Thursday, February 13, 2014

Noriko Endo's Naturescapes from Scraps 1/2 Day Class at AQS Show in Phx, AZ 2014

I took three classes with Noriko Endo, an art quilter from Tokyo, Japan while attending the American Quilters Society (AQS) Show in Phoenix, AZ at the convention center Feb 5-8, 2014.  I became interested in Noriko Endo when I first saw her work hanging in the International Quilt Show in Long Beach, CA about 4 years ago. I watched her do a demonstration of her confetti landscape technique during the Sampler Class. It was so different from any quilting technique I had ever seen. It reminds one of the Impressionism art movement of the late 1800s, early 1900s. She captures the scene by "painting" with small bits of fabric, adding details with paint and thread.  Ever since then, I've been wanting to attend a workshop with her. She was one of the many instructors available during the AQS Show this past week.
Confetti Naturescapes by Noriko Endo, copyright 2011.

The first class I took with Noriko Endo is her Naturescapes from Scraps. Noriko also has a book published with this technique, Confetti Naturescapes: Quilting Impressionist Landscape. She offered this class twice - one a half day class and the other a full day class. I chose the half day class, as I figured with taking two other classes, this would be all I could manage with my health issues.

These are some of Noriko's samples for this class. She also had a quilt, Cherry Blossom #7, 58" x 32", hanging in the show. It can be seen on my blog from yesterday of the quilts in the AQS show.

Noriko Endo's sample of trees and path. 8" x 8". 
Noriko's sample of flowering tree branches overhanging water. 20" x 30"

Noriko's sample of a summer or spring forest. 25" x 20"
Noriko's sample of an autumn forest. 25" x 20".
Noriko's sample of cherry blossoms overhanging water. 25" x 20". 

I thoroughly loved the class. Noriko is a gracious teacher, gently encouraging each person to create a small art quilt of a landscape. She adds bits of confetti fabric before you quilt it, to help the colors pop and explains why she adds these colors to your quilt. She added bits of black, as she said black is in everything; though our eye may not see it, our brain picks it up, so add black to make your landscape look right. Then she added turquoise, as she said this helps the colors pop. She also added bits of bright purple and pink to mine, since I had those colors in my landscape. These seemed so bright when she added them, but they really did help the colors pop. After taking her class, I viewed the Tentmakers of Cairo exhibit. They used bright colors, like turquoise and orange and white accents. These made the colors pop in their wall hangings. It really helped reinforce this lesson from Noriko.

Here is my small quilt sample that I completed in class. I was getting frustrated while free-motion quilting my sample, but realized that I just needed to relax and enjoy the process, which I loved. It was so much fun to just cut the scrap fabric pieces into confetti and then scatter them (strategically) over the batting to create a landscape. I found it to be very freeing - I tend to work very tight and am always trying to loosen up. This technique definitely encourages that!

My sample. 10" x 10". 

Some of the other students in the class, allowed me to take photos of their projects. I think everyone had fun creating these little pieces of art. As Noriko said, they look better when viewed from a distance (5-6 feet), like you would view masterpieces in an art museum. You don't look at them closeup, unless you want to examine the brush strokes. In these samples, the brush strokes are the small pieces of fabric.

Student sample of flowering trees. Approximately 9" x 9".
Student sample of trees and flowers bordering a lake. Approximately 10" x 10". 
Student sample of trees and flowering bushes.  Approximately 8" x 6". 
Student sample of red roses and other flowers. She plans to applique one
 red rose and stitch more red roses in the red area. Approximately 9" x 9".

All quilt designs copyrighted by Noriko Endo or the students in the class. 


  1. Oh how I'd love to take a class from her...I've admired her quilting techniques for a long time. Thanks for sharing your experience! And your class sample is beautiful!

    1. Thank you for your comments. I hope you get a chance to take her class. She is such a gracious lady and wonderful teacher! Enjoyed her classes immensely. Would love to take more classes with her and work on larger pieces!