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,


  1. Comme beaucoup parmi nous, j'ai eu la chance d'admirer des ouvrages de Yoko Saito au salon de Nantes. C'est une Artiste incroyable...Difficile de ne pas apprécier un de ses ouvrages, il y en a pour tous les goûts : fleurs, étoiles, hexagones, maisons.... Mon préféré est celui représentant un village indien, je ne connais même pas son nom 🤔 . J'ai également été sensible à son expo à Tokyo en 2016 sur le thème de Péter Rabbit. Ces quilts sur le monde enchanteur de Beatrix Porter m'avaient beaucoup plu . Sais tu d'ailleurs si les modèles sont en vente ?
    Comme toujours ton article est enrichissant et nous ouvre des portes. Merci

  2. Opino lo mismo sobre Yoko Saito, los libros que tengo de ella dan para mucho. Hice el Mystere de ella y en cada bloque intenté seguir su esencia, asi como el acolchado. Creo que el libro que nos recomiendas habrá que adquirirlo. Un saludo

  3. Looking forward to read this book. I've (of course) pre-ordered it on a Dutch website, but no sign of the book yet. Fingers crossed it gets delivered soon. Great review by the way ;-)

  4. What a delightful post! Thank you so much, David!

  5. Thanks for reviewing this book. Her work is exceptional. I will definitely be ordering this one.

  6. Yoko Saito is definitely one of the quilt artists I admire most. I admit to being jealous that you've been able to take classes with her! I'll have to look for this book.

  7. Ah! Yoko et ses sublimes quilts... je rêve un jour de pouvoir prendre un cours avec elle.En attendant je rêve devant ses livres dont je ne me lasse pas de feuilleter.... Merci pour ce joli partage très enrichissant.
    Bnne soirée.

  8. David I have been following your blog for many years and please, please, please ccntinue. Living in Australia II don’t get to visit the exhibitions in Europe that I would like to. Seeing your photos and comments is a joy, particularly the photos of Quilts de Legende when they are on. In fact I enjoy them so much I am visiting Nantes in 2019 for Pour du Fil and hopefully see the Quilts de Legende also. I haven’t been able to find information yet about 2019 quilts de Legende and would like to know about it if you have any info at all. I hope you continue with your blog and in English if possible. Many thanks Kathy

  9. Thank you for the tip off, David. I ordered the book here at Be Be Bold (a Japanese fabric and yarn store in Lismore, Australia ... you might like to have a look online). I received it yesterday, its magical!

  10. Hi David. I followed you on this blog and when you did not post here anymore I stepped over to the instagram. I was following you there but suddenly this week your instagram seemed to have disappeared or perhaps I am being blocked? I hope you can tell me what I am doing wrong?

  11. where are you these days? I miss your posts and photos.


Post a Comment