Wednesday, September 26, 2018

YOKO SAITO Through the Years. A book review.

You all know how much I admire the Japanese quilters and among them Yoko Saito. When I discovered that Martingale was about to publish a book about one of the most fascinating quilter I know, you can imagine that I was really looking forward to discovering it. It is now available and I can't stop looking at it and all the photos it contains!

It is not a pattern book. It is a coffee table book about Yoko Saito's quilting journey. The book is divided into 3 parts : My quilt journey, Quilts, and Bags.

First, let me tell you my impression.

I didn't know what to expect. I have known Yoko Saito's work for a long time, have met her several times, have taken classes with her, have visited her shop in Tokyo and have seen many of her quilts in different exhibitions in France. I have almost every single pattern book Yoko Saito has published, both in Japanese and in English or French when they were available. I have all her Quilt Party Catalogues which are  beautiful books showing all the quilts made by her students throughout the year. So what would this book offer me that I did not already have? Well, .... so much more!!! Let me explain you why.

The first part, My Quilt Journey, is quite short and Yoko Saito speaks about her art and her beginnings showing her very early quilts. But immediately, you realize that the book you are holding is just a different type of books! It is not so much about the texts but about the quilts themselves. How can it be, you might wonder?

Well, let's move on to the second part of the book : Quilts. There are 20 quilts showcased in this part from her first quilts to the latest ones. You can see the entire quilts with a text in which Yoko Saito explains its story. And then the show starts!!! There are detailed photos of the quilts, a lot of photos, getting closer and closer, giving you a sense of Yoko Saito's amazing handwork, hand appliqué, hand quilting! These photos give you the opportunity to see the texture of the fabrics used. When looking at the photos in this book, I have the same feeling I had when seeing Yoko Saito's quilts for real! I do know the sky's the limit, but I can assure you Yoko Saito is already high up! Her work gives me goosebumps!!! I have never seen so many details thanks to the close-up photos in any other books.

The Bag part is a bit shorter with 8 bags showcased but you will find the same detailed photos which will leave you speechless and dreaming.

I have decided to just post here a few photos that you can also see on Martingale's website. I am not adding any others as I do not want to spoil the pleasure you are going to have when discovering them! But believe me, you're in for a treat!

If you want the patterns, they are available in different books and magazines both in English and French. In the USA, the publisher is Stitch Publications. In France, Quiltmania has published many of her books (both translations from Japanese and original publications). Moreover,  two fabulous quilts showcased were published in Quiltmania magazines (references are given in the book). Les Editions de Saxe have also translated a few books into French.

I believe this book is a book both for those who want to discover Yoko Saito's amazing work but also also those who, like me, do know her work but want to discover it in more depth and detail.
For me, YOKO SAITO Through the Years will be one of my bookshelves' treasure!

Until later,

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

A new project, a new blog ?

The back-to-school frenzy period is now behind and I can find time for quilting and stitching again. The first thing I did was to clean up my sewing room because it motivates me to surround myself with a peaceful atmosphere with all my cherished tools around me. It doesn't stay so tidy for long! When it's messy again, I just look at the photos.... trust me, it works ;-)

My blog is slowly coming to an end by lack of motivation. I have spent some time thinking about it and though I know that blogs are not a favorite media anymore and many people have moved to Instagram, I truly believe that blogging is a very different experience. It creates a very different type of relationship with your readers while being a self-development tool in many aspects. I still love my blog and when I see all the past posts, the photos, it does make me happy. It is a bit like a quilting life journal. So I do not want to let it die. But I need a new blog project, with new ideas and new goals.

That's why, I am thinking of giving my blog a fresh new start in a very near future. Maybe I will open a new blog on a different platform or change this one so it looks different. This new blog or new blog version will be about my passion for threads. Shall I also post about lifestyle, travel  and food or not? I would love your input about what you would like to find and what is important for you : text, photography? Would you like to see finished projects, projects in the making, step-by-step tutorials, discovering tools, books, artists, exhibitions? Do not hesitate to write in the comment section what you like in a blog, what you like reading, what you are looking for in a blog you follow.

Some people have asked me to write my blog in French rather than English. Would you prefer to have it in French, in both languages?

Posting everyday is just impossible for me as I work full time as a high school teacher. Posting once a month may not be enough. Would you prefer one post a week, one post every other week?

What about the name? Do you think I should change it? Any ideas?

Let me know what you think, I will note down and review all your ideas, opinions, comments in October and November and work on the new blog meanwhile.

I thank you all in advance for your comments ;-)

Wishing you a lovely fall season if you're in the northern hemisphere and a lovely spring for those down under :-)

Until later,