We went to the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival twice, on Thursday (including for the opening ceremony) and Monday (when we went with our friends from Yuza Sashiko Guild), but for me, the highlight of the show itself was meeting Shizuko Kuroha, who inspired me so much when I started quilting - although my quilts look nothing like her work! Not only do I admire the amazing way she works with vintage fabrics, but the design and presentation of instructions in her books set a high standard for me.
This video shows her tacking (basting) technique, which really holds the layers well (sorry my camera battery ran out towards the end!)
I loved her patchwork obi.
This amazing quilt was the image used on the show poster. It is all vintage and antique Japanese fabric, including sarasa (Japanese chintz) and indigo dyed greens and blues.
Our second visit, with Yuza Sashiko Guild friends.
Reiko Domon, Keiko Ishikawa, Chie Ikeda and Sakuraba-san flew down to Tokyo on Sunday, so they could go to the quilt show with us on Monday.
Here are some of my favourite quilts from the show. For many more photos, have a look at Patricia Belyea's Okan Arts blog - click here, here and here. Luana Rubin of eQuilter.com has also got a lot of great quilt photos uploaded to her Flickr album.
The variety of fabrics in the fish was incredible and the quilting was perfect for the design.
All made with chirimen silk.
The use of yukinko (snowball pattern) kasuri ikat on this quilt from the 'Wa' (Japan theme) category effectively represents stars...
Very appropriate, as the quilt's title is about Tanabata matsuri.
The quilting gives it a great sense of movement.
This quilt about Kintaro and his many exploits was quite amazing and very humorous. Just look at the expressions on those faces!
Oops - I forgot to photograph the label on this one from the Original Design category. I will see if I can find it in the catalogue later (remembered to buy both this year). I like how the quilt studio seems to be the biggest room in the house plan!
Glyn studying the first prize winner. The piecing was quite breathtaking.
Lovely taupes featured in many quilts. A lot of detail in the piecing and applique is absolutely typical of the show entries.
Pieced curves, rather than appliqued.
Appliqued borders are a favourite way of adding extra interest. The quilting echoes the applique here too. It is details like these that make so many of the exhibits that extra bit special.
Quilt with holes!
Yet another amazing quilt that plays with the Log Cabin structure in a really interesting way.
This quilt uses Kogin samples, but the idea would be great for hitomezashi sashiko as well.
Vintage fabrics make these quilts so beautifully coloured.
Many applique quilts were accented with beautifully worked embroidered details.
The use of these fabrics with strong diagonals in the Log Cabin border made the blocks really flash (like a diamond).
We had tickets for the opening ceremony on Thursday morning, which was attended by Princess Kiko of Ashikino. After the opening ceremony, she was shown around the exhibition, before the public were allowed onto the main exhibition floor. Princess Kiko has regularly attended the exhibition's opening ceremony, but I don't know if she is a quilter herself (maybe?)
We bumped into friends at the show almost as soon as we walked in. I think my blue hair makes us easy to spot at the moment! Shuji Yamazaki runs Wabi-Sabi Designs in Canberra, Australia, and I'll be teaching a sashiko class there next October.
We had just finished lunch and taken this photo when we were seen by Shiro Tamakoshi from Euro Japan Links (I forgot to take a photo of us together this time).
Jane MacDonald (BeBe Bold, Queensland) and her husband Peter were almost first in the queue when we went in. Here we are with Keiko Kawamoto on the Olympus stand. Olympus are sponsoring me with thread and fabric for my next sashiko book, and I can't wait to start stitching.
After the first day at the show, we went to an izakaya called Gonpatchi in Nishi-Azabu. The food and sake was delicious. Apparently, this izakaya is very famous because it was shown in the movie 'Kill Bill'. I haven't seen it and now I have to watch that movie! The building was quite new, but it was decorated with pieces from old buildings, kura storehouses etc. so it had quite an atmosphere.