Sunday, February 14, 2016

Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival 2016 (part 1)

This show is the fifteenth year, and though each year I have filled out the questionnaire, commenting that something termed "International" should include at least the names of the contributors in English, very little progress has been made.

For those familiar with kanji ... the Chinese characters ... There is a problem that most of them can be read in a number of ways.  My own kanji that read "ju li" in Chinese  can be read "shu rei" in Japanese. Even names written in Japanese kana can be read in a number of ways because lei and rei are written the same. Since every citizen knows how to write their name using Roman letters, after 15 years one would think it would be a no-brainer to have the entry forma filled out with those characters as a backup. With NHK as a sponsor, one would think adding one more line to the form would not be so very hard.

Each year I see so many people taking pictures. I'm sure some of those will be shared over the internet and not to be able to give credit to the person who had created that masterpiece (and there were many) is not only sad but inexcusable.

I was so happy to have the day to meet up with my friends. Virtual friends are great and I have many, but if you ever have the opportunity to meet in person, don't have second thoughts or pass it up ... and quilters are the greatest.

Carin, better known as "Queenie" took time from her very busy life to meet up with me. I love looking at shows with Carin as we both see so much more.

We checked out the "Partnership quilts first. I liked the arrangement of the quilt displaying hers and it is not hard to spot the colors of the Swedish flag and instrument.

The quilt containing my block was rather jumbled in comparison. it looked more like a collection of leftovers than a planned product.

It is possible to buy a ticket to bid on any of the quilts but this year I didn't bother. I wonder if anyone dropped a ticket into that box.

Queenie was able to get this link where all the partnership quilts can be viewed.
Translate the page and you can view all the quilts and see the names of the contributors.

Next year the blocks will be made smaller and I wonder what that might mean for the layouts. There were certainly many identical blocks but some creative ones too.

Tanya joined us all the way from Nikko a bit later in the day and here she is with her block.

Both Carin and Tanya have posted pictures from the show
And both of them are better than I at figuring out the Japanese names.

As you may have already noticed, the theme for this year was "Music".

Well, Tanya's block is among lots of notes and signs. Carin's is one heavy with musical instruments.

My Ohio cardinal was singing among flowers, slippers, and even a 4-leaf clover and an alarm clock. At any rate I appreciate all the work that must have gone into assembling these quilts. It could not have been an easy task as there were over 70 finished quilts.

They lined the outer walls and the aisles,

Beside each quilt is a posted list with the name and location (city) of each contributor, and below that a box in which to drop a ticket for the drawing of that quilt.

  here are some creative interpretations of the theme, "music".

Frogs ... yes, there were quite a few.

Cats ... many.

birds ... my cardinal did have some company.

Lady bug? I have never heard one sing or even make a sound.

The one hanging on the left has my cardinal third row from the bottom. The neighboring quilt is a bit better organized. Maybe the name of the block was square dance or something musical. There were other quilts with dancing legs below gathered skirts and a silhouette of a girl singing.

Though these blocks were quite similar,

the effect of many combined seemed rather pleasing.

Though I have little understanding of the process, it seems that many blocks may be made in group workshops or patterns may be offered by quilt groups or teachers.

It is interesting though that even among these similar blocks, there is creativity in the choice of fabrics and the appliqu├ęd critters.

Hopefully I will have a chance to figure out the other pictures from the show. I hope you have visited both Tanya and Queenie because their pictures are so much better than mine.


  1. What a delightful time you must have had with your friends and all those lovely quilts. Such imagination and creativity.

  2. What talent, many hours of stitching, and so lovely to see you there too. Hugs from a very warm NZ.

  3. they all look wonderful .. and how great for you to meet up with friends .. esp ones who can understand what is written .. sort of xx lol

  4. Beautiful quilt show, always love seeing quilts made by the japanese quilters, so many variations and individual touches that make each one special.


  5. I really like that last quilt, with the keyboards.

  6. Thank you for the lovely photos. There is a popular song in 70's called ladibird's samba which I can sing without thinking... I think that's the inspiration for that block.

  7. Glad you got a day with quilts and Queenie and Tanya.