Thursday, March 21, 2013

Kayoko Kasashima quilt show

Lots of quilt pictures today. On the spur of the moment Tetsu and I visited another quilt show yesterday and both of us used my camera to capture different quilts.

The quilts are by the same woman who made the quilts at another quilt show that Tetsu and I went to a couple of months ago, Kayoko Kasashima.  Ms. Kasashima passed away 10 years ago and her daughter owns the quilts and shows them occasionally.  We visited the previous small quilt show after Tetsu read about her in the newspaper.  Yesterday again, he noticed the name and suggested we drive a couple of hours to see the exhibit.

The quilts are all very large and beautiful.  These are all about bed cover size.

As Tetsu and I walked in the door of the exhibit room the daughter recognized us from the last quilt show and came over immediately to thank us for coming.  (Tetsu had talked to her quite awhile the time before... and I guess as a foreigner I stick out a bit.) 

There were many people fingering and photographing all the quilts and many people pointed out the sign on the wall.  It says:

"Please touch and finger the quilts." 

Another sign asked people to photograph the quilts freely.

I had a chance to talk with the daughter quite a long time and asked her about her mother's start in the quilting world.  She said that her mother had originally been a doll maker and made silk flowers.  She dabbled in stained glass and thread baubles and other hand crafts but it wasn't until she was nearly 50 that she began doing patchwork and quilting.  She never took a class and she did all her work by hand.  Her designs were all original and the fabric she used she found in flea markets and second hand shops. 

The Japanese old fabrics were outstanding (I'd be afraid to cut them up) and there were old cotton block prints as well as painted and dyed silk fabrics.  I thought these were two interesting quilts of kimonos...

The same quilt in block fabric and the other in bright silks.

This was an interesting quilt because of the many silk camellias appliqued on a pieced background that was then covered by a rough weave gauze.

The feeling of the quilts were very different too.  Some bright and gaudy, others muted and Japanese.  (And others of Japanese scenery that I have shown before.)

A few "traditional" designs  but set off with Japanese fabrics...

Aren't Japanese silks beautiful?  But they are very slippery and hard to cut and sew.. Think of the time put into the piecing!

The daughter said that her mother taught quilting (she must have learned quickly herself) and she had many students that kept her motivated to make bags and wall hangings and quilt after quilt.  Many of her students have similar quilts that they made after seeing their teacher's example, but the quilts at this quilt exhibition were all made by the teacher (the mother) herself. 

Ms. Kasashima passed away at age 65 which means that she only quilted for about 15 years, and let me tell you, the quantity and the quality is amazing!  Just looking around the room made me realize that she probably made each full size quilt in a few months time...

The piecing is tiny and the hand quilting very dense.  And the use of different fabrics was very eye-opening!

Looking at all the beautiful quilts made me think about my own quilt output.  Hey, I use a sewing machine and I can only make two or three full sized quilts a year.  And I rarely design my own top, and I chose a special quilt to hand quilt and then spend a couple YEARS quilting it...  Tetsu pointed out the quilter was a full time teacher and she HAD to make quilts for her students to imitate... That's true, but as much as I'd like to spend all day and every day sewing and quilting, there are other activities that need to get done.  I feel guilty if I spend more than a couple of hours a day sewing.  I can imagine this quilter sewing for 10 or 12 hours day after day...

How wonderful that the quilter's daughter appreciates her mother's legacy.

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