Sunday, 26 January 2014

13th Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival 2014 - Part 3

Dear friends, followers and 'accidental' blog readers. Thank you for all your kind comments. It is such a pleasure to share the show with you all.

On the second day Julie and I arrived individually and looked around at what we had a particular interest in before meeting up for lunch.
Although the crowds at times were frustrating, I headed to an exhibition that is very close to my heart:

'Wool Embroidery' - Treasures of Scandinavia
Collection of the Museum of Culture History, Kulturen, Lund, Sweden

Every year this quilt show features some examples of antique fabric art, for example Amish quilts or Lucy Boston's patchwork.

When I submitted my Partnership block I enclosed a letter explaining my Swedish roots. A couple of weeks later I was contacted by NHK and asked if I could assist them in finding information on antique Swedish wool embroidery. They had in vain tried to find museums willing to lend items. The reason for refusal seems to be that the show is held in a baseball stadium, not a museum. NHK also found it hard to search the internet as none of their staff knows Swedish. This was during my holiday in Sweden and I  spent a good deal of time collecting info. During autumn I continued to dig up historic facts for HNK.
The result is that Museum of Culture History, Kulturen, Lund agreed to lend eight pieces of superb embroidery.
NHK has made a fantastic display. A special 'museum' room has been built within the baseball stadium, where the textile treasures are displayed inside wall sized cabinets, under soft light, behind glass and with humidity control. There is a uniformed guard on duty at all times. Photography is not allowed. The posters and information on the wall and next to each article are flawless in both Japanese and English.
There is also a three-page colour spread in the show catalogue. Unfortunately the only English text in the catalogue is the letter of introduction by the curator, Karin Hindfelt, see below.  I so much would have wanted the descriptions of the bed spread and the carriage cushions published in English in the catalogue.

My first stop was therefore to go to the 'museum' booth, look at the beautiful embroidery and copy the English text into my notebook (no photo allowed so couldn't take a picture of the text).
I did however take some pictures of the outside wall display:
Notice how they have painstakingly painted the wood panelled walls in 'Scandinavian' style.

I take my hat off to NHK for all the hard work and thank them from the bottom of my heart for seriously protecting these museum pieces.
Now if you are really interested to see examples of antique wool embroidery from Scania (southern Sweden) check out the museum's search engine.

  • head over to Carlotta
  • write 'agedyna' in the search box and click the arrow
  • tick the box 'visa endast föremål med bild' to see the pictures
Now back to the QUILTS of the show! Let's look at the Original Design Quilts
早春 by 山崎秀美
Oh, if my camera had only managed to capture the true colours and radiance of this quilt!
夕景 by 石浪崇子

Now prepare yourself for an unusual quilt. It has a blind in front.
The scene is the view from Tokyo Sky Tree, the newly erected broadcasting tower, 634m tall.
The striped blind has the same scenery.
Can you see how they overlap?
On this side are the pulls that wind up the blind to reveal the quilt underneath.
A round of applause for 
このほしの by 紅林道枝

Spool flower by 山井美和子
Sparkling Quilt by 中沢フェリーサ

Notice the beads!
This quilt had a light that was absolutely magical. I could feel the soft spring night and the fragrance of the illuminated cherry blossoms!
夜桜 by 青木真喜子
I have a soft spot for Mola, especially when it is use for 'new' designs.

南の島はパラダイス by 坂根羊有子

気分はロンドンガール by 丸濱由紀子
Forgive me, but what London girl would have such a collection of sweet romantic umbrellas? It must be the Japanese girl who is an exchange student in London!
Excellently made quilt, the handles are made with wood print fabric and each umbrella is so beautifully decorated.
気分はモナコ by 丸濱淑子
Look at the clever inclusion of selvages. I wouldn't mind hitch-hiking with this driver!

If we got lost we could follow this sign!
不思議なYAJIRUSHI by 吉田寿恵

Do you remember the soap bubble quilt from Yokohama International Quilt Week last year?
Here Ms Fukayama has taken a snapshot of her dogs playing on the banks of a Japanese river but longing to be running around on Prince Edward Island. Julie, that is what P.E.I stands for in the title!
If they were in P.E.I by 深山公子
Let me end this post with a favourite quilt of mine, well you might know that I love embroidery and embellishments. I mean it could be a TAST stitch sampler!
太陽のめぐみ by 田中和子


  1. I am overwelmed by these beauties Queenie, they are all wonderful and being their own individual designs they are unique too. Will now go and look at some Swedish embroidery, good on you doing all the work to bring it to the quilt show. Not sure how the lady got the light effect on the cherry blossom but she certainly achieved a stunning quilt

    1. That night view of the cherry trees, isn't it just fantastic? If it only had hung a bit better...

  2. I do love this selection. Leave it to Queenie to get the information!. See why I like to be your shadow?

    1. But on the second day I was YOUR shadow!

  3. Hi, I am here from Tanya's blog. It was a pleasure going to the quilt show with you (virtually). So many fantastic quilts.

    1. Thanks for your kind words. There will be more posts from the show if you are interested.

  4. So good you could help bringing the Swedish embroidery to Japan for the show. Again, thanks for the eye candy. I spent a lovely time at the link you gave. But the quilts you shared in this blogpost are beauties too. I think the last one is my favourite, I didn't recognize some of the stitches on the flowers.

    1. Oh, Annet. I am so glad to hear the links worked and you managed to see the treasures of the museum. Yes, isn't that last quilt great.I wish I had made it!!!

  5. That last quilt truly is a beauty, in all its color and detail. What a thrill it must have been to witness the outcome of your efforts to bring Swedish treasures to Japan!

    1. I am very happy that the Swedish show materialised the way it did. That last quilt is stunning, isn't it; Julia might not have thought so, though!?

  6. WOW! There are just not words to describe the embroidery or the quilts. Congratulations on all the work you did to get those pieces to the exhibition.

    1. I am so glad my efforts resulted in this excellent exhibition of Swedish wool embroidery. You should see the colours!!! It is one thing to look at photos in an online archive and a totally different thing to see them in the flesh. NHK, too, were thrilled by the quality.

  7. Your blog is packed full of beautiful quilts, the umbrella quilt and the embroidery quilt that is your favourite are stunning, I can't imagine the work that has gone into them. You must be proud of the work thay you have done for the exhibition!

    1. I spoke to a quilter who said his quilt had taken him four years to complete. My guess is that the average quilter is a housewife with grown up children and a husband who is not yet a pensioner. Once the daily chores are done she has time for quilting. I also believe that there are fewer UFOs here; the Japanese have been trained since childhood to 'never give up', 'finish a task' and 'do your best'. Then you spend a lot of time on one project and the result is a fabulous handmade quilt.

  8. Some marvellous quilts and interesting facts about the Swedish wool embroidery.

    1. Thank you Linda. It was fun to report about the show and I am so please you liked it.

  9. Thank you for showing us the beauty of these quilts.
    Some are breathtaking, espcially the one with the dogs and the one with the cherry blossoms. The blossoms look very real, like a photo.

  10. The lady who made the quilts with the dogs works with her husband. I think he takes the pictures and helps to blow them up so the colours can be changed into small scraps of fabric and then machine quilted. Did you see the one from Yokohama?


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