Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tokyo Quilt Festival 2013 - Part 1 of 3

To The Gentle Future, by Noriko Hayashi 

This year I had the privilege to attend the Opening Ceremony/preview as a guest of my friend Ann from the U.S. Embassy.  There was an opening ceremony (many speeches, flowers, a ribbon cutting) and then a brief opportunity to preview the show (deferring to the Princess and her entourage of Secret Service) before the doors opened officially -  first to the quilters and guests, and then to the anxious public.  

Grand prize winner ___________ (name?)

After this, it would be hard to catch a full view of the winning quilts:

Name? _______

We were in awe of this intricate, completely hand pieced and quilted blue and white piece:

Drift Ice, by Toshie Yamagata

Drift Ice by Toshie Yamagata, detail 

I was standing here admiring the following quilt, when its maker shyly introduced herself and was glad to pose for a photo.  I am so sorry I did not remember her name - and it wasn't in romaji on the sign.   

Can someone translate this?


 Log cabins everywhere in this show:

JAPONISM, by _____ ?

Our time with this preview group was so limited, and so I returned to the show yesterday with my friend Julie W, just like last year.  We took our sweet time, talking all the way - it was so fun!

I had my eye out for Sashiko both days, and the show did not disappoint.  Here are several shots of one of the standouts:

Again.... maybe one of my Japanese friends can translate?


OK, who can resist 101 cats?

Or a Bug's Life? (I love the sashiko quilting on this one!)

Bug's Life by Satoko Okamura 

Bug's Life by Satoko Okamura, detail 

Special Exhibition, very American, very crowded, strictly no photos allowed, Julie and I breezed through:

And forged on.  This whimsical piece caught my eye:

Love this:


Keiko Goke is a standout for her use of color:

 I believe this quilt is in response to 3/11:

At this point Julie and I had hit that overload tipping point (the crowds, the overwhelming number of quilts) and we were punchy, and not really actually seeing quilts anymore.  When it all starts to look the same it's time for a break.  We sat in the stands and had a snack, then walked around again briefly, finished hitting the vendors (and knowing I'm returning to the U.S. this summer, I was generous with myself), and trained home.

I arrived home with sore feet but happy eyes (photos) and hands (purchases). I'm already scheming and dreaming for how I might return to Japan for this show one of these upcoming years!

Stay tuned for another post about my favorite exhibit in the show!