End of the Year Updates and News for 2018

There was a time when I could semi-hibernate through December and rest up over the winter to prepare for spring shows and events. THAT HAS NOT HAPPENED THIS YEAR. We’re pretty much working full throttle this month, and January looks like more of the same, which is a good thing. Here’s what we have going…

Kogin Institute, Hirosaki, Aomori, Japan

I visited the Kogin Institute in Hirosaki on January 31, 2017 after visiting the Tokyo Quilt Festival, Takayama, and Osaka. It was a pleasant flight from Osaka to Hirosaki, with the view of snowy mountains most of the way, and many, many empty seats. My companion Toyo looked around the plane, counted the passengers, and…

Pardon the long absence, it’s been a busy year

Hello, dear readers. It’s been a while. In January & February I traveled Japan. More about that coming soon In March we launched our wholesale import business and showed at the San Francisco Quilt Guild Show In April I wrote a bunch, then stopped because there was so much more work to do with the…

Textile Trading in Osaka

Tokyo has the biggest quilt show in Japan, but many of the fabrics in those quilts start out somewhere else. Home to the bulk of the Japanese cotton trade for the past 300 years, Osaka is where next year’s trends are designed and next season’s designs are sold. In 2016 my husband and I decided to…

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,…