By Patricia Belyea
TOKYO JP The International Great Quilt Festival is immense in so many ways—inspiration, excellence, and delight. What I’m sharing with you here is the tip of the needle of what’s displayed in the vast Tokyo Dome. I do not include the makers of the quilts if their names are only available in Japanese. Note: The quilt featured above is by Miwako Mogami.
The competitions are open to everyone around the world, especially since the entry forms are now available in English. All the same, most quilts are made by Japanese quilters. The quilts are juried into the Festival and then judges pick three winners in each category.
Wa refers to the essence of Japan. These quilts are often made with traditional Japanese textiles or include Japanese motifs.
This exhibit explodes with every kind of inventive quilt, taken to the highest level of execution.
Both expected and unexpected traditional quilts abound in this category.
Quilters are so talented! Here are a few bags from the Bag competition.
In this exhibit, fifty Japanese quilt leaders were invited to present all-new work.
the big winners
The best-of-show winners are hung in a special area that’s typically mobbed with visitors and cameras. It’s not easy to get a close-up photo unless you have accordion arms that can stretch over the hip-high crowd barrier.
Japan Quilt Grand Prix First Place: SUMIKO NAGAMI
Japan Quilt Grand Prix Second Place: TAKAKO OIKAWA | GREAT ROMANTIC
Hand Making Award: HIROKO TAMAI
Machine Quilting Award: RUMIKO OIWA | KAWAII
The World of Keiko Goke
A vivid and playful personality bursts through the enthusiastic quilts of Keiko Goke, this year’s featured artist.
the music of quilts
Eight sensei and their students created large scale installations featuring their favorite choices of music in this major special exhibit.
REIKO WASHIZAWA | THE BREMEN TOWN MUSICIANS
The stacked animal musicians of Bremen, made by sensei Reiko Washizaka and her students, took center stage.
SUZUKO KOSEKI | THE OLDIES
Last year’s featured quilt artist Suzoko Koseki created an all-American swing scene with her students for this year’s festival.
AKANE SAKAMOTO | THE NUTCRACKER
Nutcrackers, mice and toys come alive in this over-the-top production led by the wild-and-wacky sensei Akane Sakamoto.
YOKO SAITO | MARY POPPINS
The Queen of Taupe, Yoko Saito, and her students illustrated scenes from the classic Mary Poppins story.
YOSHIKO KATAGIRI | JAPANESE CHILDREN’S SONGS
Well-known children’s songs are interpreted in a sweet collection of quilts with master quilter Yoshiko Katagiri.
SHIZUKO KUROHA | DYNAMIC CLOTH
Super-star Shizuko Kuroha reveals her process in this display of quilts made with traditionally dyed fabrics.
ART TEXTILES : MADE IN BRITAIN
A cadre of art quilters from the UK showed an impressive range of styles. The micro-worlds of Jessica Grady, made waste and recycled materials, captivated my attention.
CURIOUS GEORGE | ILLUSTRATED QUILTS
Every year a children’s book gets re-illustrated with quilts. This year is an all-time favorite—Curious George.
It just doesn’t stop! There are youth quilts, framed quilts, charity quilts, and more. Plus demonstrations, talks, and vendors. And if you’re lucky, you might just bump into one or two of your global quilting friends!
Susan Briscoe, with hubby Glyn, from Scotland:
I suggest you visit the Tokyo Quilt Festival at least one time. You don't have to come on a tour. Just find a buddy, buy airplanes tickets, and treat yourselves to a trip to Japan—one of the friendliest and safest places in the world!
To see detail photos of quilts at Tokyo Quilt Festival 2020 +click here