Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Yoshiko Jinzenji

I apparently am a latecomer to knowing about the wonderful quilts made by Yoshiko Jinzenji.

Her quilts are on display now through May 18 at KU's Spencer Museum of Art - along with Jean Mitchell's of Lawrence (more about Jean later).

Yoshiko was here in February. She is tiny, with a mop of beautiful silver hair. This isn't the best picture, but it also shows part of her work, one of four large pieces in her Code Series.

It seems to me Yoshiko's work could have inspired many of our modern quilters. She uses a lot of solids, with heavily quilted white backgrounds. Her work was inspired by Amish and Mennonite quilts four decades ago.

At a gallery talk, Yoshiko showed photos of rag patchwork called Kesa funzoe. These are right up our alley. They were made of scraps/rags donated by parishioners and given to their priest in the 18th century. They were improvisationally pieced. Her example was lovely - I googled it and couldn't find any photos to share with you, but I will keep looking.

She dyes her work - at her place in Bali - using bamboo dye. Here are a few detail shots.

Detail from Code Series

These slices in another quilt are tiny.

These pieces are also tiny - it reminds me of Seminole piecing. This is one of her Ribbon Tape quilts.


  1. Thanks for the close-up photos! She is quite an inspiration.

  2. I love her work, too. My husband bought me her first book and I have pored over how elegantly she delivers her quilting. I agree quite modern and very inspirational.

  3. Thanks for sharing these photos - it must have been a treat to see her in person!

  4. Pure inspiration. Thanks Deb.

  5. There is a beautiful book of her quilts about too, it was in my local country library in Australia!
    Thanks Deb I enjoy your posts.

  6. That last photo immediately brought to my mind, and yours, Seminole piecing, an art not seen often outside of specialized exhibits. I lived many years in So Florida and came to love the clothing and other pieces that the Seminoles produced. Thank you for this reminiscent tug.