Monday, January 23, 2017

Tokyo Dome Quilt Festival part 1

With a plan to meet Carin and Tanya in Friday, I was so excited I could hardly sleep through the night. Even though I set my alarm, I was waking up nearly every hour and looking at the time. Finally I just turned off the alarm and got up to take Nikko for her morning walk, checked and re-checked the train schedules and maps ... as if I had never gone before ... and set out on the mobile sardine can.

Tokyo keeps talking about "getting ready for the 2020 olympics" but from my point of view, they still have a very long way to go. When I got off the train, there were lots of signs... mostly in Japanese ... about making connections to other trains. Well, I knew the "Dome" was closer to the Marunouchi train station so, seeing the big red "M", I set off that way. Going through the gate there was a word, "Dome" and an arrow pointing to the left along with lots of other words and arrows in Japanese.

I set off in that direction but no further signs. I ended up doubling back, checking every underground gate for a possible sign and worrying that I would be late for our meeting. Finally I just picked an exit and came up above ground. Great! I could see the roof of the dome in the distance. I pulled out my map and wrote "Exit 6" in the margin for future reference, then hurried off to the meeting place just a few minutes behind schedule. Oh my, there was a huge line of people waiting to have their bags inspected and go in.... and luckily, just to me right side was Carin! Hurray, we were off.

First stop was the partnership quilts. Both Carin and Tanya's blocks were in quilt #1. Tanya has already posted pictures of the blocks but I can't resist a bit of duplication.

This year the walls behind the partnership quilts were painted green. Not too bad.

The blocks were made smaller this year. Each year there are over 60 quilts and if they were thinking smaller blocks would make fewer quilts ... well, there were 8,910 blocks submitted and 63 quilts. About the same as other years.

The project of assembling and quilting these quilts falls on a different well-known "sensei" or teacher and her disciples.

This year the teacher was Eiko Okano. Sponsored by NHK TV, there is a show with a few demonstration blocks. Even if you do not watch the show, it is pretty easy to guess which blocks were in the demo because there are multiple ones of that pattern.

This is quilt #1 and there are a few of each of patterns except for one with a bridge.
Maybe for quilt #1 they wanted the most variety.
There doesn't seem to be much else of a plan,

Can you find Queenie's block in the above quilt?
How about Tanya's ?

These are the ones suggested by the sensei.

I think you can find at least two of most of them.

Next to each quilt is a posted sheet of names,
arranged in order to indicate the makers of the blocks.

and ... below the sign is a box where you can deposit a raffle ticket (or if you really want that quilt, many more at 500 yen each ). There will be a drawing at the end of the show.

In these two quilts you can see a large amount of similar blocks. They almost seem to be competing with each other.

Though the theme was "Garden", this quilt looks more like a forest.

Here there seems to have been a plan to put blues and greens around the border and the lighter backgrounds toward the middle.

This one has red backgrounds and potted plants around the outside.

It might be that some people met in groups and worked on their blocks together because many blocks seemed to have used the same fabrics.

This is the quilt #61 that has my block.

My Ohio cardinal is planting his sunflower seed in the left border forth from the bottom.

There are a few more bird blocks and a few birdhouses.

And this one seems to have mostly Hawaiian style designs.

Tanya posted one with a forrest border and a large mob of moles in the center.

All the quilts were hand quilted with diagonal lines forming a square grid on point. The quilting was only in the background areas and stopped short if the applique designs.

I have no idea how many disciples a sensei has, but these quilts are a small single bed size and there were 63 of them. Assembling the sandwich, quilting, and binding, even with some help must have taken no small amount of time

Please look on my blog list and visit Tanya and Queeniepatch to see more of the show ... and better pictures than my camera could get.
More to come ........


  1. Fantastic post! I don't need to write anything about the Partnership quilts with you and Tanya having exhausted the topic. I also learned a lot from your posts - I didn't quite register that Hawaiian quilt, nor that the walls had been painted green. Thank your for seeing things I miss!!!
    I'm looking forward to your next report.

  2. Wonderful quilts and love seeing all the different blocks. A fun idea and fun to see your block in the quilt.


  3. Thank you, Julie for the pictures. I was wondering about the quilting on the group quilts ... you've answered my question! I would like to share a link to your post(s) on a French quilters forum if that's OK with you. If not, let me know, and I'll remove it.

  4. I've already read Tanya's post. How fun that all of you could meet up, and so easily, too. Looking forward to all of ya'll's future posts about the quilt show.

  5. They look wonderful. It is amazing to think that one group of people put all these blocks together in so many quilts. It is also stunning how many blocks were submitted. What a great event.
    And yes, I found every block you mentioned.

  6. It has been just wonderful to see the quilt show photos that you and your friends have posted. Such awesome quilts and such talented quilters/artists. Sometime, would you share on your blog photos and history of the wrap/coat that you are wearing? It's just stunning! I am sure it is one of your creations. Thank you for all that you have shared of your trip to the quilt show. Though I don't comment often, I enjoy reading your blog and about life in Japan. To me, it's a picture of real life in Japan and so many interesting things I would not encounter otherwise. Thanks for all you share!

    1. I guess that old poncho should get it's own story one of these days ... before it falls apart from old age.
      It is a handy wrap and nice for sitting with the scouts around campfires ... and can be turned into a blanket at night when needed.

  7. well done for finding your way on what sounds a VERY confusing journey xx AND so worth while when you got there xx

  8. Oh my - what glorious quilts - and what a fun day to spend with friends. When I have an exciting day ahead I usually don't sleep until just about time to get up - then I am groggy. Love the individual blocks - such clever ideas. I found your cardinal planting its seed.