Hand-appliqued houses with Yoko Saito (video) 📹

We’re pleased to bring you Yoko Saito books in English, published by Stitch Publications and distributed by Martingale. And today we’ve got a new video of Ms. Saito in action, sharing a technique from her book Houses, Houses, Houses!because house quilts are hot!

This celebrated Japanese quilter is known for her exquisite appliqué, and in Houses, Houses, Houses! she explores quilted dwellings in all kinds of designs, from quilts and bags to pillows, pouches, and three-dimensional house-shaped blocks—34 step-by-step projects in all. You’ll also learn how to design your own house blocks, just like Yoko Saito does! Let’s take a look at how she appliqués her houses onto fabric. (And if you do hand appliqué, you won’t want to miss the two clever tools she uses to prepare her pieces—brilliant!).

Reading this post in email? Click here to view the video.

The way she turns those seams—we think that might be the best idea ever for prepping appliqué pieces with straight edges!

Here are just a few beautiful projects from the book:

Stairs Bag by Yoko Saito
Stairs Bag

Town on a Hill Carry-All by Yoko Saito
A Town on a Hill Carry-All

Block-of-the-Month II Quilt by Yoko Saito
Block-of-the-Month II Quilt

Here are some inspirational words from Yoko Saito’s Houses, Houses, Houses!

Yoko Saito“The wonderful thing about appliqués of houses is that anyone can easily create one of their own. Even if you start with the same basic house pattern, just changing the fabric used for the walls or roof will make it completely unique. You can get creative and think about changing the shape of a door, or making it appear as if there is a light shining out of a window. You can even add trees outside the house. It’s almost as though you are young again and playing with blocks, putting them together however you desire.

Ideas for house blocks can come from anywhere. You might stop and sketch a building that you see on a corner when you are out walking, find one in a picture book, or be inspired by a photo you took while on holiday. I hope this book sparks your imagination and encourages you to create your own original house.”

Watch more Yoko Saito videos on hand sewing Log Cabins and stitching elegant vine appliqués.

What kinds of abodes would you build with Houses, Houses, Houses?

  • Barns, churches, and mom-and-pop shops: I like the country life.
  • City skyscrapers: the sky’s the limit!
  • A friendly neighborhood with houses all in a row.

Tell us which you’d stitch in the comments!

63 Comments (leave a comment)

  • I’d stitch a friendly neighborhood- using the houses in which my children live (not in the same neighborhood in real life).

    —Mary Hawthorne on March 23, 2018
  • All = I love quilts with buildings!

    —Judy B on March 23, 2018
  • That is hard to choose just one. Probably would be the Barns, churches and mom & pop shops. You could space them out farther and add some country side. I have been wanting to try my hand at applique and I love the houses in her book. I work in Cincinnati and sometimes when I come into the city I see things that would make a great quilt. The city pictures would be more modern and the country would be more rustic. It is on my bucket list but I’d better get working because that bucket is getting closer. Great book. 🙂

    —Kay Menefee on March 23, 2018
  • I LOVE the country life!

    —Jetta on March 23, 2018
  • I would put a modern spin on it and build a dome home. I recently made a dome home block for our guild quilt.

    —Debbie Eide on March 23, 2018
  • Beautiful work! Can’t wait till I get my book so I can try it!

    —Ruth Gregg on March 23, 2018
  • Beautiful appliqué! I love the country look.

    —Cheryl on March 23, 2018
  • Amazing work! I Love the country Life mixed with rustic charm. We have a twin here called Bisbee know for its 10,000 steps. It’s built on the side of a mountain. Your stairs bring beautiful memories! I’d love to be able to replicate that scene.

    —Michele Cais on March 23, 2018
  • A friendly neighborhood with houses all in a row.

    —Martha Morgan on March 23, 2018
  • The country life is my life. Love all the houses, especially the barn and churches

    —Alice on March 23, 2018
  • Oh! That I could get such great results. I’m leaning to the rustic look.

    —Darla on March 23, 2018
  • I would do country scenes, a barn, farm house, trees maybe and animal or 2. Such fun!!

    —Joanne O'Neal on March 23, 2018
  • I’d stitch barns and churches. I love the country life. It is so restful, and I feel so fortunate

    —stephanie woodward on March 23, 2018
  • I love the houses! Beautiful projects!

    —Mary Kastner on March 23, 2018
  • Any and all! have always loved house blocks and scenes. Country girl but I even love the silhouetted cityscapes. When counted cross stitch was my hobby of first choice I did house patterns.

    Saito-sensei is making me love taupes… her boundless imagination and creativity, wow! (sensei means teacher, and is used as a title… she’s teaching us a lot)

    —Sharon Schipper on March 23, 2018
  • I think I’d do a friendly neighbourhood, which would include houses, churches, barns, and quite a few trees. Her designs are so beautiful and homey.

    —Carol Johnson on March 23, 2018
  • I love them all but especially the storage tot!

    —Chris Day on March 23, 2018
  • Churches and mom and pop shops. Well barns too! Oh what exquisite work she does!

    —Donna Rowe on March 23, 2018
  • Well…I live in the country, so I guess I will say I like the country style. That said…I love them all.

    —Sue on March 23, 2018
  • Row houses are common in the part of Newfoundland where I live so that’s what I would sew

    —Rochelle on March 23, 2018
  • I would probably do the country life applique because it is such a more relaxed lifestyle.

    —Lillian K on March 23, 2018
  • I would do some little cottages by the sea!!

    —Maria Elena Blecha on March 23, 2018
  • I grew up in the country and would do the country life first. Have such vivid memories of barns, tiny churches, and country stores.

    I love everything that Yoko Saito designs!! Look forward to getting this book

    —Rosemary E. on March 23, 2018
  • I would build a beautiful neighborhood with houses all in a row.

    Sandy on March 23, 2018
  • Small town living, with its quirky architecture, fun little one-of-a-kind shops, and town characters. In my home town, we had to count the dogs and cats to get the population over 300! That’s the kind of town I’d like to portray.

    —Brenda on March 23, 2018
  • I’d love to make the Town on a Hill carry-all. I’d also love to have a pair of those slippers!

    I’m with you, Nancy – those slippers look so cozy! 🙂 –Jenny

    —Nancy Angelo on March 23, 2018
  • I spent a month in Scandinavia last year and I would like to make a quilt with all the colorful buildings on the waterfront in Bergen, Norway which is near my grandfather’s ancestral farm.

    —Laurel Lee Pedersen on March 23, 2018
  • I love old barns. Driving cross country you see all kinds of barns. I would make a red Barn quilt. Using many different red fabrics.

    —Mary Ann Thompson on March 23, 2018
  • I just love house quilts, especially Yoko Saito’s wonderful houses!
    What lovely designs!

    —Györgyi Varga on March 23, 2018
  • Historic buildings so they would never disappear.

    —Ellen Hollows on March 23, 2018
  • Where can I find the rubber mat? I can only find sandpaper. I think the rubber makes the creasing work better. Thank you.

    Hi Debra, I think you’ll find what you’re looking for at this link. I recently ordered a ring cutter from this website, who (I think) ships from Ms. Saito’s quilt shop internationally, and the shipping was quick – I’m thrilled to have a ring cutter like her! –Jenny

    —Debra on March 23, 2018
  • So beautiful! I am inspired!

    Karmen on March 23, 2018
  • I’ve actually been planning to create some "map quilts" with cul-de-sac neighborhoods (rooftopped Dresden blocks), parks, schools, and actual historic (small town) "Main Street" rows. Ms. Saito’s applique techniques in this book and more nature-hued, neutral color palettes are giving my plans a helpful direction.

    The cover of the book "Houses, Houses, Houses" initially made me think of patterns from the early 1980’s. With those, crafters appliqued and quilted fabric covers for recipe boxes and other storage containers to make them look like houses (and usually didn’t sew one side of the roof shut so it could be flipped open). But that era used very bright calico fabrics, so they have a very, very different look when compared to Ms. Saito’s calm taupes.

    —Marty on March 23, 2018
  • House in the country for me – lots of open space, trees, indications of Mother Nature.

    —Sandy May on March 23, 2018
  • I would make them all in different projects. Her work is magical!

    —Marie Eddins on March 23, 2018
  • This is hands down the most beautiful projects I have seen lately, would love to own the container

    —Pat Urbaeck on March 23, 2018
  • A friendly neighborhood with houses all in a row.
    I have many quilts with houses because I love doing that.

    —Micheline Bouvier on March 23, 2018
  • I love, love, love houses, always wanted to be an architect. I would do Barns, churches, shops & a friendly neighborhood, love the country and rustic look. She is amazing. Love all of her work. Thank you!!!!

    —Lisa on March 23, 2018
  • I would be interested in the barns, houses etc. Looks like very interesting work.

    —Peggy on March 23, 2018
  • A friendly neighborhood – maybe a replica of my own!

    —Laura on March 23, 2018
  • I did one that had the bus go all around town. Each place different.

    —Linda Christianson on March 23, 2018
  • Beautiful work. I would very much like to know if Yoko is using the sewing needle no 12 for appliqués and what is the thread she is using. Single strand thread? Because the eye of needle no 12 is very small….
    Thank you. I am doing the mystery quilt 2012 and enkoy it very much…

    How wonderful that you are stitching the mystery quilt, Edith! I looked in the Houses, Houses, Houses! book and the general supplies call for three types of thread: basting thread, quilting thread, and sewing thread. Any kind of sewing thread appropriate for hand or machine sewing would suffice for the applique – but yes, I agree, that #12 needle is a trick to thread! A needle threader may come in handy. 🙂 –Jenny

    —Edith Gravel on March 23, 2018
  • I’m a country gal so I would make the barns, churches and mom-and-pop shops.

    —stitchin'mom on March 23, 2018
  • I love the seaside villages of Italy and Greece. Azure blue seas, tiled robes, whitewashed homes and indygo blue flowers. Yum.

    —Sharon on March 23, 2018
  • I live on an island in the Pacific Northwest with many old preserved historical homes. I would use these as the basis for my houses – I can see the quilt in my mind’s eye right now!

    —Marta on March 23, 2018
  • I like to make a friendly neighborhood. Love love yoko saito’s work!!

    —Pam on March 23, 2018
  • I am making one with city homes a lot of trees and include a Church and a store like a variety/toy store-(still adding)

    —ELIZAJANE on March 23, 2018
  • For me the most important thing in life "neighbourhood houses".

    —Liz on March 24, 2018
  • Thanks for the video, I love to watch her work. I love making machine stitched houses but need more hand projects so will definitely give it a try with both country and city scapes.

    —Alfreda R. on March 24, 2018
  • I like the country life appeals to me. I have always been a small town girl.

    Kristie on March 24, 2018
  • I think I would end up doing them all!!

    —Shirley Jobson on March 24, 2018
  • Adorable items – love the video of how to use the Hera and roller for crisp edges – very interesting designer!

    —Ali on March 25, 2018
  • I have done a quilt with some of the significant houses from my life, but am looking to do one with buildings from the university I work at.

    —Peggy Hallstrom on March 25, 2018
  • I’d make a sweet neighborhood, with tree-lined streets. These designs look adorable.

    —Carole S. on March 26, 2018
  • I would go from barns to churches. I love them all

    —Dixie Walls on March 26, 2018
  • I store my scraps in Elfa storage drawers. Thanks for the chance to win!
    @carlapschattle. Schattle@sbcglobal.net

    —Carla on March 26, 2018
  • I’m a city girl who dreams of living in the country, so probably a bit of both!

    —Lyn on March 26, 2018
  • Barns first, then houses in a row!

    —Nancy Loge on March 26, 2018
  • Churches, barns, all styles of houses; large and impressive + small and cozy.

    —Nancy on March 27, 2018
  • I thin churches would be my choice.

    —Patricia Newhouse on March 29, 2018
  • Love the Country Life…these are so adorable!

    barb h on April 20, 2018
  • First mine, which are few, and then nature to go along. Cheers, her work is exquisite.

    —carol on April 25, 2018
  • I would stitch them all. Great tutorial.

    —Julie Taylor on October 5, 2018

Leave a comment

*Indicates required field