/

Quilters keep the Tokyo Dome all sewn up

by Eriko Arita

Here’s an event that’s ripe for a bit of blanket coverage — The Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival 2008. At the annual event — subtitled “Fabric, Needles and Thread Exhibition” — hundreds of quilts from Japan and overseas will be exhibited.

As part of the festival, more than 300 quilts warmly displaying the richness of the craft will be entered in the Japan Quilt Grand Prix, with a top prize of ¥1 million. The works are made by professionals and amateurs of all ages.

In addition, about 80 of the world’s top quilters will also showcase common motifs of the sun, moon and stars; while an exhibition of “Log Cabin” patterns will present some of the oldest and most representative patterns of American patchwork, shown in two sections. In one, 17 antique log-cabin quilt works will be displayed under the supervision of Shelly Zegart, a renowned collector of American quilts. In the other section, four prominent Japanese log-cabin quilters will showcase some of their representative works. The four quilters will also participate in an open seminar to demonstrate their log-cabin pattern techniques.

There will be a section featuring Swedish antique quilts, which include striped patterns and use wool and other traditional fabrics. The exhibit includes a quilt presented to the crown prince of Sweden, now Carl XVI Gustaf, king of Sweden, on his first birthday. Shoppers can also browse the Quilt Market, with quilts, fabrics and threads for sale.

Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival 2008 runs Jan. 18-26 (10 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Jan. 18; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Jan. 26) at the Tokyo Dome (Suidobashi Station on the JR Chuo, Sobu and Mita lines; Korakuen Station on the Marunouchi and Nanboku subway lines; or Kasuga Station on the Oedo subway line).

Tickets — ¥1,800 in advance or ¥2,000 at the door — are available at JR East Japan ticket and travel-service offices. For more details, visit www.tokyo-dome.co.jp/e/quilt/index.htm