Japanese Quilts: “Wishes Through Our Hands”

Currently showing (until October 5) at the La Conner Quilt and Textile Museum in La Conner, Washington, is a remarkable show of Japanese quilts…quilts made in response to the disastrous tsunami that decimated the eastern part of Japan three years ago.  Nearly 9000 quits were made and sent by American and Japanese quilters to comfort and warm survivors.  A group of young Japanese quilters began a quilt group in the disaster affected area to “encourage the mind-lost women” still in temporary housing.

This show is a variety of quilts by an older group of quilters who are showing their work for the 9th time in La Conner.  The quilts are beautiful, and express the many feelings and emotions of Japanese women about their country and the disaster.  The group of quilters did not want photos, but this quilt is the one the museum used for publicity…all hand quilting… and the use of material from old kimonos… the appliqued circles with embroidered links represent the inter-connectedness of all people.

Q 1


On the Museum’s top floor (the museum is in an elegant Victorian house) there was a great view of the Skagit river,


and the absolutely sensational quilts of Junko Maeda.  Junko Maeda is a lover of the old Japanese cotton fabrics which are disappearing as synthetics take over the market.  For 45 years she has collected Japanese natural fiber textiles such as silk, linen and cotton.  She includes in her collection, and in her quilts, dish towels…


JM 6


JM diapers

and a whole variety of fabrics, pieced and hand quilted…and it’s this quilting that brought me to La Conner…WELL worth a trip.

Works of JM

JM 2

JM plaid

JM 7

JM 5

JM 3

JM 4

portland cement

…and, of course, my personal favorite…the “H” motif!  I’d better start practicing!

JM "H"





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