This week I visited the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival. If you tell me something will be great, I am instantly skeptical. But this was great, at least for the few short hours I was able to withstand old ladies and their elbows. Don’t let those canes fool you, they are swift and deadly.
Thank goodness I was at least a head taller than everyone, so getting a peep at the quilts was no problem. My view for most of the morning was something like this:
In all earnestness, I had a lovely time with the old gals. My Japanese sewing vocabulary is well rounded, as is my ability to exclaim simultaneous astonishment and compliment with only mouth sounds (eeehhhhhHHHHH?!), so we got along quite nicely.
Occasionally someone would look over their shoulder to check for the Quilt Police and then gently lift the quilt to sneek a peek at the backside, and I’d crane my neck to catch a glimpse, too. We’d nod in understanding. You can always spot a fellow quilter or embroiderer, someone who is just as interested in the back as they are in the front.
While most people were fawning over the traditional quilts, I really enjoyed the “wa” quilts category (和のキルト部門), described as quilts with a unique Japanese quality to them. Many were constructed from Japanese kimono silk and were quite vibrant, but I prefered the naturally-dyed blues and grays of old ikat cottons.
My favorite was this double wedding ring quilt. I was lucky to catch a moment with no one between it and me and I snapped a photo — I’m standing straight in front, but notice how the rings are different sizes. I wish I could have taken this one home with me.
Another favorite of the day was the pudding quilt. Obviously.
You can see more photos of my favorites here on Flickr. This was my first quilt festival — has anyone else attended one? How do you think it compares? I’d love to hear!
Thanks for sharing. Loved the photos! I’m working on a black and white quilt. Photos to come.
Ooh! I can’t wait! Can you give me a hint?
oh – I am so,SO envious. I wanted to see this show but such a long trip from the UK. Please can you tell me where I can obtain a catalogue in English!!
Hi Carol Ann! I’m not sure they offered a catalogue in English, but I’ll look into it for you. Did you check the website? They provided some content online in English.
Thank you for your quick reply Yes I checked the website If the catalogue is not available in English I would buy in Japanese I really would have loved to see this magnificent show
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Do you know where I can buy the english version of the catalogue
Carol Ann Eades
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Some gorgeous quilts there! I can’t wait until I’m poficient enough to make something even half as beautiful! 🙂 Thanks for sharing the pictures.
I’m sure you can do it, Ria! I started slowly, and eventually — poof! A quilt appeared. 😉
HOw interesting… some of those quilts look like mosaics. Lovely.
Thank you for the pictures, this is a fascinating event, one to which I would love to attend one day. It is on my wish list!
Angie, these quilts were amazing. I’m still in awe and I only saw your pictures. I can’t imagine what it was like seeing them ‘up close’.
What a fun day Angie! I agree, the wa quilts were so unique and I’m still in love with that boy’s beetle and things quilt….
It *was* a fun day! Thanks again for inviting me!
This was my second year seeing the Tokyo Quilt Show – wonderful, and a little over the top! So happy to have found your blog (I searched sashiko on Pinterest). I too have enjoyed sashiko lessons with the ladies at Blue and White:).
Hello! I was wondering if Yoshiura-sensei had some work on display. It might be time for me to visit Blue & White again soon. 🙂
She has some beautiful placemats for sale right now, not sure what else. The shop is in my neighborhood so I’m in there all the time (dangerous!).