Thursday, July 26, 2012

Quilt Shopping in Tokyo: Quilt Party - Yoko Saito's Shop

Quilt Party is perhaps my favorite shopping stop of the trip.  This should not surprise you if you read my blog regularly, since I'm perhaps Yoko Saito's biggest fan.

Getting there is something like a 40 min train ride from Shinjuku station with a very short walk from where the train stops, only really a block or so.

There is a small sign in front of the shop that will guide you inside.  It looks like this:



It was a big thrill for me to finally see a Yoko Saito quilt in person.  I have seen this quilt in photos many times before but standing in front of it was so much more moving than I was expecting.


The ladies who work at the shop were extremely helpful and although their English was not completely fluent, they were excited that I was visiting there and they put 110% of their efforts into helping me and communicating with me.  It was very special.  I told them I felt like it was my birthday or something because visiting the shop was such a long-time dream of mine.

I was not there to pick up a lot of fabric, but I could not resist a few small pieces.  They have a big area of small cuts where pieces are slightly less than fat quarters in size, but they are arranged by color, and a lot of them I have never seen in the U.S. for sale. 

There was one very small item that caught my eye for several reasons.

It was a coin purse:

I could not figure out how you could cross stitch on top of quilt fabric.  The shop manager introduced me to some plastic cross stitch mesh that you lay over any quilting fabric, make your stitches, and then remove later with tweezers.  Brilliant!  This stuff allows you to basically cross stitch a small motif or an initial pretty much anywhere.  I used to love cross stitch, and doing a small bit of it to personalize something sounded like a lot of fun to me.

Here's a view of the inside.  There is a zipper that goes all the way around, and there are plastic 'button' pieces inside both of the clamshells.  I got supplies to make a couple.  


I have been collecting books of Yoko Saito's student works for years and was still missing several of them.  I found the ones I was missing while I was here, so that was a big treat.

You can see the latest released book third from the right in the book stacks on the shelf below:


More on the works of Yoko Saito in previous posts I have done here (including info on her books).  

If you end up in Tokyo, it won't be a waste of your time to visit her shop, that's for sure!

Contact info here.  

Address:  272-0034 Active Ichikawa 2F, 1-23-2 Ichikawa, Ichikawa City, Chiba Prefecture

Walking directions from Ichikawa Station in comments on Quincy's Big Adventure blog post here.

8 comments:

Jay said...

Hello Marisa, A visit to Yoko Saito's shop - Oh, how wonderful! I am jealous! I am also a huge fan of her work and I have collected most of her books (many of them due to your reviews / recommendations on your blog). That coin purse is very interesting. I saw something similar in one of the Japanese quilting magazines earlier this year. I can't remember if it was Quilts Japan or Patchwork Quilts Tsushin, but the pictures (as I can't read the directions) weren't easy to follow. When you make one, would you please take some pictures and explain the process on your blog. I would love to see how it's made. Although I don't comment often, I always read and enjoy your blog posts. Best Regards and Happy Stitching! Jay (flamingo guy quilter)

Lynne said...

All of Jay's sentiments, Marisa! Thank you for introducing me to this incredibly talented lady's work. If I were ever so fortunate as to be visiting The Shop I would be struck dumb and hyperventilating the whole time!

Julie Fukuda said...

I have been to Ichikawa many times because one of my quilt buddies, also one of the top senseis, lives there, but I have never been to that shop. Guess I need to put it on my list.

Steve said...

Hi Marisa,
Thanks for posting all the great photos of your shop visits while in Japan. I too am envious, would love to visit many of these shops some day, but especially Quilt Party.
I carry books from many Japanese designers/authors on my website, but Yoko Saito's books are always the top sellers. She does amazing work. I have been fortunate to see a few of her quilts in Houston at quilt market. They are, as you say, amazing to see in person.

Steve said...

Hi Marisa,
Thanks for posting all the great photos of your shop visits while in Japan. I too am envious, would love to visit many of these shops some day, but especially Quilt Party.
I carry books from many Japanese designers/authors on my website, but Yoko Saito's books are always the top sellers. She does amazing work. I have been fortunate to see a few of her quilts in Houston at quilt market. They are, as you say, amazing to see in person.

Marie said...

Oh, lucky you! I have been admiring Yoko Saito's work from afar for some time now and can appreciate your excitement at actually getting to her shop. And that coin purse is just the cutest - you'll have lots of fun with them and they will be such a special reminder of your visit.

be*mused jan said...

I have never visited Quilt Party but will put it on my list for my next visit to Tokyo. Thanks for the sharing the directions!

Isadarena said...
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