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I'm heading to Japan in a few days.  Among other things, I'm planning to stop by the TOKYO International Great Quilt Festival 2014 that is held each year at the Tokyo Dome. Attendees are in the range of 300,000 over the 8 days that it is held.  While you see the odd American or Canadian wandering around, the majority are Japanese or others from Asia or Australia and New Zealand.

This year's theme is "Moomin".  "What is Moomin," you ask?  When I was meeting with Yoko Saito early in 2013, she told me that she had been asked to work on the quilts for the main theme for the Quilt Festival.  "That's great!", I exclaimed enthusiastically.  She went on to tell me that the theme was Moomin.  "Moomin, Moomin?"  I asked.  "Yes", she said.  "Huh....", I said.  "Interesting".

Moomin was created by Norwegian, Tove Jansson, in 1914.  They were illustrated novels that were made into cartoons in Japan beginning in 1969.  I grew up watching them.  Here is an image of Moomin.  Perhaps you understand why I was curious as to the theme...it's rather like saying the theme for the Quilt Festival in Houston will be....(wait for it)...Scooby Doo!

In any case, Saito san was madly working on them, appliqueing and quilting her fingers to the bone when I saw her in October.  Apparently there will be some 50 of these works of art.  I'll try to get pictures and post them after I get back.  In fact, she was so busy working on these for this Festival that she cut back on the number of publications she could do this past year.

It is always a fun, but exhausting day. The quilts on display are absolutely stunning as you can imagine.  But then starts the wandering around all the booths and shopping.  While I do pull out the wallet from time to time, I am mostly on the look out for interesting designers and authors.  Time to pull out the extra suitcase...


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