miwako kimura: quilting sensei

miwako kimura: quilting sensei

Above: Miwako Kimura with her quilt Fly Over Here Fireflies that includes LED lights

By Patricia Belyea

LA CONNER WA    Forget about an airline ticket to Tokyo for the International Great Quilt Festival! Miwako Kimura of Flower Quilt Club and some of her students brought a joyful collection of quilts to Pacific Northwest Quilt & Textile Arts Museum in La Conner. The exhibit, For The Love of Children, lives up to its name with carefully crafted quilts full of happy details. 


As curator of the show, Miwako included Boys Day banners, traditional and up-cycled Japanese children’s clothing, and other examples of childhood accoutrements. “Traditionally in Japan, most children’s wearables, from diapers to bedding quilts to festive costumes, were hand-stitched out of necessity and for comfort,” Miwako wrote.

Above: Quilter Takako Yamazaki with Boys Day banner


On Opening Day, Miwako and her students were present to meet with Museum visitors and talk about their quilts. For some of them, this was their eighth trip to America with Miwako!

Above: We Are All Alive by Noriko Koyama

Above: Kite Flying by Yaeko Hasegawa

Above: Pink Kaleidoscope by Shoko Tsuchida

Above: Tiger and Bamboo by Kazuko Yoshiura

Above: Kaguyahime, Princess from the Moon by Masako Masuda

I do not have photos of all the quilters who participated. And I held back on showing you all the quilts. That's because I want you to discover this exhibit for yourself.

With the second floor of the Museum bursting with Japanese quilts, you now have an excellent reason to visit historic La Conner. And, don't forget the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival that runs for the month of April. Plus boutiques, cafes and restaurants beckon you for a perfect springtime getaway!


For the Museum’s website with directions, hours and more +visit now


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6 comments


  • Patricia Belyea
    June, Sorry about the error there! I can do better! P.

  • Patricia Belyea
    Denise— So glad you could make it and enjoy the delightful quilts! P.

  • Denise
    My lunch break during the Tulip Festival tour was to go to the Museum to see the quilts. So wonderful! Such tiny stitches!! My favorite was the fish banner with children’s faces for the scales.

  • June Cook
    Thank you so much, Patricia, for the wonderful photos and words about the current Japanese exhibition! One teensy reminder — the new name is Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber (not textile) Arts Museum to reflect our increasing emphasis on fiber arts. June Cook, Board President

  • Patricia Belyea
    Veronica, Isn’t it fun to see the makers with their quilts? You can see their personalities coming through in their works. P.

  • Veronica
    Thank you for posting about these quilts. I appreciate the chance to see quilts I would not get to see otherwise.