embroidery motif download sessions, I happened to find a Kanji motif that is supposed to mean "friend" (at least I really hope that it does!).
Using the leftover fabrics from the quilt (scraps at this point), I machine embroidered the Kanji word onto a central square and did a Log Cabin block for a 16" pillow. The bias piping along the perimeter seam line is made from a strip set of al the fabrics used in the pillow cover. Gene now has a throw pillow to compliment his quilt. ;-)