http://www.laconnerquilts.com/ June 30 - September 26, 2010
"All That Blooms Quilts from Japan"
Curator Miwako Kimura
"It is our great pleasure to display our seventh quilt show at the La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum. We have chosen the theme of “blooming” for this show. How much have we been impressed and moved by the beat and breath of nature! How many times have artists, craftsmen, and designers picked blossoms, flowers, plants and other nature for their motifs and created their art work! We quilt makers have been, and continue to be, fond of adopting them as the motifs for our quilt works as well. About four decades ago, we, in Japan, discovered the amazing and heart-warming American quilt world. We were deeply impressed and inspired, and began to make our own. It is the similar sensation we experience as we look at all the nature around us, including human beings, “springing up.” Now, it is our wish to show you our expression of “blooming” on our quilts with images of plants and flowers as well as abstract forms and colors. I hope you will enjoy all the quilts we have brought, including the variety of fabrics used to create them."
Miwako Kimura "This is an exhibition of textiles collected from a quiltmaker’s point of view. The fabrics displayed here have been collected since I began quilting 25 years ago. I was impressed by the feel of the fabrics, and how they are sewn. In the beginning, I was simply charmed by the Indigo-dyed fabric, with its various shades and its flowery natural colors of blue. Later, when I started to use vintage silk kimono fabric for my own quilt making, I was amazed by the vast variety of its colors, texture, etc., as well as the process of its dyeing, weaving and design motifs. Example: a kimono was made for a baby girl for her dedication to a Shinto Shrine. It is made of ramie fabric with very fine Kasuri ikat patterns. The ornamental sash on the back and red lining on the collar are amulets. Yoshimi Kato Collection.Although the history of the silk industry is longer than that of cotton in Japan, it is difficult to find silk products that are more than 100 years old, as they are all worn out. However, the craftsmanship of all textile technology in Japan has been with us for nearly two thousand years, and the passion to create new materials and original techniques is still alive today. Cotton was introduced to Japan, and its cultivation began, over 400 years ago. Since then, it has been widely used not only for clothing, but also for comforters, cleaning cloths, interior ornaments and banners, and even for decorating farm animals.On the right is an Umano Haragake, a horse decoration. Made of cotton, the design is created using a free-hand paste resist method with Indigo and red dyes. This horse ornament is used on festive occasions, such as the cattle fair or Shinto Shrine festivals. The carp motif climbing up the waterfall is often used as a symbol of strength and braveness. Yoshimi Kato Collection.Fundamentally, the texture of fabric is appreciated by handling and touching. However, since many of the pieces cannot be touched, I have prepared various display fabrics so that visitors may touch and feel the textures. The fabrics you see here are mostly made with natural fibers but there are many synthetic fabrics and threads used by quilters in Japan. Also on display will be books I have selected to introduce you to synthetic fabrics. The books show only a small part of the world of synthetic fabrics in Japan."
I was pleased to be able to take a class in 'crazy quilting - the Japanese way'. Below is the class sample ... I have yet to finish mine!
One unique and permanent attraction in La Conner is the wild turkeys. They nest in the trees behind the museum and many residents keep a bucket of corn handy for when they come by. The turkeys have a sense of self importance and they do 'tourist duty' by posing for photos.. They also know that the crosswalks are a safety zone. NOTE: Quilt-Fest is the end of September with a great show by the Applique Society and lots of great workshops and displays. http://www.laconnerquilts.com/quilt-fest