Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Team Quilt Ten show

Last weekend I batted my eyelashes and convinced David to help me find this small quilt show, in Ikebukuro on the 5th floor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space.  Finding a new place in Tokyo is always an adventure!

The show was put up by nine quilters who have won prizes at the Tokyo Quilt Festival.

This one caught my eye right away, especially the closer to it I got:

KomoRebi no Diamondo, by Shimura Tsunekko

The piecing, hand quilting, and to top it off, applique and embroidered embellishments were just awe-inspiring.

 As I snapped this photo of the quilt info, I asked a nearby pair of Japanese ladies to read out the name of the quilter, so I could give her due credit here.

They told me, and motioned for me to stay right there.  They skipped across the room back to the entrance to fetch Shimura-san herself.   She seemed tickled over my oooing and awwing, and was happy to pose for a photo in front of her masterpiece.

KomoRebi no Diamondo, by Shimura Tsunekko

David and I stood for some time afterwards admiring her quilt.

Next I recognized this beauty from this year's Tokyo Quilt Festival:
La Primavera by Toshiko Kurihara

And moved on... and found a little cluster of small quilts, where this little gem caught my eye:
little house quilt by Chiyoko Umeda

Chiyoko Umeda

Of course I couldn't read the name on the sign, so I found someone official looking (a docent I thought) and asked her.  She gave me the name, and I could tell her English was very good.  Next I asked her if she wouldn't mind identifying the maker of another quilt, and led her back to "La Primavera" - at which point she smiled and said "I made it."  Wow!

La Primavera by Toshiko Kurihara

She said the quilt was inspired by the good thoughts turned towards the region and people affected by the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami.  Spring = hope and regrowth.  The following quilt was inspired by the painting styles of Van Gogh and Matisse:
Soleil by Toshiko Kurihara
 And the this one was inspired by "Phantom of the Opera":
Masquerade by Toshiko Kuwihara
Kuwihara-san has been quilting for 32 years.  At first, she had inspiration photos of American quilts, but not much else to go on.  She didn't know to hide her knots, so the back of her first quilt is full of knots on the outside (I think that sounds charming).

Kuwihara-san said that she designs and machine quilts these more modern quilts specifically for the Quilt Festival, according to that particular year's theme.  Each quilt takes a full year to complete.

She also makes more utilitarian quilts for regular use, using plain and traditional Japanese fabrics, and for those projects, she hand-quilts.  I sure would have loved to see some of those quilts!

It was such a nice show, in a bright venue, and such a pleasure to view quilts without the crushing crowds!  Julie F of My Quilt Diary posted here and here about the show and she includes many many more photos.