Thursday, April 24, 2014

caohagan quilt...


I purchase few quilts as the whole point of all this fabric acquisition is supposed to be to make my own but am thrilled that I am now the proud owner of a Caohagan quilt. Caohagan is a tiny island in the Philippines owned by Katsuhiko Sakiyama. Junko, his wife, taught 120 of the 500 islanders how to quilt so that they could sell their work offshore to improve their education, housing and general standard of living. This cottage industry now represents about a third of the people's income.




I first read about these bright and charming quilts in Patchwork Japan and Quilts Japan over a decade ago. At the time, I wrote a letter with the help of a Japanese friend to try and purchase a quilt but never heard back. I have no idea whether the letter even reached its destination. Since further articles about Caohagan have been written in western magazines (such as in Quiltmania #78) and the quilts exhibited at some of the AQS shows in 2013 am so excited to say that there is now a website where you can easily purchase one of these works online. I always assumed because the quilts previously were sold to Japan that they would be crazily expensive but that is not the case. I received ours within a week of ordering and am completely and hopelessly in love with it...

The islanders make their quilts out of mostly donated fabric. Their work is filled with rich imagery of island life. The quilts are bright and fantastically cheerful. Here are some detail shots...




Our quilt is filled with birds, flowers and animals...




Also, the maker sent the most charming letter with the quilt which is very touching...

Below is a short Youtube video of an interview with the Sakiyamas talking about Caohagan. You can donate fabric to the quilters so I am bundling up a box to send. As M. pointed out, this quilt is the most happy thing he's ever seen made out of fabric. It is impossible to look at it without smiling and we are so excited that Lolita's quilt found its way to our home!


12 comments:

  1. Your quilt is spectacular, no wonder you love it!

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    1. I've never seen one that isn't. They are all such happy quilts!

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  2. Your quilt is beautiful! I love it, I think I need to get one myself!

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    1. Go for it! When our beautiful quilt arrived, M's first reaction was wow we should get more. This reaction never happens with other quilty things:)

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  3. Oh my! Your new quilt is SO wonderful!!! Congratulations. I saw an article about this island somewhere (Quiltmania?) a while ago. They're so charming, and the purchase goes to a good cause. yea!!

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    1. Thanks Nifty! Even the "wrong" side of the quilt is lovely. It is washed but smells faintly and wonderfully of sandalwood. It is backed with the most beautiful Indonesian fabric. Good cause definitely...

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  4. This is the first I've heard of Caohagen. Such beautiful work! I can see why you would want one of their beautiful quilts.

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    1. Finally purchasing one of these quilts really has fulfilled a long time dream. I've got photos of many other quilts from an exhibition in Japan that my brother took for me which I'll try to post.

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  5. It's a beautiful, full of life quilt. it has that carefree island feeling to it too. I am touched by the fact that the maker sends a note along with it. Thanks for the link, I will check it out.

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    1. That is a great way of describing all of these Sujata- They wriggle with life!

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  6. What a beautiful quilt! Thank you for sharing it, so happy. Just lovely. :)

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    1. Thank you Jane! We may not be able to stop at one:)

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