Tokyo Great International Quilt Festival 2017 part 3

Some photos were taken in a hurry as I rushed from the booth to lunch, or back again. Closeups are all I have of these beautiful quilts. The geometry is complex and amazing. When people who don’t quilt think that quilters are old grannies who sit around making simple blankets, I want to show them…

Tokyo Great International Quilt Festival 2017

The Tokyo Great International Quilt Festival is big. So big they hold it in a baseball stadium. So big it goes on for DAYS AND DAYS, even longer than the Houston Quilt Festival, which seems like forever when I’m working that show. This time I only had to work two days, and I got to sit…

Postcard from Houston International Quilt Market 2016

Wow! What a busy show this year. I’ll keep this short because I’m off to build my booth for Quilt Festival and the preview night is tonight… and I need more coffee. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this little window into the show. Some of the quilts in the video are from Japanese…

Travel Notebook Excerpts – Tokyo, Japan – June 2016

I sat in various coffee and tea shops and trains along the way, testing out a portable keyboard I bought in Shinjuku and observing the pace of life as it swirled around me. Here are a few excerpts from my last week in Japan. I hope you enjoy them.  June 11 – Shinjuku – Nihonbashi – Meguro Vintage…

Shinjuku 新宿

I did not intend to end up here. Shinjuku is like Times Square and the Las Vegas Strip rolled into one, but crammed into one of the world’s largest cities and built without realistic building codes or much space. It is a little crazy. More than a little. It feels like craziness compressed. The decision to…

Hiroshima 広島 – Home of Tulip Needles

Riding the Shinkansen from Kyoto to Hiroshima I had plenty of time to relax notice the smaller details which usually go by the wayside. For example, the formality with which every member of the train crew interacts with passengers. As a crew member exits a car, he or she will pause and bow to the…

Flower of the Forest – Takayama 高山市

Taking the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Nagoya is a thoroughly modern ride. The high-speed train glides along while the view of lush farmland interspersed with citiscapes rush past. And of course, there’s Mt. Fuji. Transferring at Nagoya to the Hida Express, the journey is somewhat different. The train chugs along, ever upward into the mountains,…

A break in the weather – Kyoto 京都市

Leaving Nagoya and hauling 80 lbs of luggage onto the train, I worried about the rain that had been forecast for Kyoto, but I got lucky. The weather stayed dry. Sort of. Kyoto is hot. And humid. Steamy, muggy, drippy, swelteringly, oppressively hot and humid. My first day here I wandered around the historic Higashiyama district,…

Getting Ready to Fly

So many things are going on at once it’s hard to keep up. My daughter is pregnant, which is exciting. She and her fiance are moving in with us because we happen to live in the part of the US with the highest cost of living, and they don’t have a lot of other options. It’s…

Summer Quilt Road Trip

A month from now I’ll be in Japan, but I’m already planning my summer road trip to AQS Quilt Week in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I usually fly out and ship my booth separately, but this year I’m going to try something different. I’m going to drive the 2,291 miles of I-80 from Alameda, CA to…

Back from Grand Rapids, via Haiti

After returning from QuiltWeek in Grand Rapids, Michigan recently, a discussion I had on my last day there has stayed with me. It isn’t textile related, but please bear with me. Grand Rapids isn’t a big city. At the airport you have the option of a taxi or limo sedan to get where you’re going,…

Home again, with an extra suitcase or two

I left California two weeks ago with a half-filled medium-sized suitcase and a nearly empty duffel bag. I returned from Japan two days ago with those bags packed to bursting and added even more; a new, larger suitcase and a box, both filled with kimono, haori, obi, raw silk, furoshiki, books, obijime, yukata, and other…