Aug 11, 2017

fabric for you, from Japan with love

This might be one of my favorite photos ever!

Six BOLTS! of fabric designed by Yoshiko Jinzenji - right here in my studio. These are her brand new designs. They're printed by Yuwa in Japan and imported by me. So I guess that makes me an official importer. Doing my bit to balance our international trade. :)

I'm bringing this fabric to you! I'll have a nice selection of Japanese quilting cottons for sale at my quilt guild lectures over the next 12 months!

Yoshiko Jinzenji is one of Japan's most innovative quilt artists. She is featured in my new book and I can't wait for you to read her story. She is one of the quilt world's true geniuses.

I've been fortunate to have the chance to visit with her in her Kyoto home and studio.

Teresa Duryea Wong with Yoshiko Jinzenji, in Kyoto.

Her quilts are abstract and richly textured whole cloth creations. On many occasions, she has spun and dyed her own cloth. Everything is quilted on the machine and her quilted lines are simply stunning. Museums all over the world have collected her work.

These days, she has mostly retired from quilt making and focuses her boundless energy on cooking! She still mentors a small group of extremely talented quilters. Akiko Shibusawa is one of those artists. And her work is also featured in my new book!

Meanwhile, Yoshiko continues to design fabric and her latest creations are just lovely. These might be my favorite actually. I'll let you in on a little secret (and I don't mind saying this here because my husband never reads my blog, haha!) I hope you do not buy this fabric at one of my lectures, because if you don't, I can keep it all for myself! Isn't that sweet of me? 


And I have more fabric for you too!

Spread all over the floor here are packets of new designs by Yoko Saito. Beautiful cotton hand and lovely colors! I also have lots of cotton prints and woven cottons by Yoko Saito in the taupe palette. These are beautiful too!

See you soon!

Jul 31, 2017

boxes of books and fabric and a date with Fort Worth

My first lecture for my new book tour is August 18. So this morning I sat down to make sure I have all the details nailed down. First thing I did was check the Trinity Valley Quilters' Guild website --- and there I am! Wow.

Even though this is my second tour of duty so to speak, it is still so surreal. And still exciting.

My full shipment of books arrived this weekend. Thank you Schiffer Publishing!!!

So I am stocked up and ready to share this gorgeous book.

I will also be traveling with other goodies! Japanese fabric, patterns and kits to sell. And quilts to show of course.

Boxes are stacked everywhere in my studio right now...! Slowly getting them organized and ready to hit the road.

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

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 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.

Feb 2, 2017

big news this week

This was a big, big week for me!

First, I was just notified last night that I have been selected to give a lecture at the Houston International Quilt Festival! This is such an honor and I am thrilled to be selected.

Second, my new book is listed in the Schiffer Publishing Spring catalog - which just came out. The book will be available in July.

Third.... I'm going to California. Well...  not till 2018!
I've been invited to give 3 lectures to 3 different quilt guilds - 2 in San Francisco, and 1 in Napa! I'll be spending 2 weeks there in all. Life doesn't get much better than that, does it?

Texas is also on my lecture list... and lots of awesome guilds have invited me to speak in 2017 and 2018.

All book tour lectures are listed on my website:

Jan 24, 2017

writing, sewing, not so much blogging

This quote is truly precious. I feel like that some days. 

Book number two is in the editing phase! Possible book number three mulling around in my brain.

When you spend your days at the keyboard, or at the sewing machine - and I do both - important things like this little blog get neglected.

You already know - there are only so many hours in the day.

Not only that, I find myself more and more drawn to Instagram, and less and less to my blog, or other blogs for that matter. It feels odd somehow... like I've jumped ship to something more shiny. But IG has a lot of appeal... its creative, quick, all visual and very cool.

So, more IG. Less blogging. And more books - reading and writing them!