Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Quilts For Japan

I've been very saddened like many others who have been watching the news about the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan and wondering what I could do to help from here in Australia. Luckily I received an email from one of my blog readers, Sandra Shigeno, and she very kindly shared some information about what types of quilts would be suitable for a Quilt Appeal for the Japanese people.
Sandra wrote: Typical Japanese quilts (futon) used every day for covering beds made up on the floor (tatami mats) are rather puffy and not quilted closely -- more like what we think of as tied quilts with a thicker batting than we would use -- and are usually made of large pieces of fabric, not pieced like a Western quilt.    Having said that,  Japanese quilters do spend hours on turning out exquisite piecing and quiltwork for show (as for a living room couch or to hang on a wall), but I've rarely seen what we Westerners think of as a "bed quilt" actually used for sleeping under, except in the homes of a few quilters themselves.    The futon quilts that Japanese use are what we would think of as single-bed size;  each person has his or her own individual sleeping space, even married couples, so there's no need for even a double quilt.   However,  in the summer, those thick quilts/futons are just too hot, so our Western type of thinner quilts would be just fine then.   Western-type beds are more popular nowadays than when I lived there; so the "Patchwork Tsushin" editor probably assumes that with more beds being used in Japan, that more people are becoming used to Western-type quilts.  They would be a lot easier to make, collect, and mail than trying to gather the same amount of the heavier Japanese futon!

As an added note, Japanese prefer rather subdued colors more that bright ones; even in their clothing, they don't like to stand out or look "different," so they wear a lot of browns and dark blues and earth colors more than anything else.Quilts with the dominant colors of dark blues and muted tones of complimentary colors would be popular.
The majority of evacuees seem to be older people living in small farming and fishing communities, and they would certainly be more conservative as to colors. As mentioned on TV, most of the younger folks have in past years moved to larger cities to find work, so it is mainly the "elderly" who are left.

The request for quilts has come from the Japanese Patchwork magazine, Quilt Tsushin, and they are requesting any new or unused quilts to be sent to Japan after May 1st when it will be possible to deliver the quilts where they are needed.

Please post to:

Naomi Ichikawa
Patchwork Tsushin Co.,Ltd
2-21-2,Yushima,Bunkyo-ku,Tokyo,Japan zip:113-0034

Even the donation of just one quilt from all of us would make a huge difference to the people who have been so traumatized by recent events.

Hugs Jan Mac


  1. Thank you for passing along the information from Sandra! And, as always, I enjoy your "quilt show" of the comfort quilts.

  2. What a great idea to post one quilt at a time . . . .
    Thanks for sharing that information

  3. good to read that letter from Sandra, thanks for sharing it.