2017 tokyo quilt festival: part four

2017 tokyo quilt festival: part four

Okan Arts Quilting & Textile Tours to Japan are open for booking. To learn more +click here

ABOVE: Detail of quilt by Yoko Saito

PART FOUR: Yoko Saito Retrospective, Grand Prix Winners

By Patricia Belyea

TOKYO JP  I have saved the best until the last! Let's start with the Yoko Saito Retrospective.

Known as the founder of Taupeism, Yoko Saito started her quilting journey emulating traditional American quilt designs. Ultimately she found her true quilting voice with softer, low-volume colors and meticulous details.

The exhibit opens with a country cabin surrounded by spring flowers—real blooming spring flowers that are fresh and fragrant! The show includes incredible quilts, bags, and a home display that demonstrate Yoko’s high design sense and needlework skills.

Here is a photo of Yoko Saito today, busy signing books in her shop’s booth on the other side of the Festival floor:

The most celebrated quilts at the Festival are the four Grand Prix Winners:

FRIENDSHIP AWARD / Treasure Box by Megumi Yokoyama

HAND MAKING AWARD: Quilt by Keiko Morihiro

JAPAN QUILT GRAND PRIX, SECOND PLACE / Welcome to Martha”s Garden by Masami Ishibashi


It has been my good fortune to attend Tokyo Quilt Festival four times. Each time is different yet I continue to see a remarkable dedication to the quilting arts.

For some of you, this four-part blog series is your way to visit the Tokyo Quilt Festival and see a sampling of the show. For others, this series may be the catalyst to embolden you to venture to Tokyo in the third week of January and experience the Festival for yourself!

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 THREE: Special Exhibits, Historic Fabrics +click here 

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ABOUT US: Okan Arts, a petite family business, is co-owned by mother-daughter duo Patricia Belyea and Victoria Stone. Patricia and Victoria sell Japanese textiles online, host creative quilting experiences, and lead quilting & textile tours to Japan.