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 Sew & Sew Retreats in Japan, April 7 to 20, 2024

to Celebrate Japanese Textiles!

April 7 to 20, 2024, Heidi Parkes and our friend Takako Willden will be leading a retreat to Japan! Takako is from Japan, so, of course, speaks the language and knows all the ins-and-outs. We will visit Tokyo, Niigata and Kyoto.

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The gifted quilt artist and teacher Heidi Parkes will join us for the duration of the retreat.

She will conduct an on-going workshop while Japan -- A Japanese Travel Diary Quilt

Creating a quilt top while traveling is one of Heidi's favorite ways to stay curious and capture memories. She loves to work within the boundaries of her airplane seat, a small packet of cloth, and her embroidery hoop. These accommodations work to tell the story of staying nimble and working with her circumstances- essential qualities for an adventurer! With a keen eye, discoveries like cloth tea bags, shopping bags, scarves, and discards can become part of her travel quilts. These discoveries are incorporated with visibly hand pieced applique, trapunto, embroidery and patchwork.

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"I grew up in Japan playing with silk scraps as my maternal grandmother sewed kimono for her clients by hand. I always loved making things - from folding origami papers to sewing doll clothes. I live in the U.S. now – almost 30 years. When my children were young my mother-in-law taught me how to make American quilts for them, I’ve enjoyed the craft ever since.


During a trip back to Japan my love for Boro began. Boro refers to the practice of reworking and repairing textiles, often clothes or bedding, through piecing, patching and stitching, in order to extend their use. It started when I found a vintage Japanese Ikat bedding fabric at an antique shop in Japan. Now I enjoy making quilts using Japanese Boro and big running stitches."


With Takako's guidance, we have planned the 2024 Celebrate Japanese Textiles retreat that will uniquely showcase Japan's treasures - both textile and cultural experiences.


We planned this exciting trip in April as it is the height of Cherry blossom time. While in Tokyo, we will stay at Hotel New Otani Tokyo, which has a spectacular garden!

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While in Kyoto, we will stay at the beautiful Hotel Nikko Princess - Kyoto and the ANA Crowne Plaza in Niigata.

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So many wonderful plans are being made for this incredible adventure! Here are some of the stops on the itinerary: a visit to Mt. Takao - cable car, museums, waterfalls, trails - the Blue and White shop, Northern Culture Museum, the Daruma thread factory, Handmade Market at Chion-In Temple grounds, Kyoto Museum of Crafts and Design, Nishijin Silk Weaving Center, Misuya Needle Shop, the Shibori Museum, Tokyo department stores, a tea ceremony and so much more. Also, we will see several dyeing techniques demonstrated.

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Sew & Sew Retreats brings people together with a similar interest and then offers the opportunity to spend memorable moments creating, learning, exploring, relaxing and laughing with like-minded people. I hope you will join us!

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