Jul 4, 2017

preview of my new book has arrived "Cotton & Indigo from Japan"

Writing a nonfiction, art history book is a long and solitary process. Fortunately, there is definitely a reward at the end... and this week, that reward arrived in my mailbox. One preview copy of my new book: "Cotton & Indigo from Japan."

The book is published by Schiffer Publishing and I feel so blessed to be working with such a quality company. Their graphic design and treatment of photos, their sincere editing efforts and stunning covers!!!... all of their work really makes this book so beautiful.

There are 300+ photos, the vast majority are photos I took. On one of my visits to Japan, my husband (a professional photographer) traveled with me and a few of the photos are his credits. Others images were loaned to me by the artists.

For this book, I made several trips to Japan and I interviewed so many people.

It was a real honor to spend time with Shizuko Kuroha and also Yoshiko Jinzenji. These two artists are treasures. Spending time with them was so interesting and I loved every minute. Their work is incredibly detailed... their voices are do distinct. And both their stories are part of my new book.

Many other quilters are featured too!

Plus there is so much more."Cotton & Indigo" shares the history of cotton in Japan and brings the reader right up to current days and even takes you on an inside tour of Japan's quilting cotton textile printing mills. Getting these tours was not easy, but the two companies were gracious and spent considerable time with me explaining their work and process. Their story of how they won (and keep!) the title of the world's finest printing mills is fascinating.

The book also features indigo dyers and sashiko artists... folk crafts masters who dye tenugui and yukata with the chusen method... and weavers who still make handcrafted woven cotton cloth.

You can pre-order the book on Amazon, Amazon Japan... and autographed copies will be available on my website  teresaduryeawong.com

I also have more than 12 lectures planned all over the U.S. Check out my book tour link here.

Jun 26, 2017

coming to a quilt guild near you!

Once I sent my new book off to the publisher (a year and something ago)... there is a lot of "down time" while the publisher does their thing. The book will be released next month!

But while I was waiting, I went straight to work planning my second book tour.

Many of the quilt guilds plan their programs one or two years in advance... so I'm fortunate to have many presentations already booked - starting in August and going through June of 2018.

I'm excited to be a part of QuiltCon in 2018! I'm also presenting a lecture at the Houston International Quilt Festival on Oct. 31. (Tickets are available at the door - no need to register for Festival).

In August I will be in Fort Worth. In September, I'll be back in Japan for a book launch and artist reception.

In October my husband and I will drive to the beautiful town of Taos, New Mexico. November we'll head to New York!!! Then two trips to California next year.... and many wonderful Texas towns in between.

Can't wait to share my research on Japanese cotton and indigo... and beautiful quilts I encountered!

Coming soon to a town near you!

2017-18 Book Tour schedule

Jun 5, 2017

finished: 'i heart dogs with glasses' (an imrov quilt)

Teresa Duryea Wong. 2017. "I Heart Dogs with Glasses" Cotton fabric and Japanese print, improv piecing, machine quilted. 60 x 65 inches.
Its finished!My improv quilt made with dog with glasses - fabric from Japan.

I saw this fabric last year at the Houston International Quilt Festival and bought a bunch of it in different colorways. If you gonna' go for 'dogs with glasses' fabric you need the whole collection, right?

Each dog and each block is cut improv - no rules and no plan, really. I love the freedom of piecing this way. I machine quilted it in black (used almost an entire spool of Aurifil! - and if you know how big one Aurifil spool is, then you know how amazing that is!)

Each time I picked up one of these silly dogs to sew it or iron it, they made me smile. It was a very amusing project.... totally fun... no serious thoughts or worries.

The world can go its own way! I made a quilt with dogs wearing glasses.

May 21, 2017

dogs with glasses

I have a confession to make. It's been 7 months since I made a new quilt! Definitely the longest dry stretch in my ~20 year quilt journey. But, that's over. And I've made a new quilt top... with dogs wearing glasses! This funky print is from Japan. Where else, right?

I Heart Dogs with Glasses.  Teresa Duryea Wong. 2017 Dimensions are ~60 x 65 inches.
Not one of my best photos.... its raining today and I am super tired. So, this is the best I could do. More to come. This is just the top. I plan to start quilting it next week.... I hope anyway!

The world is so serious right now... and I tend to get overwhelmed with all the news and the drama. So I decided to do something that is just pure fun... and kinda wacky. And I love improv because it is so liberating.

Every time I picked up one of these dog prints, it made me smile. Even laugh.

This is the kind of thing where you will either love it or hate it. No worries... but I hope it makes you laugh too.

In fact, I had so much fun this quilt is bigger than my design wall.

More to come. Thanks for following along.

Apr 29, 2017

dragonflies & orange - re-post of Japanese Yukata cotton

Take Two! I am re-posting this post from Oct 18, 2015. I still love this quilt and it seems like yesterday when I made it.

Teresa Duryea Wong. "Dragonflies, Flowers and a Spot of Orange" 42 x 48 inches.
Cotton Yukata prints, Oakshott, wool. Machine quilted. 2015.
Photo shoots always work better with a prop.

I finished this 'improv' quilt today and I was looking around for a prop to use in the photo to help give the quilt some perspective when Tom the dog and his bright orange collar laid down in the perfect spot.

Teresa Duryea Wong. "Dragonflies, Flowers and a Spot of Orange" 42 x 48 inches. 
Cotton Yukata prints, Oakshott, wool. Machine quilted. 2015.
The dragonfly and flower prints are Japanese Yukata (summer kimono) fabric. These are hand-dyed, vintage imported prints and they are a lot of fun to work with.

Read more about these interesting cottons on my previous blog post.

The other fabrics are shimmering Oakshott cotton and I think they set these prints off nicely.

Everything is 'improv' - meaning no pattern, no rulers, just cut and sew. The wonky lines and off-kilter edges are what give this small quilt its own personality.

The flower print has a taupe pallette, yet there is one beautiful orange leaf that just pops out, so that inspired me to add just a touch of bright orange wool to the overall design.

Orange is such a compelling color.

Working in the improv style takes a certain amount of fortitude!

Like, when you get to the edge and the blocks don't line up - don't cut them! Just go with it... these are some of my favorite parts.

I had one of those spelling crisis moments (you know, when your mind tricks you... is it dragonflys or dragonflies? Dragonflies is correct, btw).

I bought this dragonfly from a sidewalk artist in Kyoto. It balances on your finger! So cool.
I could not resist... made of wood, hand painted.
Anyway, I was really drawn to these blue on blue dragonflies because I learned while researching my book on the history of Japanese quilts that in Japanese culture, the dragonfly is associated with strength and victory, especially military strength. There is a stunning dragonfly quilt by Yoshiko Katagiri in my book. You can see a photo of it here, on my website.

So when I looked this word up today, I learned that (according to dictionary.com) in the Northern and Western US, another name for dragonfly is darning needle, devil's darning needle or sewing needle. Hmmm... I have never heard this. Have you? Fascinating...

Thanks to Tom the Dog. You and your orange collar make the perfect model!

Apr 15, 2017

moons of Japan - in fabric

Fifteen months ago, I left Japan with a suitcase full of new cotton fabric. Lucky me! It's taken me all this time to finish this quilt - an idea that started forming in my head immediately.

All of the cotton fabric featured is from the collections of Keiko Goke - a designer of extraordinary color, shape, line... all the things! I wanted to make a quilt that would really showcase these fabrics all together in one canvas. Hopefully, this accomplishes that concept!

Keiko Goke (a quilter and fabric designer) is featured in my new book - due out in July! In the book, I also explain how all this gorgeous fabric is printed inside Japan.

I like to think of these floating circles as multi-colored moons.... thus I've titled this one:
"Multi-Colored Moons of Japan"  Japanese love moon watching, in fact they celebrate it with moon with festivals and events. Now I have my own Japanese moons to watch everyday! :)

The background is black Kona cotton, which I covered with quilting using variegated Aurifil cotton thread.

Mar 19, 2017

book review of my Japanese quilts book - a glowing one!

My 2015 book has been reviewed by Museum Anthropology Review.

It is an honor to be included in this online magazine - everything in it is peer reviewed and the reviewer for my book had provided a very thorough summary.

Here's the opening statement:

Japanese Contemporary Quilts and Quilters: The Story of an American Import. 
Teresa Duryea Wong. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing, 2015. 144 pp.*

Reviewed by Amanda Grace Sikarskie

Teresa Duryea Wong’s Japanese Contemporary Quilts and Quilters: The Story of an American Import is a lavishly illustrated introduction to the art of Japanese quilts that will undoubtedly appeal to quilt scholars and novices alike.

Here's a link to the full review.