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Miyabi Quilt by Matsuko Shiraishi: Elegance in Orange

Miyabi Quilt by Matsuko Shiraishi
Miyabi Quilt by Matsuko Shiraishi at the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza, 2014. Photo by Wayne Stratz.

This quilt introduced me to the concept of Miyabi, a traditional Japanese aesthetic combining elegance and sorrow.  Matsuko Shiraishi describes how the quilt is made of wedding Kimono fabric, and that wedding ceremonies are a combination of those two emotions.  To see the whole quilt, which takes on the shape of a Kimono, there’s a great photo of Matsuko Shiraishi’s work on the gladiquilts site.

Having words to describe different forms of beauty helps me look at things more closely and contemplatively.  I have written about Wabi Sabi and Hozho, and the beauty of imperfection,  but Miyabi was new to me.  The Kimono fabric is definitely elegant, with metallic thread and a silky sheen.

What defines elegant for you?

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