Some brights from Keiko Goke's new fabric line
'Let's enjoy....' seems to be a popular phrase in Japan. For years I have noticed its prevalence in all manner of advertising and signage and it never fails to make me smile. So, let's enjoy fabric shopping!
Upon my return from trips to Japan, I always get email requests to share my fabric purchases in a post. I understand the interest in what's new in the market, but my choices are in no way a comprehensive overview of what's available...they're just what caught my eye. The best fabric shopping opportunity is, of course, at the quilt festival. First stop, Keiko Goke's booth!
Partial display in Keiko Goke's booth
Goke's booth almost exploded with color. In the last year, she has designed two more lines of fabric, her fourth and fifth, debuting the latest at the festival. If you liked her last designs, you'll love the new ones, all of which coordinate with her previous prints. We noticed numerous quilts in the show this year featuring her colorful fabric.
Next stop, La Clochette, Suzuko Koseki's booth. Always on the hunt for text fabrics, I was hoping that I'd find some of her well-known prints in stock. I wasn't disappointed.
Both Goke's and Koseki's fabric are produced by Yuwa, my favorite Japanese fabric company. Their cotton fabric is silky yet substantial and print quality is always sharp. Yuwa's variety of quirky designs is also a big plus for me so the their booth was next on our list.
See what I mean? At Yuwa, the cloth was rolled onto tubes which were laid out on tables, somewhat like an upholstery shop. Nothing was precut so purchasing was a bit of a frenzy as women pointed or pulled out their selections to be cut. It was so crowded that when we left the area, we literally had to wade through a sea of people. I recall being in a big sweat, something I seldom associate with buying fabric. (Hey, this isn't for sissies!) We found the Yuwa people to be good-natured and generous, however. A big gold star for them.
Once we checked off our first three stops, Molly & I split up for some browsing. Among the many vendors were Japanese shops which offered pre-cuts, a dangerous temptation. Many of them featured American prints (desirable to the Japanese contemporary quilter,) but I was able to ferret out some interesting Japanese prints. (A text print on checks!)
Of course, not all of my fabric shopping was done at the show. For better or worse (for me), Molly lives within walking distance of a Yuzawaya, one of Japan's big fabric attractions for quilters. I did dart in a couple of times and came away with these great little shoe prints and a travel print which I hadn't seen elsewhere.
Two colorways of tiny shoes(!) plus Yuwa travel print
These wonderful text prints were featured at a number of venues. The colors are all new versions of a previously popular print that had originally been available only in 'quiet' tones.
New colors of popular text print
Finally, while poking around Kamakura, home of the famed Great Buddha, I found these cotton prints in a small tenugui shop. They were charmingly displayed on a shelf, with a small sign identifying the designer, whose name I wish I'd noted. I usually try to avoid the cute children's prints (limits!) but something about the vintage-y design and colorations prevented me from walking away from these. (Kicking myself that I left without the turquoise...limits!) Not actually yardage, they're meant to be furoshiki (wrapping cloths) but are all cotton and 20" square, quite usable for my purposes.
That's pretty much what I came home with...more than I'd planned to, but much less than last year. I'm happy with the variety and can't wait to start using it.
So now, having seen my choices, what would you have brought home?