At Mr X Stitch we love to review textile art and embroidery books for you. There are so many great books to discover, packed with needlework inspiration and textile techniques, so we dive into each book to find out what’s good, what’s bad and let you know why you should pick it up. Here’s what we think of The Sewing Room Sampler Quilt written by Yoko Saito, published by Zakka Workshop.
The Sewing Room Sampler Quilt combines two of Yoko Saito’s favourites: blocks featuring traditional quilting motifs, such as stars and houses, plus one-of-a-kind sewing-themed applique designs. You can use the block and applique designs individually, or combine them to create this quilting masterpiece. Step-by-step colour instructions illustrate how to piece the 16 blocks together and assemble the quilt. Full-size templates of the 8 applique motifs are included on pattern sheets.
About the author
With more than thirty years experience in the industry, Yoko Saito has earned a reputation as one of Japan’s master quilters. She is famous for her use of odd shaped pieces, taupe colour palette and detailed quilting. She designs her own fabric line and is the author of multiple books in the United States and Japan such as Afternoon Tea Mats, Home Town Pouch, Bon Appetit Tote, Snowman Mini Quilt and Cherry Blossom Mini Quilt.
Who is the book aimed at?
Whether you are a total beginner or a seasoned quilter this book offers a comprehensive instruction manual in creating this quilt. Each pattern has simple coloured diagrams and detailed information on materials, seam allowance, pressing fabrics, cross referencing each to full-size templates. You could easily choose a pattern to practice on before you start the quilt because it offers 16 patterns with an outer applique edge. Real insight is given into how complex designs are created from simple block structure. You could go on to create your own designs or recreate in a more vibrant colour palette. Each design could become individual quilted pieces to adorn your home or give as gifts. This could be an easy project to create over time for busy mams, students, workers looking for a hobby in the evenings while watching tv. It would make a lovely gift with some sample fabrics to adorn a new home.
The contents page is well laid out…
….with detailed instruction and diagrams for each design (spools, plates, wheels, stars, house, cabin and trees).
Although there are images of individual textile designs the emphasis is on instruction diagrams accompanying the text. This is a detailed ‘how to’ instruction manual rather than a glossy coffee table read. And because colours are so muted the photographed imagery does not jump off the page. It is a quiet ‘how to’ journey for the quilter.
What makes this book special?
The full-sized block templates…..
and applique pattern sheets are all cross referenced for each design making this an easy project to follow over a period of time with a sense of achievement at each stage. Broken down into simple individual designs means that a large quilt can be created in small bites.
Anything wrong with the book?
The colour palette may be rather muted but you could create your own scheme, substituting existing colours for a modern twist or to match your own home. Anyone with an enthusiasm for design may be interested in how simple block structure can be translated into fabric for a complex overall effect. You may be inspired to create your own patterns or replicate your home. If nothing else it is a great gift.
Get your copy from The Sewing Room Sampler Quilt: 16 Blocks, 8 Applique Motifs & 1 Stunning Quilt by Yoko Saito (bookshop.org) and support local bookshops.