My trip to Tokyo to see the 11th Quilt Nihon Exhibition and attend the Award Ceremony was wonderful! I met many Japanese Quilt artists, and although I speak no Japanese, many of them knew some English, and we all spoke “quilt’ with our hands!
There are quilts from around the world in the Contemporary half, but the traditional quilts were all made by talented Japanese. They make traditional blocks in creative ways so that many of them looked quite contemporary to me. The old kimono fabrics make the Japanese quilts exquisite, and their hand piecing and hand quilting make them treasures. This Exhibition will travel to Nagoya, Japan and then to France, Taiwan and China. I am sure visitors in these countries will also enjoy the Japanese take on quilting (and my At the Circus, too!)
It is cherry blossom time and it was hard to believe how huge, old, and beautifully pruned the thousands of trees were in Ueno Park. The trees resemble gigantic bonsai and each day more blossoms were open until there was a “ceiling” of blooms over the solid mass of happy people walking and having picnic parties underneath the main promenade. The beautifully hung Exhibition of 75 quilts was at The Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum in Ueno Park and that’s the part of Tokyo I visited most often, but blooming cherry trees are in all the parks and on the streets – an exciting time for everyone.
I will be returning to Tokyo at the end of November this year to teach a one day workshop for the Japan Handicraft Instructors Association. This week long trip is my Founder’s Award and I am looking forward to the honor and the opportunity to work with Japanese students. I will be teaching my hand stitching technique on silk and will be providing a selection of prepared hand painted squares for the students to stitch with my help and directions. I will have a translator but I am hoping that my images will do the “talking” even better than any words.