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Miyabi Quilt by Matsuko Shiraishi: Elegance in Orange

Miyabi Quilt by Matsuko Shiraishi
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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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