Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Quiltfest - Japanese Quilts Update!

This beautiful wallhanging arrived today. It is called "Sennin no ki" (1000 year old tree) and is an original design by Aiko Sakuraba, a member of Peaceful Heart Quilt Group from Yuza-machi, Yamagata, Japan. The hand quilting is very subtle, with a simple cross hatching over the centre background (the cranes panel) contrasting with very densely quilted lines in the righthand section, which suggest the shapes of the mountains (mid blue section, second from top) rising out of a sea of mist. There is a beech forest on Mt Chokai where the hot spring rises and this is one of the ancient beech trees. It is one of seven quilts from the group that will be featured as part of Quiltfest (please click link for all the exhibtion info).

This quilt is one of the challenge quilts made on the theme of "Yamagata". Other quilts explore themes of traditional festivals like Yamagata City's Hanagasa Matsuri (flower hat festival), famous Yamagata products such as the delicious cherries, sites of historic interest such as the old Sankyo Rice Warehouses in Sakata, or features of the natural landscape including Mt Chokai (the fifth highest mountain in Japan) and the beautiful scenery of the coastal Shonai Plain. On my trip to Yuza in 2006, I took fabric bundles for all the quilters and set the challenge. Aiko's quilt shows these fabrics as whole pieces in the background to her marvellously textured tree (she used Japanese taupe woven quilt fabrics for the bark texture).

I'll have to make my quilt, although I still can't decide which aspects of Yamagata I'll feature! I will post photos of the other quilts soon - at the moment, they are with the other exhibits, waiting to be hung in the gallery. Do visit the exhibition if you have a chance! I'm going to be demonstrating sashiko every Tuesday and will be at Trading Day with my vintage Japanese fabrics for sale.

UPDATE - Reiko sent me a photo of her Yamagata quilt, showing the waterfall and steps at Mt Haguro, but I don't know if she is going to send it yet. I like the way she has linked the two images with the appliqued cherry blossom swirl.


Jane said...

Beautiful work. I wonder how long it takes to hand quilt a piece that size?

Susan Briscoe said...

Probably not as long as you might think. I've quilted similar sized pieces in about a week (plus doing other things!) It really seems to depend on the quilting pattern. Something with lots of changes of direction, starting & stopping takes longer. Love your embroidery by the way - it's beautiful.