2017 tokyo quilt festival: part three

2017 tokyo quilt festival: part three

ABOVE: Field mice from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz feature project

PART THREE: Special Exhibits, Historic Textiles

By Patricia Belyea

TOKYO JP Japanese quilt artist Reiko Washizawa and her school produced this year’s feature project: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Dorothy and Toto landed in a magical place filled with fields of poppies, flying monkeys, and a wizard in a hot-air balloon. The exhibited quilts looked charming country-casual, like they were truly made in Kansas.

The World of Leo Lionni presented lively picture quilts reproducing favorite characters from Lionni’s philosophical children’s books. A mega-version of Frederick, the daydreaming mouse, danced a jig to everyone's delight.

Smaller Special Exhibits by top Japanese quilt artists garnered lots of attention, especially the one with beloved Shizuko Kuroha (first photo below).

IQSCM, International Quilt Study Center & Museum from Lincoln, Nebraska brought precious American quilts from the 1800s. The exhibit, with a gorgeous crazy quilt and pristine traditional flower quilts, was mobbed with interested Japanese quilters. (No photography was allowed.)

About one-third of the Festival space at the Tokyo Dome is filled with vendors. The furthest reaches of the show floor is dedicated to booths laden with historic goods.

Check out Katsuhiko Degai from Amori Prefecture who specializes in antique textiles and clothing finished with sashiko stitching. The thick cotton threads do more than decorate the fabrics. The dense stitches adds bulk and warmth for the northern climate.

To see PART ONE: Traditional Category, Original Design Category, Wa Category +click here

To see PART TWO: Invitational Flower Story Exhibit, Bag Category, Partnership Quilts +click here

To see PART FOUR: Yoko Saito Retrospective, Grand Prix Winners +click here


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12 comments


  • Aunt Bobbie
    lots of fun and beautiful quilts enjoyed this so much thanks

  • Susan Maresco
    Breathtaking, inspiring, fun,and original; so much skill at play. Wish I had been there.

  • Sandy R.
    Thank you so much for taking and posting all of the photos of this quilt show..all of them are so amazing and wonderful to see them. Thanks again.

  • Christine Murray
    What lovely work. The quilts feel familiar but also very different. I really enjoyed viewing them. Thank you for sharing with us.

  • Patricia Belyea
    LilyBee, I did take a few photos inside the IQSCM exhibit. I wanted to capture a group of Japanese huddled in front of an Americana quilt, full of intent and interest. Then I noticed the Photography Prohibited sign and quickly tucked away my camera. PB

  • LilyBee
    Another feast for the eyes. I especially enjoyed the precision sashiko garments and works. Nice to see the well-worn piece; very practical as well as elegant skill.

    Sorry about no photographs in the Nebraska museum. I’m sure the Japanese artists will make good with the samples provided.


  • kathy powell
    Thank you for al of the lovely photos!

  • Patricia Belyea
    Frances—I agree with you that the hand stitched quilts have the highest appeal. I didn’t tend to photograph the machine-stitched quilts because of this bias. PB

  • Frances
    Thank you for sharing these incredible works. I am am amazedd at the hand stitching. Our local quilt shows in the US are filled with machine quilted work, which does not have the same appeal.

  • Patricia Belyea
    Deb—Yes, the old garments are incredible. I visited Amuse Museum yesterday to see more old textiles with the huge boro exhibit. So cool. PB

  • Ann
    Thanks for sharing these photos. One day I hope to attend.

  • Deb W
    Thank you so much. Your photos bring back fabulous memories of last years show. Absolutely adore the old garments with the stitching so thoughtfully done.

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