Hello again. I hope you enjoyed yesterday's quick tour of some of the inspiring quilts from the recent Pour l'Amour du Fil show. If so, there is a further treat in store as I will now post photos of the gorgeous quilts designed and/or made by Yoko Saito featured in her new book Scrap Valley, which is published by Quiltmania.
This post is going to be heavy on photos, light on text, so feast your eyes!
I know I've said before that I am not mad keen on hexagons in the traditional Grandmother's Flower Garden arrangement - well, this is a glorious exception, just look at all those wonderful taupes.
This was a cushion cover: tiny quilting stitches. Look how randomly she has cut from the striped fabric, and yet it works brilliantly.
This one is called Blazing Sun.
This is a small section of a beauty called Checkerboard, and before you start thinking about quick ways to strip piece it, you need to know that the squares measure about half an inch and they are all pieced over papers and whip stitched together with tiny stitches!
These are not the hands of Yoko Saito herself but of her assistant who was patiently sewing together the tiny squares into rows.
This quilt is titled 3955 pieces! It almost looks like a crocheted blanket at a distance with the dog tooth borders to the blocks.
The close ups show the exquisite hand quilting which overlays the piecing, different for each block.
Next is a wonderful bed quilt, entitled Kindness, which is in a soft palette. Meticulous applique and perfect feathered stars enhanced with beautiful hand quilting and embroidery.
And the piece de resistance, to my mind, was this quilt in a rather unusual palette of greys and blues, not at all what I expected from Yoko Saito, but totally stunning in terms of its design and execution.
This was quite a large quilt and, so far as I could see, the design did not repeat: all the applique flowers are different and they are embellished with a variety of embroidery stitches. There are birds and insects worked into the layout too, and then the whole thing is quilted freely. Exquisite.
I think that a number of these astonishing quilts may be designed by Yoko Saito but made by other Japanese ladies. You would need to look at the book to be sure. Certainly I would need a number of lifetimes to be able to make all these beauties, and of course a massive transfusion of skill and Japanese sensibility!
I have also included a few random pics of other quilts which took my eye for one reason or another; most of these are by Japanese quiltmakers showing the same devotion to their craft.
Apart from the intricate piecing and applique, one of the striking characteristics of all these diverse quilts is that they are hand quilted, which gives them the most wonderful texture. I am now seriously reconsidering handquilting one or two of my pending quilts....
And here are a few quilts from Linda Koenig's stand which were rather more within my reach and skill level.
And to finish, three quilts from recent issues of Quiltmania or its sister publication Simply Vintage which I might even think about making one day...
Well done if you made it through to the end. I hope you don't have visual indigestion. As you can probably tell, I had a totally wonderful time at this show. I have posted only a fraction of the photos I took, and those photos recorded only a small part of all that there was to see.
The stalls of the vendors were beautiful too with lovely samples to tempt us.