Enjoying tea-time at Hotel Granvia with a long-time Japanese quilting friend, Yoshi Nishimura, of Atelier Hoop, after we met—by chance—in the Kyoto train station.
Although neither of these women speak each other's native tongue, they communicate with eyes, hands, and smiles of the heart. Merry Smith, a tour member on my most recent QE Japan tour, learned "shibori" from a teacher at the Arimatsu Center for Tie-Dyeing.
Julie Charlton, from Maine, shares with us the beauty of blues. Mixing fabric from our vintage yukata pack and vintage kasuri packs, she gives due applause to each individual print and weave by using the large rectangles. How well the "orchestra" of blues works perfectly with the natural wood bed frame!
One of our clients used fabric from the 2012 Japanese "washii" collection, a very sweet red and cream floral, to make herself a dress for the day before her summer wedding, which was held outdoors. Congratulations Laura & Cody!
Elaine Hoult, from Yorkshire, England, sent this photo of a quilt she made using fabric in a Japanese Fabric Club pack. The main portion of the Japanese Geisha panel, featured just off-center, is squared off-- while other sections of the same panel were used for accent, creating movement and interest in the marked sections.
Using mostly fabric that came from QETJ, Diane Wright, a member of the Japanese Fabric Club since 2002 (!), created this lovely kimono quilt for her sister, Masako. The starting point for the quilt was a pattern she saw in the book Japanese Quilt Inspirations by Susan Briscoe. A curved lacquered rattan hanger provides a suitable finish to the work. Thanks for sharing, Diane!
Here is the latest from Keiko Goke, one of Japan's most popular quilt teachers and fabric designers! She continues to dazzle us with her hand-rendered designs and her cheerful-yet-sophisticated colorations. Shown at right is Printed Plaid in Grey, Red, and Yellow.
Rarely do we get to see the wigs of Kabuki actors (such as the one shown on the right) up close. This photo (taken with permission) if from a special exhibit at the Kyoto Brocade Museum during the April 2012 Japan tour. This particular head decoration is "blooming" with cherry blossoms in silver and silk!
Here is the tour group from the 21st tour. We are seated just outside the entrance to the famous KENROKUEN, perhaps the most beautiful garden in all of Japan. After wandering in the garden for almost two hours, our smiles reflect the heart-filled joy of witnessing such glorious natural beauty.
People are always asking me, "What pattern should I use to make a quilts with my Japanese fabric?" My reply is often, "Keep it simple. Let the fabrics speak for themselves." QETJ customer Kate Herman, from Wyomissing, PA, shares her subtle and beautiful quilt, made from our Japanese solid TSUMUGI fabrics, using only squares and rectangles.
Three QETJ tour "veterans" from the November 2010 "Cloth and Clay" tour that visited Japan and Okinawa got together for a mini-reunion luncheon at the Sobaya restaurant in the East Village of NYC. Right to left are Christiane Abenia from Nanterre, France, Cheryl Masingill from NJ, Biz Storms from Toronto, and QETJ owner Susan Ball Faeder.
The first flower to bloom in the spring in Japan is the Plum Blossom. This fabric, with plum blossoms on dark teal green background, will be available in our booth at the AQS show in Lancaster. If there is any left over (!), we'll bring it along to our second event, the Empire Quilters’ show held at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.
16 participants joined me for my 19th textile tour of Japan, “Cloth & Clay.” We were welcomed by museum directors and artisans in Tokyo, Mashiko, & across Okinawa. The aim of the tour was to trace the origins of the Japanese Mingei craft movement back to Okinawa. Making “craft for the people and of the land” continues in Okinawa, just as Soestu Yanagi and Hamada Shoji and Bernard Leach witnessed it a hundred years ago.
June 10, 2010
What's H-O-T in the world of Japanese quiltmaking, you ask? Shown on the right are some especially gorgeous fabrics from both the 1st and 2nd collections of Japanese premiere quiltmaker, Keiko Goke. OMEDETO GOZAIMASU, Keiko! We LOVE your fresh color and bold graphics!! Printed on very high end cotton goods, these fabrics have a fabulous "hand."
This abstract landscape quilt (on the right) is a remake of one of Susan's earlier patterns from 2001 called "Along the River's Edge." The soft flowing horizontal "flow" creates a feeling of moving water through the vertical lattice bars of swooping cranes. Email Susan if you are interested in purchasing the kit (NOTE: as of 3/7/13, there are 2 kits left.)
January 16, 2010
We started the year off with a “Cutting Edge Event” at The Beckoning Cat—our 1st Annual Scissor and Knife Sharpening Day, encouraging the community to bring forth all their dull and tired blades! Charlie Casale, from Williamsport, PA, came with his truck and tools, and set up in the back of the shop. In 6 hours he sharpened about 200 pieces! Shown here with Charlie is artist-calligrapher, Nancy Cleaver, testing a pair of newly sharpened scissors.
Across the last two weeks of January 2010, Susan offered a choice of several “Winter Workshops” at The Beckoning Cat shop: Japanese sashiko, Folded Origami Kimono, Silk Piecing with Foundation Muslin, and Intuitive Collage. Classes were small and casual, and mostly centered on technique. We sure had a great time!
If you have a group of 4–6 friends and would like to come to Lewisburg for a private sewing/quilting retreat weekend, send Susan an email! Lewisburg is located in the heart of central PA—just 5 minutes from Rt. 80—with gorgeous scenery and fun activities to offer in every season.