Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Joyful Japanese Quilts

Tokyo Great International Quilt Festival, Part 2

In my last post, I showed some of the quilts that struck a deeper spiritual chord at the Tokyo Quilt Festival. In this one, I share quilts expressing the light-hearted, happy part of the Japanese spirit that we had found in our happy hosts in Niigata, with their ready laughter and sense of fun.

What better place to start than the winner of the "Friendship Quilt Award" for the quilt "that best conveys the joyful feeling of making a quilt" (or something like that)? This quilt is by Reiko Hatakeyama:

Here's a detail from another joyful quilt.

All of those flowers are appliqu├ęd, of course. Amazing dedication! It seems a shame, then, that the appearance of her quilt was marred by the fold line down the middle (note to quilters who send their works to shows: roll them up, don't fold. It may cost a little extra but it is worth the effort!)

Another adorable quilt, even without knowledge of the text:

The Japanese, evidently, love their cats. Here's a guy, maybe homeless, who we saw the first day, setting up his spot in the park, with his cat on a stack of towels, like a empress:

I loved this playful patchwork using stripes:

Circles, balls, or dots seem to convey the happy, almost magical side of life, the simple joys of childhood, of bubbles, baubles, fruit hanging from trees, and lights on the street, or snow: 

There was much more to see, and much more convey, but of course I had to get some shopping in with the vendors at the show! You can't have your cake and eat it too. Or can you?

At least a couple dozen of quilts like this, featuring cake or tea cups, lined the perimeter of the arena floor. Each block is made by a different international quilter. How impressive is that? How fun!!


  1. These colorful quilt creations fill me w/such joy! I can't even pick a favorite because I love them all! What an experience! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hello, thank you for sharing those pictures with us!
    About that last quilt, I believe it is part of the "partnership quilts" and the theme this year was "sweet". I found this blog post (in English) which can help explain the process:
    and it links back to that post about previous themes:
    Beatrice (from France).