Monday, March 24, 2014

In Full Bloom : Springtime in Japan

Last week we talked about Hanami (flower viewing) in Japan (see It's Cherry Blossom Time) !  Today we're featuring more beautiful floral quilts inspired by springtime in Japan, as shown at the 2013 Houston International Quilt Festival.  We love these intricate and innovative works of art by our fellow quilters across the Pacific. From a distance the flowers appear as clouds, while the beauty of single blossoms can be enjoyed close up.

Teatime in my Yard by Harumi Asada,  Aichi, Japan

Harumi writes, "Our sons became independent and my husband's and my life together started. We talk pleasantly together, drinking afternoon tea in the yard." Teatime in my Yard was exhibited in Hands All Around, a showcase for contemporary international quilt design at the 2013 Fall Quilt Festival.

Close up, Teatime in my Yard by Harumi Asada

 Harumi's magnificent stained glass quilt is hand-appliqued, pieced, and quilted, plus some machine piecing. This stained glass quilt was based on a European dome roof design.

Close up, Teatime in my Yard by Harumi Asada

Here you can see the variety of green and peach fabric colors and patterns used by the quilt artist. We were amazed by Harumi's handwork especially in creating the stained glass leading, which is most impressive.

Rose Garden by Akiko Kawata, Chuo-Ku, Osaka-City, Japan

Akiko states," In 2010, I visited the United Kingdom and was inspired to make a quilt of roses. Taking a walk in the park in London one morning, I was surrounded by the mellow smell of roses in the refreshing morning breeze. Using the Nine Patch block as the background, with appliqued flowers on top, I made this quilt...filled with a lot of roses, which remain in my heart."

Close up, Rose Garden by Akiko Kawata

Akiko notes that her design source was her love of flowers. Her stunning quilt is machine-pieced, appliqued, and quilted, plus hand-appliqued. As you can see in this close-up, this satin stitch around the outside of the flower petals gives a very eye-catching three dimensional effect to the lovely roses.

Lace in the Garden by Junko Sano, Toride-shi, Japan

Junko notes, "I love patchwork patterns and always make blocks at first. Then I think about the whole design of a quilt. This time, the blocks look like flowers, and I decided to make a garden with them.  I added trapunto in the background." This quilt was a prize winner at the 2012 International Quilt Week in Yokohama.

Close up, Lace in the Garden by Junko Sano

Here's a close-up of Junko's trapunto and hand-quilting in the center medallion,  which is just exquisite.

Close up, Lace in the Garden by Junko Sano

Besides containing trapunto work, Junko's very pretty quilt is pieced, appliqued, and quilted. The complementary colors of periwinkle blue and tangerine orange in these pinwheel-themed blocks really help them pop right off the printed background.

Just Splendid by Harumi Asada, Aichi, Japan

Harumi says, "Many kinds of flowers bloom in the yard of my home every year. Times may be difficult, but the flowers still have beautiful blooms. I took pictures and printed them on cloth, and I inserted them in the applique of a flower. " 

Close up, Just Splendid by Harumi Asada

Harumi notes that her design source is other stained glass quilts. Her work is computer printed, hand-pieced, appliqued, and quilted. We love this beautiful star pattern, which looks like dozens of small bouquets of roses, daisies, and wildflowers.

Image credits:  Photos were taken at the 2013 Houston International Quilt Festival.


  1. When people go to hanami in Japan, they sit under the beautiful trees, drink beer (or sake) and leave behind mountains of trash. It is nice to have a hanami without the trash. Thanks for your post.

  2. Amazing creations!!!


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