International Quilt Week Yokohama

The quilt show at International Quilt Week Yokohama is held every year in November at the Pacifico Yokohama Exhibition Hall, Minato-Mirai 21, Yokohama, Japan. It is a fantastic show with wonderful artistic quilts on display.

There is plenty of shopping at the hundreds of vendors. Vendors are at the right, and quilts at the left side of the large hall. There are 3 days. On Thursday it is open from 10:00 to 6:00, Friday 10:00 to 6:00 and Saturday 10:00 to 5:00.

I just got back from the show which took place from November 11 – 14, 2009. I ordered tickets ahead in the mail from the website International Quilt Week Yokohama and the tickets arrived in the mail. It’s also easy to buy the tickets there. One ticket is good for one entry and one re-entry. Get the ticket stamped on your way out if you want to re-enter. So you could do that to go outside for lunch and come back in, or you could use the ticket over two days, entering once each day. Inside at one corner there is a refreshment stand selling bento boxes (lunch boxes) and beverages. You can sit there or take the boxes outside and eat. The quilt show is on the ground floor. On the upper floor there is a curry restaurant which is good. You can get beef curry with cheese among other things.

The show was crowded but getting there at 10:00 or a little after 10:00 is OK as the crowd quickly enters and disperses throughout the large hall. The weather in Yokohama at this time of year is mild fall weather. People are wearing winter clothes, such as jackets, sweaters, long pants, boots and scarves. Inside the hall it is very warm. You’ll feel great in a tee shirt, jeans and sneakers for inside the hall.

The quilts on display were inspiring and beautiful. There were quilts from Russia, the U.S., Australia and other countries. There were quilts embellished with metallic fabric, buttons, and sequins. There were quilts done in a round robin by a quilt group. Some interesting techniques included fabric leaves sewn scattered across the quilt and other 3D effects. There was a huge quilt hanging from the ceiling that took 2 years of hand sewing to complete, done by a Japanese quilt group.

Most of the quilts have a sign for ‘no cameras’. You can buy a magazine with many of the quilts pictured. You can take a picture of the miniature quilts and a few quilts in sections that don’t have the no camera sign. It was kind of confusing because there was one sign for ‘no cameras’ in a group of quilts. That means, no pics of any of those quilts. Most of the sections had the ‘no cameras’ sign. But look around, there are sections where you can take pics. And in those, crowds of people were snapping pics. Along the right wall were quilt group booths, showing quilts and demonstrating techniques, with some items for sale. You could take pics of those. Along the wall opposite the entrance were teachers’ and students’ exhibits. Those they told us, no pics.

The vendors have Japanese fabrics. Look around for good buys on fat quarters and small squares packaged in convenient packs. There are kimonos, kits, marking pencils, thread, kimono fabric, needles, and clothing. There weren’t any classes on quilt techniques, only craft type workshops.

The vendors only take cash. It’s nice to have a backpack or rolling carry-on suitcase for purchases.  We felt there was enough to keep us busy for 2 days of the quilt show. Yokohama is a beautiful port city. Shops close at 8:00 pm but restaurants remain open late. Our 3rd day in Japan we spent in Tokyo taking a city tour. All in all it’s well worth a trip.