Two weeks ago, I showed off the first quilt made from from my collection of Japanese textiles. The second, below, at 95" x 76", was supposed to be its back - but I liked it so much I decided to make it the front of another quilt. It features a banner memorializing Hokusai's iconic 1829 Japanese woodblock print, "The Great Wave at Kanagawa".
Above and below it, I put scrappy log cabin blocks in a zig-zag setting to echo the wave. In the top log cabin wave, the zig-zag is light:
And in the bottom, it's dark:The middle has fabric printed with waves, with koi fish, plus a pieced checkerboard.
I also threw in some kitchen textiles (though not an actual sink). The daikon (radish) on the top is part of a set, so artistically and wittily rendered - they hung in my kitchen for years before I finally set it into this quilt.
The reddish vegetables below it, from the same set, may be carrots, may be some other kind of radish - I'm not sure. I especially wish I knew the name of the artist who created these wonderful designs.
On the lower right of the quilt, the fabric on the top is a furoshiki, a carrying cloth (polyester stabilized with fusible interfacing), embellished with traditional wooden dolls. The red fabric in the middle is new Hello Kitty cotton yardage, of course, and on bottom....
....that's a rectangle cut from a Japan Airlines apron found at a yard sale (in California)! If you look closely around the pocket you can see the print celebrates locations other than Japan, too - Athens, Los Angeles Mexico, Australia. I love the idea that a flight attendant might have worn this.
Why combine root vegetables with ocean waves with Hello Kitty?
- Keep in mind that this was originally supposed to be the BACK of another quilt, so I wasn't thinking too hard.
- But deeper in my mind was this: If you visit Japan. you will experience the intense vibration created by its austere traditional aesthetic rubbing up against its ultra-modern high-energy high-density complexity. It's one of the most mind-blowing places in the world. More Japanese textile quilts to come!
Japanese Quilt 1