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If You Miss The 2020 Tokyo International Quilt Festival You Will Have REGRETS

This one is from last year, but you can be sure there will be equally fantastic offerings in 2020! (“Memories” by Reiko Hatakeyama, 2019)

I won’t be in town for the Tokyo International Quilt Festival next week <sob!> but if you are, go. The hundreds of quilts on display will be world-class quality, and you will alternately sigh with admiration at the stitchery, boggle at the colors, laugh at the humor, and shake you head in wonderment at the deeper messages.

The entrants are international, but many top-notch Japanese artists are represented, working in modern abstract (like this quilt, entitled “Believe IV” by Reiko Nobata, 2019). I mean, it’s not just the dyeing and piecing – check out the amazing intricacies of the quilting itself!
There will certainly be subtle new interpretations of traditional styles (like “Wing to the Future” by Chiyoko Umeda, 2019)…
And over-the-top applique and composition (“My Favorites” by Makiko Abukawa, 2019)
And beyond-skilled applique, like the perfectly even, thin, curving elements of “Flight Period” by Takamai Kashiwara (2019)
Embroidery embellishments will be on display (“I Love Circles” by Shizuko Ozaki, 2019)…
Along with painterly illustration so detailed, it’s astounding that it’s composed of pieced cloth (“Beauty of Day” by Young Hee, 2019)
And there will be plenty of masterpieces of mixed media and techniques (“Gently Swaying” by Midori Yusa, 2019)…
as well as bold abstracts that are definitely not what your granny used to make (“Summer Impression II” by Chiyo Nakagawa, 2019)…
And there will also be plenty of pieces with such strong messages that critics still vainly trying to claim that quilting is craft, not art, will slink away, defeated (“Refuge or Refuse: Offer sanctuary or discard as trash?” by Jim Hay, 2019)

The featured artists and exhibition themes also look absolutely to-die-for:

Quilts of England

“Quilts of England” will feature works by contemporary English artists as well as choice examples of antique quilting from British museums

“Playful Quilt” competition theme: Curious George

See how very different artists respond to the prompt of designing a playful quilt that honors this childhood favorite

Special Exhibit: The Music Of Quilts

These eight renowned artists were chosen to create entries based on the theme of music and quilts

There will also be bodies of work by a couple of must-see artists:

Solo Artist: Keiko Goke

Marvel at a selection of work from master of color and playful composition, Keiko Goke

Solo Artist: Shizuko Kuroha

“Indigo in Motion” is the concept behind this stunning collection of quilt artist Shizuko Kuroha

And finally, they’ll OF COURSE have my very favorite category:

New Work from Japanese Quilt Artists

The art will range from traditional styles and techniques to uniquely Japanese materials and designs, but trust me, it will all be absolutely stunning

In case you’re still wavering, let me leave you with a few examples from last year’s Japanese-themed works that I couldn’t quite fit into my my 2019 Quilt Festival post

“Moving Picture: An Homage to Doshokusaie” by Reiko Nakahara (2019) pays tribute to 18th century Japanese painter Itō Jakuchū
“The Family Crest in all it’s Glory” by Fumio Inoue (2019) is a masterwork of applique and quilting with contrasting thread
“Listen!” by Noriko Hasegawa (2019) redefines subtlety in this intricately-pieced work made of native indigo dyed-cloth
And “Playing with Stripes” by Hideko Kasuya (2019) delighted me with its so-Japanese color combinations

For more swoonworthy quilt viewing, check out last year’s favorites, PART 1 (my favorite Japanese-themed pieces from 2019) and PART 2 (the ones that just plain knocked my socks off), as well as the Epic Japanese Quilt Show in 2016 show got me hooked.

But if you want to go this year, here’s the info:

Tokyo International Quilt Festival 2020

Dates: January 23 – 29

Hours: 9:00 – 18:00 (opens at 11:00 on the 23rd)

Where: Tokyo Dome (right outside Korakuen Station – you can’t miss it!)

Admission: Advance ticket – ¥2000; At the door – ¥2200 (Children up through elementary age free when accompanied by an adult)

Don’t miss The Last Tea Bowl Thief!

“A wonderful blend of history and mystery.” —Laura Joh Rowland, author of The Iris Fan

In modern-day Tokyo, Robin Swann’s life has sputtered to a stop. She’s stuck in a dead-end job testing antiquities for an auction house, but her true love is poetry, not…read more

Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly newsletter Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

4 thoughts on “If You Miss The 2020 Tokyo International Quilt Festival You Will Have REGRETS Leave a comment

  1. Would love to plan to be there in Tokyo some day to have some illuminated green tea with flowers in it or to see the quilts with you…one day we will 😎 Happy and safe travels back to the US. Also…loved seeing these quilts again. I keep your posts on a trello board so I can refer back to them when we next will be in Tokyo 😘

  2. I doubt I will ever get back to Japan, though it is my favorite destination. Thanks for sharing your experiences there…especially the Quilt shoW!

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