6 hours ago
Tuesday, 10 July 2012
The Japanese quilts at Sandown Park
Reiko Domon, leader of Peaceful Heart Quilt Group and one of the founders of Yuza Sashiko Guild, organised a special exhibit of quilts for the Grosvenor Quilt Shows this year. So far, the quilts have been shown at Quilts UK (Malvern) and the National Quilt Championships (Sandown Park). They will be shown at the Great Northern Quilt Show (Harrogate), the Scottish Quilt Championships (Edinburgh), the Kent Autumn Quilt Festival (Maidstone), and the Autumn Quilt Festival near Chilford (please note, there is a change of venue for this show).
I managed to get some good photos of the quilts on Sunday morning at Sandown Park - I'm told they were very popular during the show and it was difficult to get close!
The quilts were in two main groups - challenge quilts made by the members of Yuza Sashiko Guild who came to the Great Northern Quilt Show two years ago and some of Reiko's highly detailed wallhangings and other pieces. All have virtuoso stitching with traditional Yuza sashiko stitch patterns, most in the traditional white thread on very dark indigo, while some of Reiko's quilts are more experimental, using hand dyed embroidery threads for different effects.
First, the 'Dream of Shonai' (Shonai no Yume) challenge. I found some printed landscape panels at the Harrogate show two years ago, which reminded me of the landscape in Shonai, the district in Yamagata Prefecture where the quilters live. There is one quilt (far left above) from the other challenge I set - 'Japanese Culture' (Nippon no Bunka) - which uses a Kona Bay panel with a gold print of the Kinkakuji (Golden Temple) in Kyoto. I need to get my challenge quilts made for when these go back to Japan. These are all 50cm x 75cm (20in x 30in approx.) Click on the photos to see the quilts larger size - click on each photo individually and select 'view' to see it even larger.
Reiko's quilts are stunning and much bigger. 'Goddess of the Spring' (top of this post) has a sashiko border similar to the style I used for the Denman Kannon, but Reiko uses more difficult stitch patterns ;-) The shaded background was made with a Bali Batik Pop - I think she may have bought it at Harrogate in 2010, as there were some lovely colourways on sale opposite our demo stand.
Her 'Genji Monogatari' (The Tale of Genji) quilt has been to the UK three times now. It was made for an international quilt exhibition at the Shipley Gallery several years ago and it won second place in the theme category at Harrogate two years ago. The fabrics include her mother's and grandmother's kimono, and the border is an antique maru obi sash.
This exquisite quilt features an Emperor and Empress -
Reiko also makes wearable art pieces using Yuza sashiko, like this waistcoat -
She has also made two gorgeous quilts with miniature sorihikihappi (sledge hauling waistcoats) as quilt blocks. Each waistcoast showcases a different Yuza sashiko pattern.
The detail photo above shows the same pattern I was teaching in the one hour workshop at Sandown Park - gazashi (moth stitch) - although I made it easier for the students by only stitching one line of moths. With repeated rows like Reiko has done, it requires a lot of practice to stitch it well.
The asanoha (hemp leaf) sashiko pattern added to the border makes it more interesting. Here is the the first quilt as 'work in progress' in 2006.
It is behind Reiko in this photo -
I am so happy Reiko was able to send work over to these exhibitions this year, because she has also had a big exhibition to organise in Japan.
BTW, this is the first post where I have tried using the XL photo display. What do you think? EDIT - I changed the photo display to L, because at XL, parts of the photos were missing i.e. the pictures were too wide.