Wednesday, January 20, 2010

amuse museum, tokyo

Just two months ago, Amuse Museum opened in the Asakusa neighborhood. The museum is the brainchild of Amuse Inc., a leading Japanese entertainment company.

Fresh and bold, the first-floor Boro exhibit allows visitors to touch the raggedy clothes. The collection of Mr. Chuzaburo Tanaka includes uber-padded and stitched robes that peasants would wrap themselves inside to sleep—like wearable patched futons.

What were once considered of no value, Boro articles are now cherished as national treasures.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

tokyo quilt festival : part three

Besides a plethora of booths selling fabrics and quilted handbags, the Quilt Festival developed some outstanding presentations.

Getting to see the actual process steps of indigo dyeing was wonderful. I’ve just bought Jenny Balfour-Paul’s book, Indigo, which will be helpful to extend my understanding—as all the explanations at the show were in Japanese.

Ten diverse quilters each decorated a space with their quilts, furniture and props in a section called “Welcome To My Room.” These were definitely the most compelling exhibits, especially when the artists were present.

Allentown Art Museum from Pennsylvania hung a traditional selection of historic quilts. And Hae-Ja, Kim, a leading nubi artisan from South Korea, stitched on site with a special showing of her sublime quilted clothes.

tokyo quilt festival : part two

The theme for the 2010 Festival is The Tree of Life.

I learned from May Okamoto at the Clover booth about the multitude of tree quilts on bright blue walls. The squares for the 94 quilts were sent in by viewers of a Japanese TV show on quilting.

The network had a team of professionals, under the direction of Yoko Ueda, assemble more than eleven thousand pieces into cohesive and wonderful quilts. Well labeled, each participant could come to the show and see how her piece fits into a “community” quilt. What a great way to encourage quilters to attend the festival!

tokyo quilt festival : part one

I made it—5000 miles from Seattle to the TOKYO International Great Quilt Festival! Under the air-filled Tokyo Dome were quilts of all ilks for a nine-day show.

Quilting lends itself to a huge range of expression, as shown by these detail shots. I bought the show catalog so I can remember all the remarkable professional quilts presented.

Monday, January 18, 2010

all things blue and white, tokyo

Not only did I visit the legendary Blue & White shop in the Asabu Juban district, I was welcomed by its generous owner, Amy Katoh. What a spirited and inspired woman! Amy seems to be non-stop in her endeavors of all things authentically crafted in Japan—in blue and white.

I purchased the shop’s 2010 calendar with bold prints on the top half of each month. My intention is to mount the prints and hang them in my dyeing studio—as they are printed on wonderful paper.

At the front of the store was a small exhibition of Boro work. It’s like shibori—covered with stitching—but much more folksy and textural. I bought Amy's book on Boro and now know more about the remarkable yet practical artwork originally made by poor farmers’ and fishermens’ wives out of neccesity.

Blue & White is two blocks from the Azabu Juban JR train stop, at 2-9-2 Azabujuban, Minato-ku, Tokyo.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

a mini scrap quilt

A Dog’s Life, 2010, 27" X 32"

My mini dachshund loves all the big quilts in our home so I decided to make her a little one. This scrap quilt is made from the scraps of a full-size scrap quilt (see Aug 2008 post).

Sunday, January 3, 2010

mother/daughter quilt: day four

With three days in Victoria after Christmas, Mom and I moved our lap quilt project forward. But the top was not complete by my departure time.

I bundled everything up and kept working on the piecing in Seattle over the holiday week. One whole section was jettisoned and I added some new fabric to brighten the composition.

Mom’s 83rd birthday is in February. I will return to Victoria then with a finished quilt filled with our shared energies.