**Note to self ~ Look, Jan, you've indulged this 3-week-old, nagging cold-from-hell quite long enough. Time to get moving, answer your emails, upload the rest of the quilt photos to your Flickr album and finish up the Festival posts. And why you thought it was a good idea to leave all of your Christmas decorations in the living room to re-sort when you returned from Japan ~ beyond me!
As I have written, to my eye, the show this year seemed a little unfocused, but my perception was perhaps influenced by the nature of my visits this year...each shorter than my usual days at the show due to other commitments. I often found myself darting around, looking for categories that weren't included this year and getting turned around, more than usual, in the maze-like exhibits. Early on, however, I headed to the vendors' aisle of antique quilt dealers, where there are always some gems to be found.
First stop...Mary Koval's booth. Of all of the wonderful quilts that she brought, I found this border on a simple red & green basket quilt the most captivating. Note how that corner is a set-in block.
Next stop, Labors of Love Antique Quilts. 'MovingHands' Jennifer works a few days each year in this booth and though we tried to coordinate our days at the show to accommodate our usual visit, sadly, we couldn't make it work this year. The graphic fan quilt (above) beckoned passers-by into the booth, which was crazy busy when I stopped by. Unfortunately, I forgot to return, but did take more photos before I left, which I'll post in the Flickr album.
Each year, the Tokyo Quilt Festival promotional materials feature a different quilt. This year, they displayed the original quilted piece next to the 2012 poster. I was shocked to see how tiny the original was! And by the crowds often clustered around it, I wasn't the only one.
Each year, upon my return, two items come up over and over again in comments and emails...'What were your favorite quilts this year?' and 'Tell us about the fabric!'. I'll talk about fabric next time, but this year, I had more favorite sections of quilts than overall favorites.
I absolutely loved these flower blocks (above), which were part of a travel-themed quilt. I've seen that block featured many times in old issues of Japanese quilt magazines, but never in such beautiful fabric/color combinations.
How about this quilt? These wonderful little silhouette figures covered the whole piece, each embroidered with individual identification.
Although I explain it in the text accompanying my Festival Flickr albums, invariably I get questions regarding the 'WA' quilt category...as in, what is it? The "Wa" category designates quilts made in a uniquely Japanese style...in design and from vintage Japanese fabrics.
The artist who made this wonderful piece used quite a variety of vintage Japanese fabrics, as is her style. We had to smile as Molly read the accompanying artist's statement on our first day at the show.
The quilt is Yoshiko Yamamoto's interpretation of the transformation of her small town as new construction encroaches upon it. I've watched these changes over the years as I spent my very first night in Japan at Yoshiko's home in 1994. You might recall that last year, she had a quilt in the show. This year, she had two pieces!
I've mentioned my friend before, but one of these days, I'm going to write a bit more about her...and us. For now, I'll just say that it is always a highlight of any trip to Japan if we can manage at least a short visit over a cup of coffee at a quilt show. And this time, we did!