This infatuation started when my morning email included an Interweave/F+W Media e-flyer promoting a new Yoko Saito title called Housewarming Patchwork: 78 Original Motifs and 10 Projects. Ooh–how fabulous! Delicious neutral prints deployed whimsically ala style Japonaise!
Hmm, I thought that morning, blogging sister Christie’s post on neutral quilts was super-popular. I’ll bet our readers would love to take a peek at another spin on projects that feature prints that play with light and shadow. Am I right, or am I right?
Gotta admit I’m susceptible to the Japanese quilting aesthetic and I’m astonished by the facility with which these master craftswomen re-imagine traditional quilting styles from the U.S. and Europe. Yoko Saito is a queen among quilting queens and her new book is a visual treat. Her Western World fans love her so much that they’ll buy her books in Japanese, French, or whatever other language, just to own them. Lucky for us, Interweave/F+W Media has translated texts to meet the demand for English-language versions. Housewarming Patchwork is the first of two volumes of Yoko’s 156 Patchwork Designs.
This particular title focuses on 78 design motifs (yielding 3½” blocks) that can be used in infinite ways. Yoko uses selected blocks to embellish 10 projects ranging from business card holders (if only my own business card was as charming) and water bottle totes (fashionable hydration) to table pockets (a cool, unexpected idea) and purses (love, love, love the compass bag on the cover). What makes Yoko’s handiwork so transcendent is her deft use of prints—she is scary good at it. Gotta say I’m obsessed by her spot-on fabric choices spotlighted in the cover projects.
My love of Yoko and her Japanese quilting sisters is longstanding. Back when I was publicizing new quilting titles for C&T Publishing, I actually had a hand in developing compilations of Japanese quilt patterns for publication. C&T had struck a collaborative deal with Nihon Vogue to produce a trio of project books from Quilts Japan magazine and I was tasked with selecting the projects and ushering the books through the editorial process. Who should be one of our featured quilt artists? Well, Yoko Saito, of course!
Here’s her biography from Interweave/F+W Media:
YOKO SAITO appears regularly on Japanese television. She has been featured in magazines, authored multiple books and created quilt exhibitions and workshops in France, Italy and Taiwan. In 2008, she celebrated 30 years of quilting with the Yoko Saito Quilt Exhibition at Matsuya department store in Ginza, Tokyo. She lives in a suburb of Tokyo. To learn more about Yoko Saito, visit her website.
Her groupies are known to travel to Japan to visit her shop Quilt Party (the link takes you to a an America super-fan’s visit to the shop). For those who cannot venture so far, Yoko Saito adoration is available at Pinterest where a legion of enthusiasts “pin” her handiwork.
About that new book . . . Interweave/F+W Media will bestow a copy of Housewarming Patchwork on a lucky giveaway winner here at SHWS. (Note: the book will be mailed November 25, 2013, the title’s release date.) Leave me a comment by Thursday, October 24 and I will announce a winner in my Friday post. Here’s the giveaway question: What do you enjoy about Japanese quilt-making traditions? Visit Interweave/F+W Media to pre-order the book at a special price.
See ya Friday,