Saturday, January 26, 2019

It's All in the Details!

The Tokyo Dome, Tokyo Japan!

This was what we have all been waiting for - the highlight of our trip to Japan!  The Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival!

It pays to have friends who know friends - This show is VERY crowded (Boy am I glad that I am tall!) and people are stacked several folks deep making it hard to see anything, or move anywhere.

When Mary Koval said, "I have a pass for you to get in early!" I jumped at it.  I had the show floor mostly to myself as we moved from quilt to quilt to quilt, snapping photos as quickly as I could before they opened the floodgates of humanity.

Challenge quilts!  
This year's theme: HOUSES!

This is where I insert a disclaimer.  There is no attribution given to any of the makers in my photos because everything was written in Japanese - a different alphabet which I can not read nor understand.  

All honor and thanks go to the makers who made such wonderful works for art for us to enjoy.  There were ZERO English translations anywhere for anything.  It's understandable.  It's their country, not ours.

But even with a language barrier - 

The quits tell such great stories!

I loved the whimsy in this one.

Happy family and creative imagery!

Tiny detail, so precise!

I could stand here for hours just to see everything!

Hahaha!  I loved every inch of this!


From across the aisle I was captivated by the border design, and the rainbow arrangement of colors in the subtle center -- but move closer:

Click to Play:

Hundreds of tiny kimono girls!

Can you imagine?

Each one different, front and back - the detail!

From what I understand there are about 1500 of them, each about 1 1/2'' x 3''.  A labor of love and dedication.

This is one thing I have learned about the Japanese quilters - they don't rush through a project.  It may take years and years and years to make one quilt, while we try to pump out as many as we can.  They enjoy the journey, and put all that they can into each and every project to make it the best that it can be.  Not the FASTEST it can be.  

There is a life lesson in that!

Thanks to my friend - I was able to view the quilts in peace and quiet - like this -

Instead of like THIS:


I have never seen so many people in my life - all crowded into one space - where baseball is usually played!

Oh my word!

What a difference an hour makes!

Evidently Quilt Shows are a Spectator Sport!

What I found amazing was that you could simply claim a seat, leave your packages on it, go back down and continue shopping and no one would bother your stuff.  TOTALLY boggled my mind.  I wish the rest of the world were more like this.

From the "Nose bleed" section!

And yes, some Stash Enhancement happened...how could I resist?

I've compiled the quilts that caught my attention from the quilt show in the rather long slide show below.  Fix yourself a cup of something yummy - hit the restroom before you settle in, this one will take a while!

I apologize for the lack of editing to these photos - it would take too long to crop them all and make them all "pretty".  It was late last night, I was too tired, and there are many many many - but I hope this gives you an idea of just what you will find at the Tokyo Great International Quilt Festival!

Click to Play:

This was an experience I will not soon forget!

Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Don't settle for average or mundane! 

Tile walkway around the Tokyo Dome, Tokyo Japan. 

The plan for today? A few of us have had enough of the show - and are intending to let our inner children come play at Tokyo Disney!!  YAY!

(Crowds of a different variety are likely to happen!)

Have a wonderful Sunday, everyone!


  1. Thank you for sharing all the photos of those breathtakingly beautiful quilts. Thank you to Mary Koval for getting you in there to get people free photos! I am looking forward to seeing the Disney photos next. Have fun!

  2. I am totally blown away by the rainbow kimono quilt!!
    Looks like such an incredible experience you are having there!

  3. WOW!!! Having never been to a quilt show, I appreciate the highlights you've presented! The variety is wonderful as is the talent!

  4. Wow what beautiful quilts thank you so much for sharing. Will probably never get there but this was awesome

  5. Oh, My, how beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Amazing! Stupendous! Fabuloso! Bonnie, if your next mystery quilt is to do with this trip, please, please, please consider making it a taupe/neutral quilt. I know you love bright colors but no color says Japan to me so much as taupe.

  7. They were all amazing. I’m going back today as I missed an area. Too much for one day. I met some of your tour group ladies.
    There is a contemporary quilt show happening also about 20 min away.
    Here are directions.
    Take subway Oedo ( pink) to TochoMae) exit A3. Walk left towards park. Turn right walk a little. When you see Starbucks it is opposite in Hiltopia.
    There is also a Boro exhibition happening. Google Amuse museum Boro. Info is in English. It’s also central and near the big famous temple

  8. Amazing !! OK.. now I want a quilt show in a stadium. Such wonderful quilts !

  9. Wow! Bonnie, thank you for sharing!!!

  10. Missing Road to California this year. Seeing lots of eye candy for there and from Japan too. Thanks for the slide show.

  11. I have been attending every show from the first one. Every year I leave a comment that they need to post names in English ... after all, every Japanese person knows how to write their name using "Romaji" lettering. I have come to the conclusion that the only thing on the comment questionnaire they look at is the address of the commentator in order to send out advertising. Glad you enjoyed the show before the mob scene arrived.

  12. Thank you so very much in sharing all those wonderful art quilts! Next time you go to Japan, hopefully I will have saved up enough money to join you.

  13. Awesome! Can't find a better word! <3

  14. You are the first person I've encountered who would admit in public the great difference between the mindfulness of Japanese quilt making and the compulsive, fast-as-possible stash busting of most current American quilt making. There is no right or wrong approach and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to develop my skills to the point that I can "make" with both mind sets. A miraculous machine worth hundreds or thousands of dollars is a joy to use but so is a 50 cent needle and a spool of thread. The choice is ours to decide what and how we want to make. The most important thing is to MAKE something for our own reasons and enjoy the process. And to come clean here...my first memory involves fabric and my love for it has lasted 70 years. I wish I could complete 3 quilts a day and then maybe I would catch up with my own compulsion to touch beautiful cloth! Thanks, Bonnie, for sharing your thoughts and experiences so fluently with all of us.

  15. What an extraordinary display of creativity and craft. Many thanks for the opportunity to see these masterpieces.

  16. Amazing such beautiful quality quilts and quilting. I so enjoyed you videos and would love to be there in person for the atmosphere. Thank you so much for sharing in your wonderful adventures.
    You are truly amazing, hope you enjoy the rest of your trip and again thank you.
    Love and Quilty hugs
    Anne xxx

  17. All I can say is WOW! So much beauty in those quilts. Thanks for sharing Bonnie.

  18. Wow! Those quilts are so beautiful. Thanks Bonnie for your insight and all the quilt pictures you share with us. I can see all mixes of colors for the next mystery quilt!! Keep enjoying the process!

  19. exquisite, mind-boggling, dizzy-ing .. just wow, i'm so grateful to your friend Mary for getting you and the group in before the crowds descended! Thamks for sharing this wonderful experience. Cats in Carlsbad CA and for pointing out the different philosophies in making a quilt..

  20. Thank you so much Bonnie for sharing those beautiful quilts with us - for me it was an emotional experience- the beauty, time, color, artistry, everything that went into making those quilts, and enjoying the process for the artist or quiltmaker. It is a journey and not a race. Thank you so much for sharing so much of yourself with us.

  21. One year at Houston Quilt Festival a number of Japanese quilters were featured. Their approach is completely different and amazing to see. The Tokyo Quilt Festival looks like Houston on steroids. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  22. WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!! Such a vast variety of intricately detailed beautiful quilts. The tiny hexies were mind boggling, and the dedication & skill these quilters shines in each and every quilt. Thanks so much for sharing.

  23. Thank you so-o-o much for the peek into the quilts. Had to keep pressing the pause button to take in all the details. So much beauty and the gift of oneself wrapped up in each quilt.

  24. So impressive. Japanese quilters have no fear of tiny details!

  25. It feels like an art gallery full of grand masters. How lucky are you to have been able to admire it all up close and personal without all the other people mobbing each installation. It seems that the "makers" in Japan understand slow stitching, but the hosts of the event do not understand the need for time and space to absorb the visual onslaught of all this talent and design and colour and soul. Wish they could all be hung somewhere for a long period of time, so admirers could really take their time to soak in the beauty. And maybe even some quilts taken on a road trip, to share this talent with the rest of the world. That tiny kimonos quilt? Now *that* is something I'd love to take a class to learn how to make -- even if I could only get to 'pillow' size. Thank you Bonnie for sharing it all with us, what an amazing journey you have had!
    ~Diana from Toronto

  26. Thank you for posting these beautiful quilts - very inspirational! And, I appreciate that you recorded such a variety of quilting styles.

  27. So many amazing art quilts, thank you for sharing the video of quilts. Especially loved the kimono quilt.

  28. A universal language. No need to read t tin order to comprehend.

  29. Thank you for sharing - absolutely jaw dropping quilts!!! No ribbons? Are they all made by Japanese quilters?? Why the face masks on some women and not others???

    1. In the Asian countries you wear a face mask if you have a cold or cough, so you won't infect others with your germs.

  30. Bonnie, thank you so much! What a gift to us to see pictures of those impressive beautiful quilts! Wow. Inspiring!

  31. 素晴らしい English translation...Amazing! Sorry, I couldn't resist!

  32. absolutely amazing & attention to detail! What an adventure you are having!

  33. Than you again for including us on your wonderful journey. Love this quilt show! Everything looked so amazing. What talents the quilters have and patience, so much for us learn from each other!

  34. Thank you for sharing your wonderful pictures of the quilt show with us. Between this post and Taniwa's I've gotten to see a very nice selection. There is just so much talent and imagination on display in these gorgeous works of art.

  35. Thank you for that incredible quilt show!!! Wow! Can't wait to hear about Tokyo Disney. Have fun!

  36. Hi Bonnie, imagine my surprise to see the orange dot and star fabric I purchased last week in Antioch, California at Hilly"s Quilts to finish GOOD FORTUNE in your group of stash builders!

  37. Wow! I am overwhelmed by the creativity and talent showcased in this quilt show. Thank you for taking me places I will never have a chance to go.

  38. I'm glad to hear you had a great time in Japan. I feel nostalgic about my hometown, Tokyo.
    Thanks for the information! ;)


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