This beautiful quilt arrived in my Tokyo apartment last week, and inspires me to write here about the adventures I’ve had thanks to my columns in The Japan Times. Back in 2008, I wrote a column about Japan’s beautiful manhole covers. In it I mentioned, just as an aside, that an American woman named Shirley MacGregor made quilts inspired by the terrific designs she observed on manholes in Japan. Two years later, I get an email from the Japan Ground Manhole Association. Might I help them buy some of those quilts?
I tracked Ms. MacGregor down in South America, of all places, where she was temporarily teaching quilting. We sewed up a deal and — lucky me — I get to enjoy the quilts until I deliver them to the association. The one at the top, my favorite, is based on a manhole cover in Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture:
I’m still waiting for the arrival of Ms MacGregor’s books on manhole-inspired quilt designs, but in case you’re a quilter or looking for a Japan-related gift for a quilter, I’ve got photos and links you can follow to get more information on Amazon: