Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tokyo Quilt Festival 2012 revisited

On Friday I did end up going back to the quilt show.  It was much less crowded, and I put my coat in a locker - this made all the difference.  I decided to reverse my path, starting around where Julie and I had lost steam on Wednesday.

Right away I noticed what appeared to be a quilters' response to 3/11 (last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami) theme:

"wishes", by Yoko Ueda: 

A quick glance at a few adjacent quilts confirmed that this section very likely featured responses to the disaster.   There were many.  Here are a few:

Detail from "Wish one's whole heart" by Chiyoko Umeda

A fascinating double-sided quilt composed of hearts, "With a single mind" by Misaki Okabe:

"Smile" by Emiko Toda Loeb:  

"Life goes on" by Akane Sakamoto: 

 The reference to 3/11 at the beginning of the description confirmed for me that this quilt's meaning is connected to the earthquake and tsunami:

So whimsical and yet so poignant.  I wish I could have read and understood the description.  I'm glad I bought the show catalogs, so that eventually I can beg translation for some of these descriptions!

Certainly this one fits as well: 
"You are not alone" by Ryoko Fujimoto: 

Some of the quilts I'd seen and posted about on Wednesday (such as "Memories of the Silk" by Junko Himeno, "resurrection" by Satoko Okamura, and "Requiescat" by Yuko Kita) also fit into this category.  So I saw them again on Friday with new eyes. 

Deep breath, and next I saw some of the things I'd skipped on Wednesday, like the section of Quilted Bags (not really my thing): 

And I took a second look through the Amateur section.  This might be a "Dear Jane" quilt?  I'm not sure.  It's called "Red Quilt Filled with Love". I have to admit I snapped the photo as much for the lovely kimono-clad ladies as for the quilt!  

I was really drawn to this one.  Not sure of the title (or maker!) but somewhere on the quilt the word "fertility" was embroidered. 

 The hand quilting was just beautiful.  This spider (obvious symbol of fertility) was created with French knots:

I took another look at the beautiful Hexagon quilt exhibit, and was pleasantly surprised to see that this particular quilt was hanging outside the "no photos" boundary walls.  
I just love it!   Who can resist all that bubblegum pink - not me!  

It is perfectly named - "Happy Hexigon" by Atsuko Matsuyama.  

To my eye, this fabric looks like the real deal - not repro's - but I could be wrong.

Oh, and I loved this cheerful, colorful "room" exhibit by Keiko Goke: 

Next I couldn't help but visit a vender or two and I got a couple of treasures of the "taupe" variety.  .... and that about wraps up my second day at the Tokyo Quilt Festival 2012!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tokyo Quilt Festival 2012 - Vendors

So to back up, before we even looked at the quilts, we took a swing through the venders.  My oh my, it was crowded.  Exciting, though.

Lots of bags, and kits for making bags.  Lots of taupy neutrals.

 Hard to even get a glimpse of what's going on... but Julie succeeded... sometimes it pays to be tall in Tokyo:


Mmmm... scrumptious Liberty... but too pricey for me...

 I loved these baskets but they were prohibitively expensive!

On our way home in the afternoon I turned back and snapped this photo.  Ya, it was this crowded through the vender area!!

Home to look at the goodies I bought:

I love the texture on these - can't wait to use them in my next "quilt that I can't stop making":).

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tokyo Quilt Festival 2012

TOKYO International Great Quilt Festival 2012, that is!

 Yesterday my friend JulieW and I braved the (sometimes crushing) crowds at Tokyo Dome, and had a great time viewing the quilts and visiting the many venders.   This was our view as we entered the arena:

Our plan was to browse the venders first, and then see the show.  I will post about the venders separately.  It was so crowded that we never met up with the rest of our group, although we did have the pleasure of running into Julie from My Quilt Diary as we were heading out of the venders and into the show.   I can't wait to compare notes with Julie!

At first I was disappointed when it seemed that picture-taking was prohibited, but then I noticed so many people taking pictures with their phones, and that only certain sections of the show were off-limits to photos, so I ended up snapping quite a few.  I bought the show catalogs but nothing was really translated into English, and only the names of Master Quilters were included in English, so regrettably I can't indicate many of the quilt makers' names here.  Some of the quilts had English titles, but most didn't.

I hope you'll enjoy these snippets of the Quilt Show!

Group Quilts 

On the periphery of the show, there were many group quilts displayed.  Are these charity quilts?  If anyone has any insights into the origin and purpose of these quilts please let us know in the comments!

Here is #42.

 Spotted  Meli B is Making Things 's block:

Traditional Category:

 It was hard to even get near the prize-winners.  I loved this one by Masako Sanada, which took second prize in the Traditional Quilts category: 

I'm not sure how the organizers decided what was "traditional" and what was "original design". 

I really liked this crisp red and white:

The photos don't do this quilt justice.  It was exquisite:

 Perhaps my favorite quilt was this one titled "SPRING" - composed of soft somewhat faded solids. The quilt managed to be both vibrant and soft.  Check out the beautiful hand quilting with colored thread.

Original Design Quilt Category:

There was a lot of interest in this quilt titled "Shining Town": 

Bunnies hopping off of a ball of... bunnies:

 An unusual shot of yellow:

"Hazama" - lots of raw edges:

This one was so cool:

"Wa" Quilt Category: 

I loved this one for its simplicity:   

Whoa.... it's hard to tell in the photo, but this was quite the "bedazzled" quilt, right JulieW? :)

Beautiful sashiko stitching - this was a stunner and I wish I could have stood in front of it longer:

Next we viewed some quilts by Master Quilters.  There was even a separate event book for these quilters - with no English translation though!

"Requiescat" by Yuko Kita:

"resurrection" by Satoko Okamura:

"BORN FREE" by Miyoko Murata:

"Memories of the silk" by Junko Himeno:

 "Wonder in the Magic Mirror" by Isako Murakami:

Junior Category: 
Fabulous! So joyful!

My overall impression of the show was "WOW!"... and "over the top!" (not always in a good way).  After awhile it was a little overwhelming and I found myself craving, I don't know...  a simple 9-patch or something (the Hexagon section, which didn't allow photos, was a breath of fresh air).

After awhile, it was all starting to look the same and we had just seen enough....

So we breezed through the Framed Quilt section....

And skipped the Quilted Bag section...

But then this morning as I looked through the show catalogs, I realized I completely missed seeing many, many beautiful and interesting quilts.  Blame it on the sheer magnitude of this event, the crowds, and limited capacity for taking it all in!

A couple of afterthoughts - this was a Japanese show through and through, with nary a word translated into English.  It was not "International" - apart from a (fairly bizarre) Alice in Wonderland themed section, and a refreshing Hexagon section curated by Shelly Zegart from Louisville, Kentucky (strictly no photos allowed, which was a shame, because these were beautiful quilts, and worth the price of the catalog).  

I loved this show, and it's the first big quilt show I've attended.  However, I really longed to read a little something about the quilts and their makers, and so something was really lost for me.

All in all though, it was a thrill to see this show.... and I can hardly believe I actually live here this year, a short subway ride away.  I've blocked out tomorrow in case I feel the need to go back for a second round!

If you attended the show, I'd love to hear your impressions in the comments!