A week ago I attended Yoko Saito’s class at the Norwegian Quilter’s Associaton’s annual meeting. It was a class with a master.
Despite a rather bad interpreter, we all felt she came across as a warm, generous and humorous woman. When it comes to her enormous skills and artistry: Had quilting been generally accepted as the artform it truly is, she would have been given the title professor a long time ago.
Here are some impressions of the two quilts in the exhibition area. The workmanship is astonishing, and the use of motifs shows the mind of a truly creative soul.
Baskets – she told us of her love of baskets, and that she is now studying the making of Nantucket baskets.
The “Talking houses” quilt below hung in the class room. Ms. Saito I believe has set a goal – to gently encourage a younger audience to pick up their needle and thread. The houses in this quilt were made during a period when she went to – if I remember correctly – shopping malls across Japan. She had a stand and sewed up a house on each occasion. Her view was that Japanese quilters had come to a level of artistry, that younger people might be “scared off” and think it too difficult an art form and never give it a try.
Full pictures of the three quilts are shown in May Britt’s post here.
And some are maybe a bit sceptical to hand piecing. So we were given a kit of wonderful taupe fabrics, told to cut with scissors strips and piece them together to small log cabin blocks. It was such a pleasure to sit with fellow enthusiasts and piece quietly. No buzzing sewing machines, no running back and forth to the ironing boards. Just stimulating conversation all around. And respectful and assertive tutoring from Ms. Saito and her wonderful co teacher Satomi Funamoto.
A picture of our class is shown at the end of Hanne’s lovely post.
Here are my log cabin blocks so far. I love that these humble blocks once assembled and appliqued to each other will make up a beautiful bag.
Slowly I am adapting to Ms. Saito’s sewing technique. She is sewing with such incredible speed.
The technique is demonstraded here by one of her students.
Another detail of one of the quilts.
Now I’m back in real life, and I have to run, because my kids are sick. Take care. More later.
Oh, one more thing: Emily was there too! She has written a wonderful report here.