Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Quilt Shopping in Tokyo: Blue and White

If you are in Tokyo, and you love textiles or quilting, you probably already have Blue and White on your short list of places to visit.  This is the first time I have been to this magical place, and I was over the moon for it.  

By the end of this post you might be green (or blue?) with envy that you weren't there with me.

The shop has been around for ages, and there is even a book about Japan and these colors written by owner Amy Katoh called Blue and White Japan.  It is located in the Roppongi area of Tokyo, official web site here includes address and hours.

I was inspired by several design elements found in the garments and bags for sale.  
My favorite technique was the running stitch in thick thread, sashiko weight, mostly using either white or indigo dyed hues.   

Below is the sleeve of a jacket that was completely covered in this stitch.  The designer used the thread to make 3D cone shapes coming out of the garment.  It was just incredible.

Here is a full view:  Amazing, right?

You can see this stitch in handles of bags and a vest in the photo below.  I loved the blue bag here.  Inside of it the lining was made of antique kimono fabric.  I have never seen handles like this for sale (natural twig, split in half with holes drilled for fabric handles).  I would love to make a bag like this:

Pockets were also embellished this way (below):

Just looking in the window is a beautiful sight:


I hesitate to put this last photo in of me standing in the middle of the shop complete with hairdo courtesy of 90% humidity and 85 degrees F, but still having a ball anyhow:

Blue and White is on the radar for my next trip.  It might be a while, so in the meantime, post some photos if you end up stopping by there!


Julie Fukuda said...

I have been friends with Amy for many many years. I sent many quilters to Blue and White for her yukata fabric. It is not cheap but she buys vintage stencils and has them made so you can use the older blue and white fabric in quilts, a real boon as modern yukata are much more colorful. Her shop window is changed regularly with some amazing seasonal touches.

elnorac said...

Oh, trust me, I was blue with envy the second I saw "Tokyo Blue and White" in your post heading, 'cuz I knew what that meant! So glad you were able to enjoy the beauty there... I pore through Amy's book occasionally, pining for the day I make it back to Japan. Thanks for sharing!

Lynne said...

Ah MArisa, another great post on your trip to Japan....LOVE those textile shots! Am green (not blue and white, unfortunately) with envy!

Cynthia@aquilterbynight said...

One of my favorite places - I take sashiko lessons there once a month. So glad you found the shop and enjoyed it! I will be back in Tokyo late August and am sure to make a beeline for Blue and White:).