Thursday, 31 January 2013

Ops! I have forgotten to post TAST2013

Ops! I have been so preoccupied I have forgotten to post my attempt at the Knotted Feather stitch. It is the first TAST stitch of the year, #49 (of 2012).

It looks a bit tame with very thin thread, and as you can see that the chalk lines are still behind the stitches I am not sure it is finished. I will ponder a bit and then might add something more.

Also I need to get going with stitch #50 which is Inverted Feather stitch.

For more information go to Pintangle.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

WIPW - Chevron

I have been busy with the quilt show at Tokyo Dome but finally got going with the last but one border on my bias tape quilt.

A row of overlapping green Chevron stitches are now being couched down with small red crosses. Sequins will be fixed in the squares, which I hope to show next Wednesday.

For Sharon's stunning cq block and others' work in progress, please visit Pintangle.

The remaining of my photos from TIGQF

Today is the final day of Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival, and I can imagine it is the most crowded as visitors take the last chance to see all the wonderful quilts.

It is also the final posting here on this blog of my remaining photos. It is a mixed bunch:


This is a pieced quilt with appliqué but could be the base for an orderly crazy quilt, don't you think?

Each field shows a scene or items from various seasons: In the top left field you see traditional New Year games, as well as a rice cake being grilled on a net (looks like an old fashioned stamp!); underneath is the Bean Throwing Festival which is coming up soon (February 3rd); under that, dolls for the Hina Festival (March 3rd); you can imagine cherry viewing in the hills; fields of tulips; the flying carp streamers are for Boys' Festival on May 5th; next to it is a block with white hydrangeas in the rainy season; the Tanabata Festival (July 7th) when bamboo branches are bedecked with paper ornaments and slips of paper with wishes; in the big block at the bottom you have all the joys of summer holiday; then the scarecrows in the rice fields in late summer and;  finally the autumn leaf viewing season.

I think the quilter has made good use of the quilting to make sure the rings are visible in this yellow and blue Double Wedding Ring quilt.

I love this quilter; she makes the most beautiful landscape slash quilts. Several layers of fabric are stacked and canals are stitched to hold the layers together. Then the fabric in between the stitched lines is cut and you get this misty scenery.

Here are a few details from quilts:
Chieko Shiraishi got her inspiration for this appliqué quilt from Hungarian Kalocsa embroidery. She has used wool and crochet lace.

Here is a typical example of how old scraps of kimono silk are used in Japan for both pieced and appliquéd work. With a bit of embroidery added.

Indigo dyed fabric abound in Japan and in Japanese quilts, often in traditional patchwork blocks like Log cabin, as well as in blocks of original design. Just beautiful!

However, the quilt that won my heart was:
Minutely detailed, well balanced, perfectly stitched, and notice how straight it hangs.

See the green lattice border with the wall visible behind! Notice the golden details that are all made out of fine couched down gold passing! Passing is a metallic thread, please read Mary Corbet's interesting article about it here.

Finally I have an addition to yesterday's post: The framed quilt 'High summer in Furano' is made by Ms Harumi Sugita (椙田晴美). I will edit the info on that picture.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Framed quilts at TIGQF

Today let me show you a few pieces from the Framed Quilt category at Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival.

This is an unusual category, I have never been to another show where there are quilts in wooden frames. Maybe Framed Fibre Art would be a more appropriate name as the 'quilts' are small and often not actually quilted, but pieced, appliquéd or maybe even just bonded together. Many also feature embroidery so I thought this might be of interest to the TAST members who read this blog.

This, however, is a real quilt with beautiful quilting making up many of the details. Black netting is used for the shadows. The scene is from Vendôme, France, a place the quilter, Ms Yoshiko Tsuji, wants to return to, as the title translates: 'I want to visit one more time'.

Here the inspiration is once again from France, the lavender fields of Provence, as Ms Tomoko Sato once saw on TV. This quilt has both pieced and appliquéd work as well as all those embroidered French knots. Can you smell the fragrance of lavender?

椙田晴美*真夏の富良野 (High summer in Furano)
Furano is located on the northern island of Hokkaido, and is famous for, yes, you guessed it, flowers, and especially the lavender fields. Look at all those beautiful stitches! This could indeed be a TAST sampler!!!

See what beauty you can create with the simple Feather stitch! These frostbitten trees earned the maker, Ms Keiko Kimura 2nd prize in the Framed Quilt Award.
It was very noisy near this quilt with clicking camera shutters and all the Wow! Splendid! Fantastic! and other exclamations of delight.

If you can bear with me, there will be one more quilt report, tomorrow.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Blossoming quilts at TIGQF

Next to Tokyo Dome, where the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival is held, there are the beautiful  Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens. While waiting for the crowds at the show to thin out I took a walk there. It is still too cold for most flowers but the red Camelias were blossoming beautifully and the yellow Wintersweet has just started blooming. These are the first plum blossoms of the season and don't seem to mind the icy air.

Now inside Tokyo Dome, however, were many flowers - on quilts. Let's have a look. We start with this plum quilt of kimono silk, made by

古川範子 * and titled: 寿ぎの風#3

Later in spring the peach trees will beautify the landscape:


Cherry blossoms and the falling cherry petals are favourite motifs, and you will always find at least one such quilt. Here Ms Okubo has made a beautiful mix of piecework and appliqué, (while according to the title, 'Being seduced by the fragrance of Cherry blossoms').

In early summer, during the rainy season you will see wonderful irises like these, for example at the garden I mentioned at the top of this blog post. 
I just love this stunning quilt. Look at the circles of falling raindrops on the water's surface.


This wonderful scene of 'Ancient Lotus Flowers' by Hiroko Nakamura makes me think of the lotus garden at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine in Kamakura.

Finally, here are two bed size quilts:
Perfectly stitched!


Akiko Matsumura made this to celebrate the birth of her first grandchild. How's that for a cot quilt?! Oh, if only my grandmother had been Japanese...

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Quilts from the contest at TIGQF

Today I want to share some of the quilts from the actual contest at Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival.
First a word on the titles and the quilters' names. I would like to give full credit to the makers, however, the labels for the following quilts were all in Japanese, and I do not want to venture on translating the titles. Nor will I guess at how the names should be written in Roman letters, so this info will be in Japanese.


This is a very Japanese quilt; taupe, a mix of pieced and appliquéd work, pictorial, featuring animals, and it's cute and charming. It depicts a group of mice making a map and marking out in which houses there is a cat in residence. The mice are talking about all the mischief a cat is up to. The neighbourhood feline boss sits in the tree and looks down at the mouse conference.

'Are you sure we have marked all houses?'

'Ha! They don't know I'm listening in!' 

'That bully in No 7 is always teasing the fish in the tank.'

This beautiful octopus quilt is made with kimono silk in a beautiful wavy pattern. The suction cups are Suffolk puffs, or yo-yos. Roughly the titles reads 'Ocean shadows in the morning sunrise', and by chance the spotlight above the quilt cast a shadow right across the quilt.

A spectacular peacock, and I am sure he's calling: 'Look at me, everyone!'

川口康子*Paraiso de Fantasia
Mola is a popular technique with Japanese quilters and many first learn the basics, make a couple of traditional quilts and then move on to make their own interpretations. This heron surrounded by flowers of Paradise is a good, and beautiful, example.

武宮裕子*Olympic Games
Japan was successful in the London Olympic Games and here is a quilt celebrating various athletes at work.

Isn't this a clever use of the hexagon shape?

There are more quilts I want to share with you in the next blog post. Now I need to get going with my TAST stitching!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

More pictures from Tokyo Int Great Quilt Festival

Here are some more pictures from the quilt festival at Tokyo Dome.

First I want to show this charming block made by a lady who contacted me about the Partnership quilt project back in summer.
After searching for some time I finally found her block in quilt no 3. It was placed high up and a bit difficult to photograph. Can you see it in the first column, second row.

This was a particularly charming quilt with a variety of blocks. Congratulations!

Now for some more of the Master's Quilts:
Michiko Shima always uses kimono silk and bias tape in silver. This quilt is called 'Yakushi's hands to save living things'.

Here is a detail of Naoko Takeshita's 'To keep on'. The little red dot in the middle added just enough colour to make the slightly drab taupe/beige quilt sparkle.

Taupe quilts are very 'Japanese'. Tsuneko Shimura made her 'Around the world' with small pieces.

Harue Yumoto chose to blend in green in her taupe quilt, 'Scent of little trips'. Perfectly stitched.

The next quilt was a real crowd stopper, and the crowd could not stop looking, finding, pointing and smiling.

Yoko Sekita is famous for her pictorial quilts full of charm. The brick building is the newly renovated Tokyo station. Steam engines are very popular among Japanese train enthusiasts. Among the books at the bottom of the quilt is 'The Davinci Code'. Now have a look at the light blue panel:

Can you recognise Sherlock Holmes, Red Riding Hood, Harry Potter, Ron and Hermione, Charlie Chaplin and Tora-san? I am sure you can find many more famous characters beautifully worked into this fantastic travel quilt. The title is, 'Encouragement for Travels - prologue'.
Alice is tumbling down, down, down... She lost her shoe, and became Cinderella?

More from the show tomorrow!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival - Day 1

The biggest quilt event in Japan, Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival, has just opened.
Today I made my first visit and I am glad I have a chance to return another day. Why? Because the baseball dome where the event is held was PACKED with visitors.

The quilt festival usually lasts ten days. This year it will close after six days, because the baseball arena will be used for - a special out of season baseball event. So all who want to visit the quilt show need to do so within these six days, and that explains why the event is CROWDED.

Under these conditions it wasn't possible to enjoy the high quality quilts or take pictures in the morning.

So I went looking for my snowman on one of the Partnership quilts. You might remember that back in summer I made and sent my block to this charity, organised by NHK (Japanese state run broadcasting company). Usually NHK then send a postcard to each person with the number of the quilt where the block has been added. Not this year, unfortunately and lots of people were wandering around looking for their block. NHK got 11,500 blocks !!!, and volunteers made 89!!! bed size quilts á 120 blocks each. I found my Swedish snowman on quilt no 73. Can you see him? The 3rd column from the left, the 6th row from the top.

He's in good company with a number of other snowmen and other Christmassy blocks.

I will buy a handful of raffle tickets and hope to win the quilt. 

In the afternoon I went to listen to Diana Boston who talked and guided us round the exhibition of the stunning patchworks made by her mother-in-law, Lucy Boston. Lucy took up patchwork in her 60s and made the last one at the age of 92. There is hope for us all!

Lucy Boston had a good eye for design, and fussy cut her pieces, then stitched them with the tiniest of stitches over paper. Diana said jokingly: 'These coverlets could have been stitched by mice'. As Lucy also was a keen and hardworking gardener her hands were far from fine and slender, which means it is even more of an achievement that she managed to do such delicate patchwork.

Photography was not allowed in this special part of the quilt festival. To read and see more about Lucy Boston, her home, garden, children's books and patchworks,  please check out this excellent website.

The picture above was taken by a nice Japanese lady who stood next to me. She told me she had been to Lucy's home, and had met Diana before. The quilting world is a wide and small!!!

In the afternoon as the crowds began to thin out I walked round and took some pictures of the Master Quilters (famous teachers).
 The Japanese Queen of Crazy Quilting, Machiko Miyatani's 'The Pine Grove of Forever Green'

'Wasabi' by Pachiko Yoshida. Two rings of beautiful cherry blossom petals.

Chiyo Hosokawa made her 'Restart' by cutting out figures from one single sheet of red fabric which she then appliqued by needle turn onto the blue/green fabric. Can you see the red surfers riding the waves?

Noriko Masui is one of my absolute favourite Japanese quilters. She makes the most stunning medallion quilts. Here she has made a modern version called 'Circle'.

Keiko Miyauchi has once again proved that she is The Queen of Appliqué. Her impeccable quilt is called 'Flower Garden in Early Summer'.

I will post more photos on my next report.