Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Tokyo International Quilt Festival 2018 - Part 1

Tokyo International Quilt Festival | Leaping Hearts by Shizuko Kuroha | © Red Pepper Quilts 2018
Leaping Hearts by Shizuko Kuroha
Tokyo International Quilt Festival | Leaping Hearts by Shizuko Kuroha | © Red Pepper Quilts 2018

Last week was one of those weeks that I will never forget. Attending the Tokyo International Quilt Festival had been a bucket list item for a number of years and I could hardly believe that I was actually there! It is one of the largest quilt shows in the world and showcases 300+ prize winning works from Japan and aboard. The venue - Tokyo Dome - is incredible and the sheer size of the quilt show and market area initially feels overwhelming; attending for just one day is great but it really requires two days to feel like you haven't missed anything. 

Tokyo International Quilt Festival | © Red Pepper Quilts 2018

It is a seven day show and I spent two whole days there - Friday and Monday and yes, it was crowded but I was always able to move away to an area less crowded. I wandered the aisles at my leisure, looked at quilts and special exhibitions, did some fabric shopping, and wandered some more. The best time of the day was the first hour (between 9.30 am and 10.30) and then again between 4pm and 6pm when the crowd eased off. Taking photos of whole quilts was near impossible and required patience, but I am so glad I did and I am happy to be sharing photos of some of my favorite quilts with you today.

Tokyo Quilt Festival 2018 | 眞田雅子* Masako Sanada - First Prize Quilt | © Red Pepper Quilts
First Prize Quilt 
Tokyo Quilt Festival 眞田雅子* Masako Sanada
Tokyo Quilt Festival 2018 | 眞田雅子* Masako Sanada - First Prize Quilt | © Red Pepper Quilts

I didn't really take photos of quilts in their categories or of those in special exhibitions, instead I turned my camera to the quilts that drew in my eye. The workmanship was truly beyond words. Many of the quilts were pieced and quilted entirely by hand; the fabric, thread, and color play was mesmerizing. [There were several special exhibitions including an exhibition celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Lousia May Alcott's Little Women, as well as the World of Eric Carle (The Very Hungry Caterpillar)].

Tokyo International Quilt Festival 2018 | Talking to Flowers by 山口智恵子*Chieko Yamaguchi | © Red Pepper Quilts 2018
Talking to Flowers by 山口智恵子*Chieko Yamaguchi
Tokyo International Quilt Festival 2018 | Talking to Flowers by 山口智恵子*Chieko Yamaguchi | © Red Pepper Quilts 2018
Tokyo International Quilt Festival 2018 | Talking to Flowers by 山口智恵子*Chieko Yamaguchi | © Red Pepper Quilts 2018

All the quilts were all labelled in Japanese and I have relied on Google Translate to translate quilt titles and the names of the makers. The labels sometimes included the quilt inspiration, but rarely the technique/s used to make the quilt. It seems my eye was often drawn to the quilts with hexagons ....

Tokyo International Quilt Festival 2018 | Milky Way by Nakano - Encouragement Award | © Red Pepper Quilts 2018
Milky Way by Nakano - Encouragement Award
Tokyo International Quilt Festival 2018 | Milky Way by Nakano - Encouragement Award | © Red Pepper Quilts 2018
Click on any image for a larger view.
Tokyo International Quilt Festival 2018 | Rolling Hexagons | © Red Pepper Quilts 2018
Rolling Hexagons 
Tokyo International Quilt Festival | Asterisk/Hexagon Quilt | © Red Pepper Quilts 2018
Everyone by Yoshiko Fujita
Tokyo International Quilt Festival | Asterisk/Hexagon Quilt | © Red Pepper Quilts 2018
Tokyo International Quilt Festival | Asterisk/Hexagon Quilt | © Red Pepper Quilts 2018
Tokyo International Quilt Festival | Asterisk/Hexagon Quilt | © Red Pepper Quilts 2018

This large asterisks/hexagon quilt was my favorite! I stared at it for ages, returned to it frequently to study the colors, the individual fabrics, the stitches, the finished quilt edge and the unique corners. Unfortunately the Japanese text on the label would not translate and sadly I don't have a quilt title or maker to share with you.

Tokyo International Quilt Festival 2018 | Tile Quilt | © Red Pepper Quilts 2018
Tokyo International Quilt Festival 2018 | Tile Quilt - Hexagon Quilt | © Red Pepper Quilts 2018
This unique quilt was simply labelled "Tile". 
It was stunning! Incredible piecing (note the tiny red triangles)
 and the hand quilting was inspiring.
Tokyo International Quilt Festival 2018 | Cherry Blossoms in the Moonlight by Sachiko Yoshida | © Red Pepper Quilts
Tokyo International Quilt Festival 2018 | Cherry Blossoms in the Moonlight by Sachiko Yoshida | © Red Pepper Quilts
Cherry Blossoms in the Moonlight by Sachiko Yoshida
(note the use of beautifully textured fabrics)
Tokyo International Quilt Festival 2018 | Cherry Blossoms in the Moonlight by Sachiko Yoshida | © Red Pepper Quilts

It was a whirlwind trip, 5 days, 20 hours in a plane, and a temperature change from a sweltering 40C  in Melbourne to the daily average of around 3C in Tokyo (there was snow on the ground!), but so worth it. I would do it all again in a heartbeat. 

Next up more photos of quilts and of course a few fabric purchases. How could I not.

Thank you for stopping by,
Rita


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27 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing these quilts from Tokyo, I hope to get to this Quilt Festival one year.

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  2. Thanks for a superb post. This quilt show is also on my bucket list. I've had a long held deep appreciation of Japanese made quilts. The painstaking detail on their quilts is truly incredible (and admirable). Thank you for sharing.

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  3. Wow!!! I can't imagine how amazing that must have been. I've been to Tokyo once but was a dummy and didn't buy any fabric. I dream of going back and to be at that show would be heaven!!! Thank you so much for sharing.

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  4. So, so amazing!! Thanks for the wonderful pictures

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  5. So many gorgeous quilts, that must have been a really fun time there. Thank you for sharing with us.

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  6. So many gorgeous quilts, that must have been a really fun time there. Thank you for sharing with us.

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  7. Ooooh, those quilts are gorgeous, and your photos are excellent! What a fabulous trip, too bad you couldn't have stayed longer ;)

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  8. These quilts are so impressive. Even my 15 yr is impressed.

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  9. Wow!! These are incredible. I particularly love the cherry blossoms quilt. x

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  10. Thank you so much for sharing these exquisite beauties! The exhibition looks overwhelming. I used to buy Japanese quilting magazines to enjoy these amazing, often completely hand-sewn quilts.

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  11. These quilts are amazing, Inspirational !
    But also overwhelming, as I just can never imagine having the time to creat something so detailed. ...sigh...

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  12. Thank you for the quilt photos--they are nothing less than STUNNING!
    Now the Tokyo International Quilt Festival is on my bucket list.

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  13. I bet you took a zillion photos. Come on Rita, bust them all out. 😇
    The last quilt is incredible. Did you see many fabrics that which you were familiar? I have looked closely and the fabrics are very sweet. I just love this. Some a little too intense, but truly works of art.
    I suppose there were people from all over the world strolling around there.

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  14. WOW!!! My friend and I are planning a trip (from the USA) for 2020. Can you also please share with us your itinerary and what you did on the days you didn't attend the festival. It would be our first trip to Tokyo.
    THANKS,
    Dianne

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  15. I think your photos are beautiful, but I really don't like those kind of quilts. Never in a million years I could make something like that and the workmanship is fabulous, but for me they are to "much". They look as if there has been a lot of thinking before they were made. To much thinking perhaps.
    But of course: there is no accounting for taste.

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  16. Wow. thank you so much for sharing! I am still trying to process all that hand stitching! and the knowledge that goes into the fabric choices and placement ( Cherry Blossoms in the moonlight) blew my mind!

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  17. Thank you for sharing these unbelievable quilts! Such craftsmanship! I wonder how long any of these masterpieces took to sew. I look forward to seeing more beautiful quilts on your blog.

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  18. I'm amazed at the detail and colors! Thank you so much for sharing!!

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  19. OMGosh....I am overwhelmed.....such detail....so many tiny pieces.....such stunning quilts.....thank you for the pictures and commentary.

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  20. Thanks for sharing Rita. Where do people get their ideas from. Lesley

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  21. Beautiful work, and a great opportunity to see quilts that I would never normally encounter. I love all the hexies too; it makes me wonder how long some of these amazing works of art took... Would you consider posting a photo of the Japanese labels, in case you have readers who speak or read Japanese and can help you with a translation? Kate
    http://talltalesfromchiconia.wordpress.com

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  22. I was there too! What an amazing experience :)

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  23. Do they have a website, are there tours where all accomodation etc is organised? I'm keen to attend in another year and am trying to work out how to.

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    1. Hi - yes, there are various tours from different countries, including tours from Australia which you may be able to join from your arrival in Tokyo. Tours vary - 6 days/10+ days, and may include side trips to Osaka, workshops etc. Google "japan quilt tours" for websites. I did not go on a tour (travelled with my husband) and I spotted several other quilters travelling alone. Japan/Tokyo is very safe and relatively easy to navigate using public transport. I travelled alone to the Tokyo Dome venue from my hotel - it is very close to several main subway lines. If you have questions feel free to ask!

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  24. Wowsers! Thankyou for sharing. Would you be interested in also posting photos of your fabric purchases?

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    1. Yes, I will :-) See Sunday Stash 11 February 2018.

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  25. These quilts are beautiful! I dream of going to this show! The workmanship is amazing.

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