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By Patricia Belyea
TOKYO JP Every year Tokyo Quilt Festival wows with its special exhibits. This year is no exception!
in praise of molas—fumiko nakayama
Fumiko Nakayama’s lifetime commitment to molas—the art form of the Guna people in Panama—takes reverse applique´ to celestial heights. This featured artist exhibit includes the complete works of Sensei Nakayama and smaller projects by her students.
An Annular Eclipse of the Sun
People around the World
Flower of the Microcosym
little women—louisa may alcott’s Orchard House
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the publication of Little Women, Louisa May Alcott’s childhood home is recreated by dozens of Japanese quilters. The facade of Orchard House is surrounded by a charming outdoor display. Inside are a holiday scene, and rooms depicting the personalities of the four sisters. Reiko Washizawa interprets the oldest sister, Meg. Kathy Nakajimo presents the boyish Jo. Suzuko Koseki portrays the quiet Beth. Yoko Saito depicts Amy—the youngest sister and a talented artist.
Also exhibited were actual quilts from the Orchard House and needlework projects stitched by Louisa May and her family members.
I was touring Orchard House while Yoko Saito was speaking about Amy, the sister of Louisa May, and the quilts her students made for the exhibit. True to form, Saito quilts are rendered in a low-volume palette of taupes and neutrals.
Amy’s Dream, quilt by Yoko Saito
Quilts by students of Yoko Saito
the world of eric carle
It's fun to see well-loved illustrations re-created by quilt artists. And look—a shop for buying hungry caterpillars!
special artist exhibits
Dotted throughout the Festival are booths showing the work of senseis (teachers) and their students. Usually the senseis are present and you can talk with them. Okay, maybe not talk, but smile at them if you don't know any Japanese!
Miki Yakita—Hansel und Gretel theme
Akane Sakamoto—Dreams of Madagascar theme
There’s more! More artists. More quilt exhibits. The bag competition. Demonstrations. Row upon row of irresistible vendors.
The best way to see all of the Festival is to just come! Tokyo is a safe and friendly place to visit and it’s easy to navigate.
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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.
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