Friday, November 15, 2013

International Quilt Week Yokohama 2013

What a wonderful way to spend a day!  Under the giant banner quilts, you may think the day was all about quilting. Indeed, there were so many beautiful quilts to examine that my eyes were practically spinning.

Compared to previous shows here. (this is the 21st), the viewing spaces seemed much better organized with areas large enough to accommodate
the hoards of viewers.

It was the second of three days (how it is called a "week" must remain a mystery of translation)

Certainly, this show was all about quilts, but it was also, for me, all about friendship. I often attend the quilt shows alone. Even if I attend with my quilt group, moving at the pace of the group, I come back later to spend more time studying the things that interest me.

Yesterday was not only an exception, but a lesson in the form of a blessing. Two sets of eyes can see more than twice as much!

After a few e-mails to coordinate, I met Carin at the train station (well, actually she spotted me before I got lost looking for the way out) . Have you ever made a blogging friend and met in person?  From my experience, every one has been even better than I had imagined. I don't know about other types of blogs and bloggers, but quilt bloggers are a cut above.

We moved through the exhibits in an orderly fashion and at a pace that seemed to suit us both. We noticed different things to point out to each other. We ran into other friends from my quilt group. Kuraishi-sensei was scheduled to teach a workshop in the afternoon and other members were attending her class. It was fun to see them, but then we were back to examining quilts. Not only looking but we had opportunities to talk with some of the quilt artists.

It was rather late in the day that I remembered that I had brought my camera and thought maybe a few pictures to post would be in the offing. Luckily, I have looked at Carin's post. Her pictures and information are far better than anything I might be able to put together.

Here she is with her camera, and you can see the wonderful pictures she has posted HERE.

I find we took photos of almost the same things.
Her first post is of the floral quilts and I only have a few that are different.

This is a detail of "Night Rose" by Yuko Hatano.

I found it interesting for the fabrics she selected as parts of the flowers and leaves ... not the usual solids one might expect.

This quilt with multiple cherry blossoms, by Noriko Tada, was also shown by Carin, who picked out the interesting blue petals in an upper section of the quilt.

This (Flower) "bed cover", by Yoshiko Ogawa
was very softly toned and hand quilted in great detail.

Indeed, though there were fused and machine-quilted pieces on display, the amount of hand-quilting was astonishing.

I can hardly imagine the time that some of these quilts must have taken. I haven't the slightest idea how someone can quilt through three layers with fifteen stitches to the inch. I don't think I could get stitches that small even through one layer.

 These "Field Flowers" (my rough translation)
were made by Shizuko Yoshizawa.

Those Xs in the border gave me a few ideas for a signature quilt I have yet to begin.

Since Carin's pictures are so much better, I think I should wait for her next post before adding my two bits.

Since I have emphasized the friendship link, I have one more interesting occurrence to note.
One of the last areas we checked out was, as I understand it, Groups of small quilts, one each from 90 quilters from Japan, U.S.A., and France. Titled "14th Anniversary "World Painters" International Challenge Quilt Exhibition"
, each group had been given the name of a well-known artist, and created a quilted piece representing the style of that artist.

Having been a student and a teacher of art, I found the whole idea quite interesting and well done.
There was a table in the area with three women sitting there, so a rather natural exchange about the exhibit took place. Then, suddenly, the conversation stopped, and the person to whom I was speaking suddenly recognized me as the blogger who had posted a picture of her quilt from the Tokyo Dome show way back in January! Now, how in the world did she connect ME with my blog post? I am still amazed.

This morning, I came to my computer to find a lovely note from this friend.

Here is the picture I posted earlier in the  year.

"The Vines of Earth" is a creation of Chikako Ueno.

I have learned an important lesson through this quilt that has nothing to do with quilting and everything to do with blogging. I could not go back to my original post and find what I had put there because I am a lousy at adding labels!

Anyway, I was able to look in my cluttered picture file and re-visit her quilt.

The result Was a photo op. and a new friend. Here we are, me, Ueno-san, and Queenie, standing in front of her art quilt.  Now, how special is that? She will be at the Tokyo Dome show in January. Will I be able to pick her out of the crowd as easily as she picked me? For that kind of luck, I think I will have to team up again with Carin.

For the day of quilts and friendship, I give my thanks.


  1. Don't you just love the wonderful combination of quilting and blogging and the friendships that develop? I loved reading your post!

  2. Julie - how awesome. I will check out your friends photos. Thanks so much for the link. So much beauty in one place.

  3. Quilts, blogs and wonderful friendships that develop with maybe one interest then fan out to include many more. Your words, I can almost imagine I was there, fond greetings, Jean.

  4. just love the conections that exist xx glad you enjoyed your time xx

  5. Ahhh thanks for sharing your insights! I wish I could close my eyes and wiggle my nose and be there in Tokyo with you and Carin for a day!

  6. I have made a lot of quilt blogging friends over the years but I have only met any one of them and we didn't really "click" in person - since then I haven't tried to meet any others - that is kind of bad isn't it. I keep thinking I will be disappointed or they well be disappointed in me. I'm glad that you had fun and met your blogging friend. It would be so interesting to go to a Japanese show, I think Japanese quilters are some of the best artist there is.

  7. What a wonderful show and always nice to meet new friends.


  8. I love that first quilt hanging very high. I would love to see more of it. Do you know who made it?
    Sandy in the UK

  9. BEAUTIFUL quilts!! Thanks for sharing - it makes me feel like I'm attending the quilt show with you and Carin - what fun!! - ;))

  10. The beautiful details in these quilts are a joy to see Julie. I am constantly amazed at the time many quilters take to make masterpiece quilts. I'm much too hyper for that I suppose since I find I'm always in a hurry to finish. The last quilt, which you showed in an earlier post, is still a favorite of mine. blessings, marlene

  11. Jealous! Wonder what sensei was teaching this year?

  12. What a wonderful opportunity to meet a new friend and to see all these lovely quilts.

  13. Bless you, Julie, I have tears in my eyes after reading your post and seeing that wonderful picture of you with Carin and Ueno-san. I hesitate to say that you and Carin might be easier to spot in a crowd of Japanese ladies than the other way round! Such wonderful things come about from the most unexpected connections, blessings indeed.

  14. What a lovely day for you! So nice when friends get together, do something fun and find new friends.

  15. Wonderful day and works Julie. You are beautiful.. hugs

  16. I hope our friendship stands the test of a long wait! You have had to wait a long time for me to comment on this post, sorry!
    It was indeed a great day I spent with you at the show. So much to see and talk about. With your charisma there is no surprise that people come up and talk to you or that Ueno-san should find you in the crowd.
    THANK YOU for a lovely day.

  17. I've had the chance to meet a few other bloggers, and it's all been great. I'm still hoping our paths will cross one day, too.

  18. I wish I could have joined up with you and Carin!