The Sewing Room Sampler Quilt


Textile Art Book Reviews

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

Book Review - The Sewing Room Sampler Quilt by Yoko Saito
Yoko Saito

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.

Book Review - The Sewing Room Sampler Quilt by Yoko Saito
comprehensive instruction
Book Review - The Sewing Room Sampler Quilt by Yoko Saito
easy to follow guide

Content

The contents page is well laid out…

Book Review - The Sewing Room Sampler Quilt by Yoko Saito

….with detailed instruction and diagrams for each design (spools, plates, wheels, stars, house, cabin and trees).

Book Review - The Sewing Room Sampler Quilt by Yoko Saito
spool designs
Book Review - The Sewing Room Sampler Quilt by Yoko Saito
plate and wheel designs
Book Review - The Sewing Room Sampler Quilt by Yoko Saito
spinning wheel and star designs
Book Review - The Sewing Room Sampler Quilt by Yoko Saito
cabin, house and tree designs

Photography

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…..

Book Review - The Sewing Room Sampler Quilt by Yoko Saito
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.

Book Review - The Sewing Room Sampler Quilt by Yoko Saito
applique pattern sheets

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.

Conclusion

Get your copy of The Sewing Room Sampler Quilt from Amazon today!

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Christine Cunningham

Creating art from recycled materials using traditional methods (applique, patchwork, quilting) with a modern exploration into fabric manipulation and padded structure. Unusual materials include hair, plastic, rubber, metal, disintegrating fabrics and found objects. I source my treasures from carboot sales, charity shops and freecycle. Original poetry captures the essence of an experience, an emotional layering to which the viewer can relate on a personal level. I have two bodies of work. The Natural Collection explores abstract flower design and the seasons, religion, visions of India and Buddhism, childhood nostalgia and the seaside. The Womanhood Collection explores natural states of being including breast cancer, sexuality, the ageing process, anatomy, love, fragility and independence. I was inspired by my own experiences of breast cancer, both the physical brutality and fragility of living in the aftermath.

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