Friday 3 June 2011

Those Cosmic Blues by Kuroha Shizuko

Probably one of the most affective patchwork artists today, Kuroha Shizuko's quilts reach those depths of soul others have yet to fathom. Working with old indigo dyed kimonos, using asymmetric variations of well-know quilt patterns, Kuroha-san achieves a divine marriage of dynamism and harmony. It is almost like flying.
This pattern with its interpenetrating and reverberating waves is aptly called Echo.
And here you can see a little more detail of how the blocks of Echo have been composed.
I love, too, the combination of blues and golds, and this creation is called The Sky Away From Home.
You can purchase the book - though with German text from Amazon. To see more click here.
When I was in Kyoto a few years ago, returning back to our hotel on the bus after the disappointment of having found the textile museum closed, I got off the bus too early and found myself in the middle of a vast market which filled a temple precinct - everything being sold there was old kimonos - fabulous. I could have bought as much as I liked - but how to choose from all that vastness of choice? And to have been intent on purchasing I would surely have missed seeing everything.... instead I just wandered around and let the beauty of it all wash through me. And today, I am glad because I can still go back to that place and beauty in its entirety in my mind. And for my quilting project? Well, no fabulous old kimonos, that is for sure - and would I ever have found the will to cut into them at all? Probably not. Instead here is a selective heap of my husband's old shirts I have been squirrelling away for decades - now those I can happily take a pair of scissors to!


  1. You can find the book in both languages : french and english here : It's a french patchwork magazine. They organized each year in April, a big show with exhibitions and this year, I was lucky to see the Kuroha Shizuko patchs. They are amazing !!! I've got some pictures :
    Thank you for sharing with us all !

  2. Those are gorgeous quilts and fabrics, love them.


  3. Patchwork art, beautiful J:) I wonder if this exhibition will be in Birmingham in August, would love to see it.
    Those shirts will make something artful too:))

  4. Jacqueline,

    Go to They have kimonos and michiyuchi (sp?) and also sell kimono pieces/fabric for fabric artists and quilters.

    Hugs and Love,

  5. Lovely post - very inspiring! I loved Kyoto and would have loved to have had your expereince!