Masako Wakayama is a quilter whose books and projects are published in France by Les Editions de Saxe. We often found one or two of her projects in the magazine Quilt Country. Her quilt company is called Crib Quilt.
Because her shop is not very far from Tokyo, I wanted to visit it. But unfortunately it was impossible to organize this visit while I was in Tokyo as I had so many things to see in five days.... and I didn't want to impose another quilt shop visit to my wife as I had already planned two.
But sometimes, the planets seem to align perfectly and guess what? A few weeks before leaving for Japan I discovered that Masako Wakayama had an exhibition in a luxurious department store in Osaka and it was the weekend I was in Osaka at the beginning of my trip! I couldn't miss that opportunity and so I went there!
Masako Wakayama creates quilts that are different from the ones of Yoko Saito and Reiko Kato. She doesn't use taupe fabrics. Her fabric color palette is blue, white and red. Yet, her quilts have the Japanese style I like so much : attention to details, tiny pieced pieces, embroidery, beautiful hand quilting and her fabrics are both printed and textured.
Many quilts, quilted bags, pouches or decorative objects were displayed. I got the chance to see all the projects I had admired in her books and magazines. I also discovered her new fabric collection and bought the new collection box which included a fat eighth of all the fabrics as well as the printed panel used to create several projects.
Below are details of the quilt Masako Wakayama is holding in the first photo! It represents a book with the spine on the left. Look at the bottom right hand corner (4th photo below)! She has created the folded pages!
I spent some time talking to Masako about her work and projects. It was the first time I saw her in person and she has been very very nice and so enthusiastic about quilting. She showed me a project she was working on! She was piecing tiny hexagons which were 5 mm!!! Instead of paper lining, she uses the appliqué paper used with Apliquick. In fact she uses the Apliquick method to prepare the hexagons and pieced them together afterwards. The paper becomes very soft with manipulation and it is as if it is not there. So very easy!! I will definitely give it a try ;-)
Among the notions, I noticed her threads which are really fine, even finer than the Aurifil 80wt and yet very strong. She also used extremely fine needles. She has a special technique to avoid the thread from sliding through the needle eye while stitching!
That was another great moment for me during this trip.
Japanese quilters are fascinating! And Japan has been fascinating as well! I have been back for more than a month and there are still images and thoughts that come back regularly. It is a country you wish to discover even more after such a beautiful trip!
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