Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tokyo Quilt Festival


First of all, thank you so much for everyone who
let me know that you enjoyed my previous post.
(It was almost nerve wrecking to post it because I
thought it could be the most boring post ever lol).
Also, thank you so much for your kind words too.
Both Joe and I haven gotten over the jet lag,
and my homesickness is becoming much less intense.


I gotta tell you that today's post is going to be
super long again. I have about 55 pictures to share
with you that were taken at Tokyo Quilt Festival on
January 27th. I'll try my best to be quiet so that
you can go to the end quicker. You'll probably find
at least a few quilts that will wow you,
so hopefully you'll enjoy taking a little trip to
Tokyo Quilt Festival at Tokyo Dome with me here!
(Let me apologize in advance for bad pictures!)


Oh, don't forget to stop by Jan's flickr album to
discover more quilts at the festival too!
(She blogged about it here too.)


Was it crowded? Well, how about I let you judge on
that from this picture? Can you believe it was
just a weekday? About 40% of the place was
fabric shops' vendors and the rest of it was used for
quilts exhibition. Jan warned me about the crowd,
saying that I would need to sharpen my elbow
at this place, which made me giddy every time I
remembered it at at the festival.


The first place I stopped by was children's mini
quilts section. Did you hear me right? Children!


Isn't this lovely? It was really encouraging
to know that this nicely done hand applique
was made by a young girl.


Oh how I adore this sushi mini quilt art.
This is a conveyor belt sushi that is pretty
common in Japan. You take a sushi dish you want,
eat as much as you wish, call a staff when
you are done so she/he will come to count the dishes
at your table and charge you for them. Look
at the wasabi peeking underneath raw fish.
That's adorable. Can't believe a 8 year old
boy made this master piece!


Throughout the place there were quilts called
"Friendship Quilts." I think these are basically
quilts made by multiple people in a quilting bee.
Though it might be possible that those folks
who participated in making this quilt together
don't know each other at all. I know some people
who submitted their block to a theme just for
this purpose and that was it. They don't know
anybody who also made blocks for the same quilt.
I found it very interesting..


Not sure about this quilt though, because this
has such a perfectly matching theme. It's like
they are all made by the same person or something.
Isn't it so cute though?!


I can recognize many fabrics that I have and love.


Lookie at the the door that is openable!


This is a really artistic Japanese calligraphy
design too with a nice creative kick. Some of those
characters mean "moon, cloud, wind, water, cherry
blossom, rain... etc" Very calming.


What I really loved about this quilt was the
idea. Basically, this lady who made this quilt
has two sons in Tokyo, very far from where she lives.
On this quilt is appliqued letters that she has
written to her sons in the past years.
Writing a postcard with an original art is
very traditional and is such a thoughtful way
to convey messages for someone you care a lot.


Here in the fish one, she is saying, "I cooked
and ate pacific saury (a type of fish). I heard
it's good for you. I hope you eat fresh food
in Tokyo too. The pool festival ended today, It's
September already. I want to see you again"

The chestnut one - "The chestnut is like a happy
family together. This reminds me of Hisashi and Masashi
(her sons). Let's talk a lot when we can see each other again."


"'Hey Mom, How's everything? Is Dad doing good too?'
I know I am not at the age to receive a phone call
like that from you yet. It doesn't have to be frequent
at all, but I wonder if you could give me a
phone call or an email sometimes?
Take care and stay healthy."

For some reasons, these messages were really touching
to me. I know my mom was missing me so much for
the two and a half years I never went back to Japan.
I started thinking if this is how she had
been feeling, and I had to leave this quilt behind
soon not to start being teary there.


This picture doesn't do justice in how incredibly
the depth of field was expressed in this mini quilt.


Speechless? I know. It made me speechless too!


This is a really amazing art too.


I loved this framed art. It was so popular that
there was constantly a crowd of people in front
of it. I really wanted to take a good picture of
it so I went back to it a couple of times and
finally got some time to look at it carefully
and shoot this photo. The miniature food applique
is the cutest thing that I definitely want to
be able to make one day...!!


What can I say? It's nothing but a piece of
adorable art, isn't it? Look at the girl bird's
high heels too - cuteness overload!!


This is a really cheerful and colorful
framed art too. So happy.


A very traditional Japanese house looks like
this. You can still find houses like this
in a country side in Japan. It makes me nostalgic.


This is really beautiful too.


This one too. It's like a real picture.


Isn't it tooooo cute??!! Pata pata is a sound
for sweeping with a bloom. Batan, Gon is a
sound for someone falling to the floor.
Haa huu is a sound for feeling comfy in a bath.
There are a lot of fun things in this small art.
I love the three pots and a quilt hung.


If I remember correctly, the label said that
this mini quilt was made with help of her
young daughter's random sketch. Loving the girliness!


So Japanese! You might have been able to tell
from the zakka post, but sweets' theme has been
really trendy now in Japan. You can pretty much
find everything with sweets design like macaroon
shaped pillow cushions and cake-looking candles.
I really like this fun and happy cake art!


Nice, nice. It makes me want to go hiking!


It's so beautiful and striking.


I'm not the only Japanese who's crazy about
European stuff apparently. lol. I thought the designer
of this quilt lives in England, but if I remember
correctly, it said she just visited her friend
in England for 2 weeks. She must have been SO inspired!


Especially union jacks have been a really popular
theme in Japan. I found T-shirts, jackets, stationery
kits, mirrors, wallets, bags among others with a
union jack on them. I'm really excited about
making a union jack block for Erica for Ringo Pie bee!


I really adored this quilt too.


It was everything I love - contrasting colors, typography,
cheerful theme, vintage-ish, and lots of polka dots!


You know how crazy I am about this poodle prints!
Couldn't find the particular prints though... :(


This is beautiful too.


This was really nice especially when I looked at it closely.




I like this because although it seems quite simple,
I know it isn't the case really. There are a lot of
thoughts put into this work.


This was like a real picture! Oh how I miss April
in Japan when cherry blossom is so, so beautiful.


It's like an interesting color chart or something.


Very calming.


This is fun too. I really like patchwork of
colorful Japanese traditional fabrics.


I am totally in love with this. Wonky, fun
typography, unexpectedness - so much fun!


It was really nice to see this quilt because
January was Lisa's month for Ringo Pie bee
where the theme was "Door".


Isn't it a lot of fun?


I love, love, and love this!!!
Once again it's all about what I love!


Probably this was the block I adored the most.
Look how she squeezed "L" in like that!
Whether it was on purpose or not, I am loving it.


I bet many of you like this chair! Lots of
us like a red + aqua combination :D


What I really liked about this quilt was...


The flower collage! Look how it made with
hexagons, lace, and sewing pattern paper!!!


This was made by a fabric designer and the
author of several sewing books Kumiko Fujita.
I have a few books of her and some fabrics too.
You can look at this flickr group by Kerry and Amy
where you can find Kumiko Fujita and typography
stuff! I'll show you some of her fabric that I
snatched while I was in Japan soon too.


This was probably one of my favorite quilts I saw
at the show. I loooooove the French theme!!!!


I really enjoyed paying attention to the detailing
of this quilt.


So pretty! This helped me decide a theme for
my month for Ringo Pie - hehe!


This is really nice piece of art too!


Akiko Endo's quilt is always exhibited at this
Tokyo Quilt Festival and it always wows me
every time I see her work.


So delicate, happy, perfect, and Frenchy!
If you are a big collector of Japanese fabric,
you might have a few fabric stashes designed
by her. Her fabric line is called Atelier Akiko.
I got some of her fabric on the last trip too
which I'll show you soon :)

Wow it looks like I am done with 57 pictures now.
I thought I promised you that I would be quiet
but I wasn't huh, lol, sorry about that!
Hopefully you found some quilts very inspiring.
Which one is your favorite?

By the way, there are more photos from
Tokyo Quilt Festival coming. I took lots
and lots of pictures in Suzuko Koseki's booth.
I can't wait to tell you all about the project
completed by 19 of us in 8 different countries,
how it was presented to Suzuko Koseki, and her reaction.

Our SK coasters together!
*A little preview*

Thank you so much again for your time to read my post!

Have a fabulous day!!


  1. Wow! Some fantastic quilts! I couldn't possibly pick a favourite
    Thank you

  2. Oh my goodness these are gorgeous! I'm impressed by the sushi one by the eight year old!

  3. A-MA-ZING. Thank you so much for sharing all those wonderful pictures with us. It must have been one hell of a day being there and seeing those pieces of art for real.

  4. Oh my goodness!! All I can say is WOW!!!!!!

  5. My goodness I am almost speechless! Those are absolutely amazing works of art, and so inspirational for all the things you can do with fabric!!! I love the houses quilt, but I also love the postcard one. I think it's so interesting how they add 3-D elemensts to their quilts. Beautiful!!! Thanks for sharing :)

  6. My head would have been completely spinning, so much stimulation- loved the Pata, pata, the Japanese house, the yoko graphic one, the circle letters, the Kumiko one- knew it was her straightaway! And the one with lots of sewing things on, thank you for sharing. The scale of the event is amazing!

  7. Amazing quilts! I am so jealous of you visiting the festival

  8. They are beautiful. I'm partial to blue so I really loved the caligraphy one .. but the one with the dandelions was great too! Can't possibly pick one. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I've been swooning over Jan Bemused (is she Jan?!) photos of the festival - and yours are just as amazing - just mid blowingly amazing - one year, I will come with you! Maybe when I'm so old you'll have to push me round all day in a wheelchair and shout loudly in my ear! OK, guess which is my favourite quilt (one leapt right out at me and, here's one clue, its not the London one although of course I love that one too but I am a bit union jacked out!). Keep these long posts coming, I love them and I am glad you are feeling a little less homesick - Nigel is Welsh and they have a word for it, hiraeth, which expresses a sort of love and longing for your homeland and he still feels it all the time despite having lived in England for more of his life than he lived in Wales.

  10. Thank you so much for sharing. All that original work. I smiled when I saw the cake had kiwifruit on it.
    I loved almost every work of art on your post. I'm going back now to look more closely.

  11. Huge sigh that was amazing, thank you!! I think I've got enough inspiration for a years worth of quilts now :-)

  12. Thank you so much for sharing all of these wonderful photos of the stunning quilts!!! I loved them all, and particularly like the framed works - I've been playing with framing some of my recent works and really like it. I also love the solid "walls" that the quilts hang from - so much nicer than the curtains used most commonly here in the US. Thanks again!

  13. thanks for sharing all those photos of wonderful quilts :)

  14. Thank you, thank you for sharing these pictures. One day I hope to go to the Tokyo show. I'm saving my frequent flyer miles!

  15. Wonderful post, Ayumi! You got some beautiful shots. I attended on the first Saturday and it was unbelievably difficult to get a clear view of many quilts.
    I really enjoyed your commentary on the quilts that had Japanese on them. My Japanese is quite limited so I miss understanding the labels. That postcard quilt is so touching!
    I'm editing more photos today and plan a post later this week about the show.

  16. Such inspiring quilts! There are some talented people and wonderful photos to show them at their best!

  17. Amazing, wonderful, incredible! Such wonderful pictures of some of the most original and creative quilts I've ever seen. Truly, I am in awe. And I can't believe the crowd you had to navigate! Thank you so much for sharing your trip with us.

  18. Que belleza! gracias por compartirlo... me encantan tus labores, un abrazo

  19. Thanks for sharing all the photos. The quilts are beautiful! I don't know if I will ever make it to a large quilt festival so I really appreciate all the photos you took and posted.

  20. If I had to choose a favorite, I'd choose the one with the flower collage made with pattern paper. I have some of that around here and I never remember to use it like a new material.

    Thx so much for ALL the pics.

  21. I am having huge quilt envy right now! Looks like so much fun. I can't wait to see more. I love living vicariously through your Japan travels! THank you, Thank you!

  22. WOW! I got visual backlash trying to look at them all at once! I will have to revisit this post over and over again to take it all in. I am jealous! But so happy you got to see it in person! Inspiration like this can only make us all better craftspeople.

  23. Wow...lots of wows here. I am feeling overwhelmed with inspiration...great way to feel. It's hard to choose favourite..the first one and the red log cabiny one are definitely up many beautiful fabrics. Can't wait to read your next posts...make them as long as you like!!!

  24. Thanks for posting all these photos! It's like I was able to see the show while staying here in New Jersey! It's really tough to pick a favorite, but I think I can narrow it down to the sweeping one, the poodle one, and the French/Eiffel Tower one (I really love the block in that one and might have to figure out how to make it myself...)! They're all so inspiring. I'm so glad you had a good trip there!

  25. Oh my gosh....those quilts are just incredible. Far too hard to pick a favourite. So much creativity and talent. Thanks so much for posting all the photos.

  26. O my word, these are amazing! I can't imagine how long it would take to finish one of these quilts!

  27. These quilts are to die for!!! Thank you so much for sharing. A real treat!

  28. Ayumi!!! Amazing!! I hardly know what to say, except that: no one does adorable like the Japanese! I loved the Macarons quilt. And the calligraphy quilt (but I have a soft spot for indigo). The little orangey/pink palace is stunning applique and I also heart the quilt made up of all those red tiny square in squares.

    Thank you so much for sharing that experience. I can't imagine getting there to see if for myself, but you never know, right?

  29. Wow, what talent!! Simply incredible! My favourite is the one with the poodle. It's inspiring me to cut heaps of tiny pieces and make one too!

  30. Thanks for all the photos... I would love to visit the show one day !

  31. Thank you for sharing the pictures - it would be marvellous to be able to visit the show one day :) As long as that is not possible, it is so nice to see pictures of all the beautiful stuff that in show :) And there is no need to apologize for the quality, in my opinion they were just fine.

  32. Thank you for sharing all these beautiful quilts. The close ups are amazing!!! It's impossible to choose only one favorite...
    ; )
    The letter quilt between the mother and two sons was very touching....

  33. i'm speechless.......wowww really2 amazing!! Thank you Ayumi for sharing all these beautiful quilts.

  34. OMG! Thanks for the beautiful photos! Those quilts were so amazing!

  35. Bonjour Ayumi,

    My name is Daphne, I live in France. I am a newbie in sewing and patchwork. I dind't know how to sew 1 year ago before my sewing classes.
    I don't remember how I get to your blog, but I am glad that I got lots of inspiration from your sewing projects. Looking at your tutorial and fabric selections, makes me want to sew more.

    Thanks for your hard work, please keep sharing with us your knowledge of patchwork sewing and fabrics. Really enjoy reading your blog, and jealous that you could visit Tokyo patchwork festival. I love Tokyo, it's one of my favorite Asian city.

    Best regards,

  36. Oh my goodness - there are so many amazing quilts. Thank you for sharing these. I am in awe and feeling quite inspired now!

  37. Ayumi, thank you for sharing your photos with us. The quilts were fabulous! The detail in them was incredible.

  38. That was a wonderful tour! Wow, there are some incredibly talented quilters in Japan.

  39. So Glad your back! You are so wonderful for sharing! I keep oohing and awhing over the quilts! They are AMAZING!!
    Tammie Bivins

  40. Ayumi ooohh!! Many quilts WONDERFUL! I've spent a long time watching and enjoying, some are really amazing ... Thanks for showing this exhibition, it is incredible that with your camera I am able to see it from as far away as Argentina! Thanks for sharing, and congratulations to the Japanese, are great in everything they do ... Besos!

  41. Wonderful! Thank you! I really like the first one and a few more!

  42. Faaaaaabulous! Thanks so much for sharing these pics! So inspiring, there are so many clever quilters out there.

  43. OMG! Can I just say if I owned any of the those quilts they would never get used! Ever! I might could hang them up but not really. . .I would store it away and only take them out to enjoy once n' awhile!

  44. I wasn't on the computer yesterday at all. So last night my daughter told me your Japanese quilt festival post was up. I was so excited to pull it up this morning. Love so many of the quilts. Hard to pick a favorite. If I had to pick just one it would be Akiko Endo's quilt. Hard to say though because they are all so amazing. I'll be back to look more. Thanks for taking the time to post all these superior quilts. They are inspiring. Funny about the chair quilt. I have one started like that! I thought I was the only one to think of it.

  45. Wonderful quilts! Thank you for the pictures!

  46. I love your post and you take lovely pictures of the quilts! I can't believe some of the quilts those kids made! Is quilting a popular thing to do in Japan? I never heard of this even though much of my family has spent much time in Japan. I love that this shows you can really take any image and quilt it!

    Thanks for the lovely tour of the show.

  47. fantastic post! One of my life goals is to journey to the Tokyo quilt festival and see Japan. I will get there someday I know it..

  48. Wooahh, so amazing! Thanks for sharing Ayumi!

  49. What an fabulous selection. Thank you so much for sharing your pictures and thoughts about these wonderful works of art. So many wonderful designs.

  50. Thank you and Congratulations for the pictures and selection.
    I'd love to go someday. But Argentina is so far!!!
    Cecilia Koppmann

  51. These are all fabulous work!!! Thanks for sharing these Ayumi!

  52. Thank you so much for sharing these amazing quilts with us. My favorite is the one with a bird in high heels. Super romantic!

  53. ahhhh I see a lot of ladies from stash manicure...a party ....great show sweetie...some of the detail is awespiring......

  54. wow, thanks for sharing all of these. I think my favorite was the cityscape one where you are looking up through leaves to tall buildings and the sky. Wow! Also that first quilt was amazing. And you are so welcome for the valentine! Happy Valentines Day!

  55. Awesome quilts and great work!Just stunning!Thank you for sharing!

  56. They are all wonderful and inspiring. It's hard to pick a favorite. Thank you for showing them.

  57. Ayumi! Thanks for sharing these photos. There are some truly amazing quilts! Now I want to have a chair quilt for the next round of Ringo Pie! ;)

  58. Thank you so much for posting these beautiful quilts.

  59. I have no words for how amazing those quilts are! Thank you so much for sharing them, Ayumi!

  60. Wow, wow, wow wow WOW! Loved them all, but the one that made me speechless was the same one that made you speechless! I'm so grateful for you taking all the photos and sharing them with us. THANK YOU!

    Welcome home!! xxoom

  61. That was an easy way to enjoy the Tokyo Quilt Festival! Pity though I couldn't buy any material. I think my favourite quilt has got to be the first one...those flowers look amazing!!

  62. Thank you for the preview of the quilt show. They are simply stunning quilts. I remember a couple of years ago we had Japanese quilts on show at the NSW Quilters Guild Quilt Show in Sydney and the detail was amazing. The workmanship is outstanding.

  63. thank you for posting and sharing :)
    All of those quilts are very geogeous.
    Loved it <3<3<3

  64. Thank you thank you thank you for posting the photos!! What a treat for me to see them (without actually being there). I know that took a long time for your post, and I really appreciate it!!! Beautiful quilts...

  65. Hi Ayumi, Thank you so much for sharing, this show is definately on my to do list. Love your blog too. Chrisb.

  66. Thank you so much for sharing this, I never realised one could quilt with such perfection. And I love, how the style of Japanese quilts is different from every American quilt I saw. Again - thank you so much, it was a real window to the world!

  67. I am just an awe of all the quilts. Definitely CANNOT pack a favorite - keep changing my mind each time I look at the quilts again. Amazing work.

  68. Thank you so much, Ayumi! I think I might've forgot to breathe while looking at these amazing quilts. I loved reading your notes for each quilt... it was so much fun!

  69. Wonderful quilts - thank you for sharing!

  70. I have really enjoyed your posts about Japan. I used to live there a very long time ago. The quilts are all stunning.

  71. Thank you for sharing these GORGEOUS quilts. I'm amazed by the fabulous topics and themes of the quilts. It's wonderful that our love of quilts goes all over the world. Thank you Thank you for the window into another place. Keep Bloging.

  72. Thank you everyone for taking the time to leave a sweet comment! I'm glad this post was enjoyable to you!

  73. WOW! SO AMAZING quilts!!
    Thank you!

  74. These were amazing quilts. Thanks for taking me on this journey. I just love the fabrics. It is so nice to see this level of craftsmanship.

  75. Thank you soooo much for sharing these amazing pictures, I really loved them all! I was in Tokyo a few years ago and was lucky enough to go to a (very tiny) quilt display (the display was tiny, not the quilts!) - the quilts were so incredible. Unfortunately they wouldn't allow photos to be taken. Thanks again, so inspiring! Danielle x

  76. all I can add (and has been written before): oh my Goodness!
    I am impressed! extreeeem!

  77. Incredible! I wish they could bring that show to the states. Very inspirational!

  78. Thanks for sharing all these photos with us all around the world!!

  79. Going back to catch up a bit. Stunning stitching all of them, blows the mind such perfection!

  80. Thank you for sharing - the Japanese quilters have always been stellar, and this is truly a visual proving that....:-)

  81. Thank you so much for sharing! It is the kind of pics to come back over and over to find something new with them. Happy you were able to see them in person! Whether the design or colors...these quilts hold a lot of inspiration that can be used by Quilters!

  82. I realise that I am a bit late commenting on this post, but I just came across it and wanted to thankyou for sharing such Inspirational work from Japan. I am in awe!

  83. Ya learn somehitng new everyday. It's true I guess! What a joy to find such clear tihinkng. Thanks for posting!

  84. Some day I will join the festival! please post the catalog on you blog please!

  85. WOW!!! thanks for the look/see :) There's a lot of inspiration and amazing talent there.

  86. You have a great Blog... I live in California and very impressed with the quilts you have posted. I am a Longarm Quilter & Fabric Shop out of my home and belonging to two Guilds. What an inspiration to get me going this morning.. Thanks for sharing, Pat


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