When I wrote recently about my longtime admiration for Keiko Goke and her work, little did I think that it would start a chain of events that led to being her guest at the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival! When she heard that Molly & I would be attending, she sent a pair of tickets and asked us to stop by and see her at the show. We headed to her vendor's booth first thing. And so it was that Keiko was reunited with her biggest fan.
It was a wonderful visit, with Molly helping out on some fine points of translation. Keiko laughingly admitted she had no memory of our first meeting but we found other things to talk about. What a great start to an already much anticipated day!
As usual, the show was a mob scene early in the day. We spent most of the morning in the vendors' booths, having learned from experience that in-demand fabric & books often sell out early at the show and crowds thin out appreciably after lunch, making for much easier quilt viewing. This was our view from our lunch break. No chili dogs or hot pretzels here. And yes, it was just as delicious as it was pretty.
Mid-afternoon, I ran into Jennifer in the show's themed exhibit. We had originally planned to meet later in the day, to show each other what we considered *must-see quilts* which the other may have missed. Instead, together we browsed this exhibit of invited quilters' pieces. Truly, each quilt was worthy of intensive study and it was great to have Jennifer there to interpret some of the artists' statements, written in Japanese. The detail on these artists' work was often mind-boggling and it was fun to view them with someone who's about as obsessive as I am about these quilts.
Here's a quilt I was casually viewing until Jennifer invited me closer to observe something incredible. The large piece is comprised of small (around 1") squares of old indigo fabrics which are arranged by hue to form the image. What I didn't realize until it was pointed out to me is that none of the little squares are pieced.
Those sharp diagonal edges in the large graphic design are made by small squares that have been cut from two-toned fabrics. Minato has carefully laid her square template on patterned fabric at the appropriate angles so that together, they form the overall image. Again, none of the little squares is pieced within its outline! A masterwork, which appears to be hand-pieced, as well as hand-quilted.
Toward the end of the day, I drifted back to that dangerous vendors' area (really, it's like a MAGNET) where I bumped into Jennifer again and was caught in the act by Macey, from Singapore, who came up to me and quietly said, 'I read your blog!' Wow, what a moment! Molly came by as we were talking and we all had a laugh about what a small world it is here online.
I have several more posts to write about the show (I did return for a second day) and am still uploading quilt photos to my 2010 Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival Flickr set. If you can't get enough, head over to Jennifer's Moving Hands for more coverage as well as her Flickr set, which includes some translations of charming artists' statements. Keiko Goke has also written several posts about the show, including some wonderful quilt shots.