Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Recovering right along

Well, my fingers have finally recovered from posting such a GIANT blog post last time about all my Yoko Saito books. Thanks to those of you who actually made it through and appreciated it...you are hard core!

I managed to finish my first full sized adult knitted garment recently - it's the Liesl pattern by Coco Knits. It was very mindless, even for me, a pretty much non-knitter. I have to figure out how to seam it and then get on to blocking so I can impress my knitting friends by showing them that I actually knit something (finally!). Maybe I'll model it for you sometime soon. Perhaps I would freak you out by appearing on my own blog ala Martha Stewart.

I have also been working on some applique signature blocks for my up-coming son's birthdays. I even slipped in a block for my sister's girl since my sister is on the busy side these days with her new baby. Something tells me I may end up doing them for her even when she doesn't have a new baby, but I will confess I enjoy it so it's all good.

Last week we lost the father of a dear family friend, so I'm posting a photo of some flowers above in his honor to cheer up those who have had a very sad week. The green flowers are called 'green trick'. I found them to be quite unusual and really pretty. My kids said they think they look like grass. Here's to recovering right along as best we can.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New classes, modern house quilt blocks, and A Yoko A Day: Yoko Saito Quilt books - day 9 - final (陽子斉藤)

Well, for those of you who guessed that I couldn't last that long doing a post every single day...you were right. I am WAY too busy for that sort of thing. What was I ever thinking?!

Ok so enough with the Yoko A Day, I'm done, I'm throwing in the towel. It was fun while it lasted, but jeez I just cannot do a post every day.

At the end of this post I'm including info on all the other books Yoko Saito has ever written, that I know of, that I own. There is one more out there that I don't own yet, but...I have the feeling that ugly little situation may not continue for long. If you know of the existance a book by Yoko Saito that I haven't listed in a recent post, pls do let me know so I can look into that.

In other news, I am teaching a few new classes up at A Verb For Keeping Warm. (yeah!) The first one is a machine quilt-along this coming Sunday, where folks can join and work on their in-progress projects. I am also booked for teaching some introduction to quilting classes in October. Join us if you live locally, it will be good fun.

We will be working on more applique this Sunday at Verb in the modern house applique class too. I'm using Japanese Taupe fabrics in the block this month again, as you can tell in the block above.

On to the final info about Yoko Saito Books: (if you seriously read the rest of this, I give you a gold star)
Yoko Saito: 9th book review

Title: (unfortunately, your guess is better than mine on this one, could not figure it out although there is some more info here...I'll bet that Julie knows!!)
ISBN: 978-4-14-031126-4

Summary: Items are made out of triangle and square pieces. Projects in this book are not super complex, and there is not a lot of applique. That said, this is probably the best of all her books in terms of showing you methods used for hand piecing, and tools used. Photos are great so you can really understand what is going on (even w/ zero understanding of Japanese - trust me on this, I should know).

Yoko Saito: 10th book review

Title: From American Patchwork Bed Quilts to Bags
ISBN: 4-14-031079-0

Summary: Small bags, and bed quilts, as the title says, but also backpacks. My favorite project is the bed quilt on p.43 called Farmer's Bowknot which is a signature quilt. Nice photos of how to make applique grapes on p.59.

Yoko Saito: 11th book review

Title: Free Patterns (I think?)
ISBN: 4-579-11080-3

Summary: You know I love applique, and this book is really full of it. If applique is not your cup of tea, feel free to skip this one. For me, the photos are amazing, the projects are stunning, and I could see myself easily making each and every last one of them. Bags, small quilts, sewing box on p.22 is amazing, this is probably the most beautiful of all her books. Usage of french knots, just amazing.
Yoko Saito: 12th book review

Title: 138 Original Applique Designs by Yoko Saito
ISBN: 978-4-529-04331-1

Summary: This is the other book that she has written that I would give 'MUST HAVE' status to, and it is in my top 5 list of favorite quilt books. These tiny block patters include botanicals, halloween, more robots, a portrait of Mozart (wow), another alphabet (yeah!), and a myriad of other adorable blocks. This one is worth the bookshelf space.

Yoko Saito: 13th book review

Title:Study Book for Taupe Color

Summary: This book is limited to bags with a mix of applique and pieced quilting in different projects. I believe there is some extensive discussion around which taupe colors go well with other ones, but since my Japanese reading skills are lacking, this is a slightly less valuable book to somebody like me. It's still beautiful though and some of the bag patterns could easily be turned into wall hangings or quilts.
Yoko Saito: 14th book review

Title: Walking the Green Quilt (??Seriously? don't trust me on this title please!)
ISBN: 978-4-14-031160-8

Summary: This book is a compilation of blocks that were released monthly in a Japanese Woman's magazine put out by NHK. It is really a handy place to have them all together in this book. These patterns are all botinicals, applique, and pretty detailed. Not for the faint of heart!
Yoko Saito: 15th book review

Title: 120 Original Embroidery Designs by Yoko Saito
ISBN: 978-4-529-04653-4

Summary: Ok ok, I know I said that there were only 2 'must have' books, but if I could squeeze a 3rd one it, this would be it. I am not a huge fan of embroidery but there is a god mix of applique in here too (and thank goodness, also another alphabet). If you love embroidery, this book is for you. If you don't, it might not be your favorite book, but where else can you find an embroidery pattern for an ant farm?!
Yoko Saito: 16th book review

Title: Yoko Saito's Scandinavian Quilts

Summary: Quilt designs inspired by Scandinavia - need I say more? Bags and small household items mostly. Lots of applique.
Yoko Saito: 17th book review

Title: Patchwork Lessons
ISBN: 4-579-10697-0

Summary: Small projects, bags, and even a larger sawtooth star quilt on p.73 that looks like it would be fun to make. lots of great photos of 'how to' quilting techniques.
Yoko Saito: 18th book review

Title: Patchwork Lessons 2
ISBN: 4-579-10759-4

Summary: Of her Lesson(s) books, this is my favorite one. The photos are beautiful, and there are some very detailed projects. My favorites are the acorn pillow on p.55, and the insane pine burr feathered star on p.77.
Yoko Saito: 19th book review

Title: Patchwork Lessons 3
ISBN: 978-4-579-10892-3

Summary: small projects, bags, some applique, lots of embroidery. Best project here is probably p.53 - applique whale bag.
Yoko Saito: 20th book review

Title: Patchwork Lesson
ISBN: 978-579-11174-9

Summary: Mostly hand piecing with a small amount of applique. Good technique photos including working with zippers, cute laundry line applique on p.35.


Whump! Marisa thuds on the floor from exhaustion after finishing 20 book reports and breaking all records of her longest blog post ever (after 580 posts, you would think I might have learned some self control, apparently not).

The crowd cheers with a standing ovation for the most complete list of Yoko Saito books ever mentioned on the entire internet! I wonder if Yoko Saito herself remembers writing all these books.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Yoko A Day: Yoko Saito Quilt books - day 8 (陽子斉藤)

Title: Daily Quilt
ISBN: 978-4-529-04780-7

Summary: small bags, mostly with applique on them, small quilts, medium quilts - some pieced, some with applique. wall hangings, spools quilt, holiday items...some of the items look similar to projects published in day 5 of my posting about Ms. Saito's books. Cream Corn quilt on p.30 is probably my favorite thing in this book. My copy is signed by Yoko Saito herself, due to a generous blog reader. How special is that!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Yoko A Day: Yoko Saito Quilt books - day 7 (陽子斉藤)

Title: 156 Original Patchwork Designs by Yoko Saito
ISBN: 4-529-04188-3

Summary: Let me start by saying that there are 2 Yoko Saito books that you MUST have in your library, and this is one of those two. This includes 156 block patterns that you will find to be unique, beautiful, and if you're anything like me, you may get the urge to make every last one of them. Some of the blocks you may have seen before, but most are quite unique. She does assemble some of the blocks into small zipper bags. P51 has the coolest little robot I've ever seen on it complete with propeller on top of his head. There are animals, bugs, botanicals, geometric designs, stars, another pieced alphabet (yeah!!!). If you don't have this book, please do yourself and huge favor and get a copy. It's going to be WELL worth your bookshelf space. I hate to pick favorites, but this is in my top 5 quilt books of all time.

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Yoko A Day: Yoko Saito Quilt books - day 6 (陽子斉藤)

Title: Yoko Saito and Kids (I think?, your guess is probably as good as mine on this one!)
ISBN: 978-4-86322-084-3

Summary: Super cute kids quilts, including another alphabet quilt (my fav!), a log cabin baby quilt, Jack and the Beanstalk applique kids quilt, some redwork, on p.21, my favorite kids quilt by Ms. Saito - it has trees, houses, but an awesome road that you could use to run your toys all along. I have had several requests in my household to make this quilt. Mobile, backpack, kids hat, paper pieced ducky, place mat, bibs, p48 has instructions for this block that has 4 pieces in it...an unusual block but a very pretty one. I would consider paper piecing this (of course Ms. Saito hand pieces it).

A Yoko A Day: Yoko Saito Quilt books - day 5 (陽子斉藤)

Title: Patchwork of 1, 2, and 3 Patch Blocks

ISBN: 4-529-02567-5

Summary: Like the title says, these patterns are pretty simple. They are made from blocks in 1 shape (like 9 patches) or 2 shapes (as seen on the cover above) and even a few projects have 3 different shapes the pattern. Lots of little zipper bags, pretty much the cutest stuffed elephant you've ever seen on p32, adorable 'spools' pattern sewing pouch on p.35, pin cushion, doll quilts on p. 29, place mats, table cloth, full sized bed quilts, crib quilt...TONS of projects here. This book is older (1995) so finding it out in the wild might not be an easy task.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Yoko A Day: Yoko Saito Quilt books - day 4 (陽子斉藤)

Title: Happy Patchwork
ISBN: 4-14-031112-6

Summary: Pieced alphabet (LOVE alphabets!) stars on quilts, feathered stars, small needle cases, little bags, adorable dogs and bees from what looks like to be a mix of applique and hand piecing on p.21, applique flower baskets p33, super silly and perhaps best yet Halloween quilt p36, wedding ring quilts (stunning).

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Yoko A Day: Yoko Saito Quilt books - day 3 (陽子斉藤)

Title: Small Quilt
ISBN: 4-529-03935-8

Summary: Includes some wool applique projects, a small quilt with star motifs (p 42. so beautiful!) usage of a zillion french knots in the border of a quilt of p. 40-41 (WOW!), small zipper bags, my favorite key ring holder cover on p33 in the shape of a small house, a wallet, a tape measure cover that looks like a dog, an adorable little zipper bag with tee pees on it...this book is certainly all over the map with lots of different projects, but well worth the addition to your library.

A Yoko A Day: Yoko Saito Quilt books - day 2 (陽子斉藤)

Title: Houses, houses, houses
ISBN: 4-14-031131-2

Summary: Patterns include large quilts, bags of various sizes, pillows, tons of house blocks, small amounts of embroidery here and there that is very tasteful. My favorites are the bag that includes a tree on p.12 and the placemats that include houses on p.28.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Yoko A Day: Yoko Saito Quilt books - day 1 (陽子斉藤)

They say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

At the end of the summer, what could I do to spice things up and get out of the back to school funk?

How about kicking off 'A Yoko A Day'!

For the next (insert a number here) days, I'll be posting a daily blog post about a quilt book that Yoko Saito has written.

I'll be including the ISBN, and a brief summary about topics covered.

Think I can continue this for the rest of August? How many of her books do you think I have? Will I make it into Sept? Guesses out there hot shots?

Woo hoo...here we go!

Title: Basket Made From Cloth
ISBN: 978-4-579-11275-3

Summary:This book is basically about small quilted bags with a couple of small quilts, one medium sized quilt, and other small items like a needle holder and sort of a sewing box. The book includes a very large fold out pattern in the back with applique designs that are very pretty and could be used basically for any project. The handbag on p.19 is probably my favorite project, just stunning.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What I did on my Summer Vacation

Not to belabor you with an essay about my summer vacation, but let me just state that fun was had by all.

We stayed in this little beach town called Cayucos, California. It is a bit of a sleepy little village, but it was relaxing, not jam packed with people, and that made for just our speed.

While I was there I took some knitting and basically didn't do a whole lot outside of building sand castles, taking photos, and putting towels around shivering kids as they came out of the surf.

Our summer is starting to draw to a close here as school starts in a week. Back to enforcement of early bed time. Hm...does that mean that mommy has more time to quilt?

If that's not a cliff hanger, I don't know what is.

Hopes that your summer is wrapping up just as nicely.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Finish Nine Patch Quilt Top: Check!

The feeling of spreading out a newly finished quilt top on my bed and taking photos of it is a bit rare so maybe that is one of the reasons it is so special.

I have not decided how I will quilt this little baby yet, but I am trying to do it justice. Colors are very vivid and there is lots of empty space in the alternate blocks for some cool quilting patterns (my fav!). I'll continue to brainstorm on quilting designs for a bit longer.

So what are your favorite hang outs these days for eye candy? I could always use some cool new inspiration.

These days I'm loving:

  • Amy Merrick: flower arrangement and photos of her creations - elegant. Blog photos: not so shabby either.

  • Simple Pleasures: Quilted baskets here - check them out, adorable. How did she manage to get the new Yoko Saito book (in ENGLISH!!) before me. I'm green with envy! Perhaps not for long....

    It looks like Kathie of Inspired by Antique Quilts got her hands on a copy already too! Sheesh! I'm the last one on the block to get mine.

  • Muji: sets of wooden blocks for kids to build and play with in shapes of New York, London, and Tokyo! If I bought these, I am not sure I would be able to hand them over to my kids.

  • Minick and Simpson blog: recent post regarding hand quilting, feathers, and stencils - worth a look!

That should keep you off the streets for a while! Now how about what you're reading?