This is a low-productivity week in crafting so I thought I’d show you some stuff I love instead. Yesterday, you likely detected my unnatural love of spinning bobbins; today I’ll tell you about a designer who blows my mind; and tomorrow there’ll be an ode to a color (presented in tandem with two blog friends). No plans yet for Thursday, but I’m sure I’ll find lots of inspiration as the week goes by.

Sometime last week, I was inspired to comb through some Japanese craft book shops that I haunt all over the web and came across the work of Yoko Saito again. I first encountered her when I visited the Kinokuniya in San Francisco back in Jan 2010. This book just knocked me dead.


The textures, the taupes, the tedium… Okay, I love that she does intricate patchwork but she chooses to do so in small amounts on these bags. It spurs me on to try to sustain the motifs in larger form.


I was thrilled to find that she is quite prolific as an author. I ordered most of this stack from Yoko Saito directly. [Yes, just click on that link. The site is in English. Take a look at the books. You can find some of the books translated into Chinese or French from other sources if you just Google her name.]


No, I don’t read Japanese. These books have step-by-step photos and great schematics that make them quite useable if you know the basics of sewing.



It’s difficult to choose a favorite from among the tall stack. Her three lesson books provide loads of projects.

a stack of yoko saito

And her compendiums of patchwork blocks, appliques, and embroidery designs contain quite novel ideas that actually combine these three skills often.


yoko saito

And Yoko Saito designs fabrics. Part of me wants to stock up on her taupes, but I practiced restraint. This is the only fabric I purchased from her.


The TEETH part just kills me.

As usual, I’ve found a new quilter crush and I’ll spend the next year or so just soaking in inspiration from any source I can find.

Do you have any quilter crushes?