Monday, 27 January 2014


I have just got back from the Tokyo Festival of Quilts which, needless to say, was EPIC!
Tokyo Quilt Show Jan 2014
It took up the whole of the Tokyo Dome, which in real life is a baseball stadium. I arrived just as it opened so as you can see in the picture above it was quite nice and empty. Ha! Little did I know.
Zombie Marches
Minute after minute, hour after hour, they streamed in. I told Noriko it was like a zombie apocalypse with a never ending stream of aesthetically hungry people arriving. I was starting to wonder whether, if enough japanese quilters converged on the same place at the same time, could it become too much for reality to handle and could we inadvertently deform space and time and create a black hole? Even if Stephen Hawking has decided they probably don't exist afterall? Could this be quiltapocalypse? But then that could have been the heat and dehydration talking.

If you look at all my photos from the event (in a set on Flickr here) in order you'll see them go from nicely framed pics of a whole quilt to parts of one framed by heads. I can't imagine what the afternoon would be like (we left at lunchtime) as people were already filling most of the seats to eat lunch while the exhibition spaces and stands were still packed with others. What would happen when they all finished chomping and got back to it?
The People
Quantity-wise you could easily spend 6-8 hours looking at everything, but with the number of people I ducked out after 2.5. That doesn't mean I didn't fit a lot into that time though! I've put a few photos in this post but the rest are on Flickr. They get quite blurry after a while - it was all the jostling. That well-remarked japanese politeness goes out the window at these shindigs.
Starburst Quilt
Starburst Quilt Detail

Framed/Miniature Hexagon Quilt
Framed/Miniature Swirl Quilt
Miniture/Framed Cat Quilt
Stripe Quilt

There were also lots of stands to buy from.
And I did manage to bring a few things home with me. I was only looking for things I wouldn't find in the UK because the japanese colour palette is quite unique. I thought this stand's display summed it up quite well.
Japanese Colours
I tried to explain to Noriko that we just don't get fabrics in these colours in the UK but I don't think she believed me. I'm sure I'm right though - how many shades of muted brown and green does your local shop stock? In the end I ended up with 3 kits...
Japanese Sewing Kits
My creation
And the frame and pattern for a little cottage sewing box.
Wooden House Frame Sewing Box
You can see the finished thing with the 'roof' pinned up on one side in the picture below.
I think the lady liked me because I caught sight of it, gasped and excitedly whispered "Sugoi!", which means "wow!".


Frances Meredith said...

This event looks amazing. So lovely to see all the different Japanese sewing goodies. Thanks for sharing - I love reading about your Japanese adventures!

MarneyMay said...

Awesome quilts, beautiful fabrics but too many people. I can see why you left at lunchtime. The pictures you have put on flkr great,
Thanks for sharing
Cheers Pauline

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