Remember that punkish song I think I’m Turning Japanese by The Vapors? There are actually moments when I’d like to be a Japanese artist. Okay, yes, this is a strange ambition to share, but no weirder than my youngest son wanting to be a baby Doberman Pinscher when he grew up. Needless to say, he’s still human and I’m still an American. And, Japanese quilt makers are uncommonly wonderful craftswomen.
That lesson was underscored with a super-thick black Sharpie last month at AQS Quilt Week in Phoenix, AZ. Among the touring exhibits was one called Symphony of Colors: An Exhibit of 24 Japanese Quilts. Beautiful! Fantastic! Superb! If AQS Quilt Week 2016 comes your way, go, go go!
I’ve got a few images to share, but really, they are inadequate when compared to the actual quilts. Curious about whether I could find better images online, I came across a blog by another show attendee, Debbie Moyes. Take a look at her review at A Daily Dose of Fiber where the photos are truer to the colors and a bit sharper.
Here’s a look at Sachiko Yoshida’s sublime Flowering. I’ve got a serious case of quilt envy going with this quilt–it probably sparked my fantasy of becoming a Japanese quilt maker. Wrap me up in this beauty and I will be happy forever! Genius color use, fabric choice, composition, fabrication, workmanship, and finishing. Q.E.D.
What is better than one Sachiko Yoshida quilt? Another one! I suspect this quilt, Dianthus: In Memory of My Mother, has a story of loss, but what a wonderful way to celebrate and remember a beloved parent.
The beauty is also in the details:
The blocks are lovely as well with the subtle play of colors across their surfaces:
Sigh. Japanese quilt makers just get better and better. Years ago, my friend Cyndy Rymer and I co-edited a trio of compilations of quilt patterns from Quilts Japan magazine (click the Arts& Crafts tab for the titles) for C&T Publishing. The AQS show reminded me of that journey through the inventiveness and craftsmanship of some remarkable quilting women. My trip through Symphony of Colors reinforced the lesson that Japanese quilters are uniquely able to envision and create complete masterpieces–no one element is weaker than another. And, each complements the other. The finishing touch of the quilting is never an afterthought.
Okay, I’m off my soapbox. I just had to get it off my chest. Keep on creating–I will when I finally get to unpack my studio!