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!