Saturday, 23 June 2018

Wa Quilt Show at Gajoen in Meguro

I went to see an exhibition of Wa quilts at Gajoen in Meguro.

Wa stands for 'Japanese', and such quilts have either a Japanese theme or are made from Japanese fabric. These quilts were mainly made from kimono silk and quite perfect. Not one boro quilt in sight.


A selection of Japanese patterns (sashiko designs e.g.) in this quilt
平沼淳子*Atsuko Hiranuma

Miroku Bodhisattva of Kouryu Temple in Kyoto
made in Mola quilting technique
 細井郁子*Ikuko Hosoi

 A round window with 'paper' panes and bamboo growing outside
 塚原やすこ*Yasuko Tsukahara

An incredibly small and perfect Mariners Compass
 島野徳子*Tokuko Shimano

entirely stitched by hand


Gajoen was established in 1928 as a first class Japanese restaurant with banquet rooms, hotel accommodation and rooms for wedding ceremonies. Read more about it here.
Gajoen's Hyakudan Kaidan is also used for exhibitions. The walls and ceilings are decorated with paintings, there are tatami straw mats on the floor (shoes have to be removed and everyone walks around in socks or stockings, as you can see). The quilts are hung from black lacquered kimono stands (used to hang kimono for airing before being folded and put away in a drawer).

秋田景子*Keiko Akita

 This quilt looks like a modern Western quilt, but look at the close up...
平野直子*Naoko Hirano

 yes, there are raw edges (pinking) and machine quilting, but the fabric is hand tied and dyed shibori silk


 In this quilt many blocks have been folded into origami bows.
 木村ひろみ*Hiromi Kimura

Colonial Knots give this quilt a new dimension 
 齋藤礼子*Reiko Saito



My absolute favorite was this Suffolk Puff (Yo-yo) quilt. Can you see that there is an electric cord at the bottom left? There is a lamp behind the quilt, and the phosphorus green dots is light coming through black lace. Look at the detailed photos below.
 田中由美子*Yumiko Tanaka


 I have never seen lace used as a background for a quilt, well, technically it isn't a quilt, there is no quilting, and I was not the only one standing for a long time in awe in front of this quilt.

 This quilt had some traditional toys, a cat, inflatable paper balls and a rattle.
利根川加代子*Kayoko Tonegawa

Finally I got some ideas for my Hina Dolls for next year. I need to make an aubergine eggplant and a chrysanthemum flower.



21 comments:

  1. Wasn't this show great? I went two weeks ago and I took so many pictures that I still haven't sorted them to post about it!

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    1. This was the third show I have been too at Hyakudan Kaidan in Gajoen. The Wa quilts really look great in that Japanese setting. Some are absolutely stunning.

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  2. Hi Queenie, thanks for sharing your photos. What beautiful work.
    The combination of design, stitching and gorgeous fabric is amazing.
    That beats anything I've seen in a long time.

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    1. These quilts are so different from the ones you see in Europe, and probably in Australia and the States, too.
      The building is the perfect setting for these kimono quilts.

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  3. Love the black lace quilt. Really inspiring to see such different work.

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  4. Wow, thank you for sharing these amazing luxurious quilts!

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    1. Oh, Cynthia, you should have been here! Most of them were awesome.

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  5. Beautiful, thank you for taking us along via your blog. Love the Mariners Compass.

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    1. I think the Mariners Compass is in the middle of a Edo Kiriko plate, a glass dish with two layers, one red and the other colorless. The red has then been cut away leaving a beautiful geometric pattern. Stitching all those tiny squares in a circle must have taken a LONG time.

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  6. What a great quilt show! Some of those quilts are amazing! I too like the lace based one but the mola brings back memories!

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    1. It was an impeccable Mola with the slits close together. It would have driven me crazy! The wooden Buddha statue is one of the most famous in Kyoto so I am sure lots of visitors stood in wonder at the combination of Japanese and Cuna cultures.

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  7. All those tiny pieces on the mariners quilt stitched by hand, wow!

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    1. Yes, indeed it is a WOW quilt. You need fabric that does not fray, the finest of needles and young eyes!

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  8. Sure do wish I could have seen these in person. Thanks for the virtual show.

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    1. Many of them were stunning, especially in that setting.

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  9. They are all beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Very different from Australian art quilt, aren't they?

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  10. The love and dedication put into these quilts is utterly amazing. I can't imagine how anyone can place as many stitches as some of the quilts call for. Do they ever sleep??
    The window/bamboo is always something that draws my eyes and I love the simplicity of the origami bows. Thank you for sharing the photos.

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