When Shizuko Kuroha learned in June 2021 that the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival was canceled due to the pandemic, she knew she had to do something.

Held annually for 19 years, the event used to fill Tokyo Dome for six days with quilters from around the world as well as vendors, dealers and workshops accompanied by organized tours to local and regional quilters, dyers and textile makers. After Kuroha conferred with a group of fellow quilters, they formed the Japan Quilt Society and decided to hold their own event — the Tokyo Quilt Show — in March 2022 despite having little more than a few months to put it all together.

“A lot of quilters felt saved by making quilts during the pandemic,” says Kuroha, a master quilter and president of the Japan Quilt Society Board. “We wanted to provide a place to show their work and deepen the bond among quilters.”