Oh, I remember.
Things have calmed down here quite a bit since last time I checked in. Rooms have been painted, Goodwill runs have been made, files have been shredded and piles of fabric have been shared with quilt friends. Carpets still need cleaning and realtors have yet to be interviewed, but I feel like we're on track to make this impending move as quick and painless as possible. I refuse to even consider another saga like our last transition. More later...let's move on!
The quilt show. It was only last month yet it seems like ages ago! Finally, I have gotten all of my photos uploaded to my 2011 Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival Flickr album and properly labeled. They are just a taste of the show, nowhere near the 450 quilts that were exhibited. In fact, I was lucky to get any decent shots. The crowds were out of this world!
The show opens on a Friday, running for nine consecutive days, and Molly & I have always attended on the first Saturday. Although this is really asking for it crowd-wise, the truth is that the vendors get cleaned out of their popular items on that first weekend. In fact (full disclosure!), I always head to the vendors' area first and then browse the quilts later in the day as crowds start to thin. However, this year, the weekend crowds were stunning. Almost suffocating.
Despite this, within our first half hour, Sheryl Anicich, an accomplished New Zealand quilter, and her sister (name misplaced...so sorry!), found us just as we were stopping by at Keiko Goke's booth. This year, the people we met (and met with) were among the highlights of our visit. (Thankfully, Sheryl and family have not been affected by the recent earthquake.)
The vendors' areas are more or less organized thematically and around the corner from Keiko Goke's booth (more on that later) was an aisle which featured several American antique quilt dealers as well as many sellers of vintage feedsacks and mid-20th century cloth. (If you're wondering why you are continually outbid on eBay, many of these Japanese dealers are your competition.) Anyhow, first stop was the Labors of Love booth, where the gorgeous quilts were actually my secondary interest. Jennifer (Moving Hands) and I have been meeting at the show for the last few years and this year had hoped to get together during the first part of my trip. When my plans changed, the only time we could visit was Saturday, while she worked at the show. The situation was less than ideal for catching up (guess I'll just have to go back next year!) but during our visit, she surprised me by leaning under the display table and pulling out something she had brought to show me in person...
Yes, it's Jennifer's stunning medallion quilt top, made in Anita's medallion quilt-along last year. Believe me, it was right at home in that booth of antique masterworks!
All too soon we had to move on and next stop was Mary Koval's Antique Quilts booth, just across the aisle. I made a beeline for the quilts on the far end of her display and after some close examination which may have involved drooling, she happily granted me permission to take some photos to share.
I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Mary, a delightful person, and as we were chatting away about this and that...the show, her new shop in Pennsylvania...in walked Lynette Anderson, a Lecien designer, visiting Tokyo from Australia. A little more chitchat ensued before Molly and I excused ourselves and headed off to a much anticipated meeting.
I've never shared the story here, but my first trip to Japan was in 1994 when I had a quilt in an exhibit in Nagoya. Some of the Japanese quilters participating in that show hosted several of us American exhibitors and that was how I met my friend, Yoshiko Yamamoto. The big story is for another time, and it is quite a story, but for now, Molly had arranged a meeting for coffee when we realized that Yoshiko and her daughter, Nami, would be attending the show on Saturday. I had actually gotten together with Yoshiko at the show last year, but we hadn't seen the girls for several years so it was an especially wonderful visit. As we finished our coffee and prepared to say goodbye, Molly & I were surprised to hear that Yoshiko had a quilt in the exhibit. To clarify, we were surprised she hadn't mentioned it earlier, we weren't surprised that her work was chosen for the exhibit...her work is exquisite!
Something funny happened right after we took this picture, but that will have to wait until next time. The sun just broke through and I'm going to go take some photos of the fabric you're all waiting to see!