The AQS Phoenix show had a special exhibit of Japanese-made quilts. I made a beeline to the back corner of the exhibit hall where they were hung. I can’t tell you how stunning they were and I hope you’ll click on my pictures to get a better look at them.
Flowering by Sachiko Yoshida has the feel of Japanese crest designs (kamon). One circular design is pieced and the next one is appliqued. All the fabrics are from kimono or other Japanese clothing.
In this detail, you can see the careful fabric choices and lovely piecing and applique stitches.
Dianthus – In Memory of My Mother made by Sachiko Yoshida, is a stunning color study! It was hung in a place that could be seen from across the exhibit area and called for a closer look. It’s the perfect example of a quilt that looks amazing from a distance but has delightful details when you are right in front of it.
In this close-up you can see the lovely kimono bits and hand stitching.
When I lived in Tokyo, I attended as many quilt shows as I could. The quilts that are made in Japan and stay there, tend to be more like the quilts in this show. (I feel like the Japanese who compete in International quilt shows have a very different style from the women who don’t ship their quilts to shows outside the country.) Most are entirely made of kimono fabric. At a distance, this quilt looked as though “panels” were cut out of a special kimono, but on closer inspection, the “panels” turned out to be hand applique and piecing. This quilt by Junko Yazawa, is called Flower Book.
Here is a wonderful flower applique.
Japanese crest designs or kamon may have been the design inspiration of Wild Flowers by Yoshiko Sakurai.
Each circle is a small masterpiece!
I think that this quilt is my favorite. It was hung so that it could be seen from a distance and as I walked towards it, more and more soft details appeared. Japanese quilts can be so precise, but this one softly undulates. It is Rose Garden by Junko Yazawa.
Here you can see the movement of the background triangles. I wonder if she drew out the squares or “free hand” pieced each row…. There is minimal quilting so that each piece of fabric can be seen and admired.
All of the quilts were hand pieced or appliqued and hand quilted. Japanese fabrics would be difficult to sew in a machine and it would flatten the texture and fine details in the weaving or surface design. One of the AQS people said it was going to several of their shows, so if there is one near you, I’d suggest you go!