Saturday, January 14, 2006

Unexpected gift

Dreary morning here. It was still raining and I was worrying about more water in our basement as I walked down to the end of our block where our mailbox is to get the mail. My neighbor, Mary Ellen, came out of her house, with a book in her hand, and said, "I was hoping I'd see you. I was going through some things and found this and thought you might like it." Mary Ellen and her husband, Jeff lived in Japan for a time and the book was obviously something she had brought back. It is all in Japanese, except for an introduction that is written in English. It seems to be the quilts of a Japanese quilter named Reiko Yamaguchi. The book was copyrighted in 1990. It has page after page of color photos of beautiful quilts made from beautiful Japanese fabrics. I am really enchanted with this book. Unlike a lot of the recent Japanese quilts that are winning all the prizes at the big quilt shows lately, these quilts seem simpler, more elegant and much more Japanese in aesthetic. The fabrics are just lovely.

I was curious about Reiko Yamaguchi, so I googled her. First of all I found that there is a Japanese porn star with a huge web presence who is also named Reiko Yamaguchi--yikes! But I also found one web page about the quiltmaker. Her studio is in an old sake brewery and she uses old traditional Japanese fabrics.

What a nice surprise on a dreary, rainy day.

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