It’s a Yoko Saito kind of day . . .

When you want to take a little time from your busy day and dream about fabric, color, pattern, design, and whatever else floats your creative boat, there are a lot of quilters we all look to. But Japanese master quilt artist Yoko Saito uniquely inspires us all. Her quilts are magnificent, her bags are astonishing, and everything she creates carries an air of sophistication and elegance.

From Yoko Saito through the Years
Close up of Nantucket Baskets, from
Yoko Saito through the Years

Satomi Funamoto, Yoko Saito, and Priscilla KnobleWe had the privilege of meeting Ms. Saito (center, with friend and business associate Satomi Funamoto, left, and translator/owner of Stitch Publications, Priscilla Knoble, right) when she visited the United States in the fall of 2017. She was gracious and approachable, spending most of her time with her translator so her fans could talk to her, and she to them. Small in stature and wearing a quiet smile, she greeted each quilter, bowing to accept their kind (sometimes gushing) words about her work.

Imagine how excited we were when Ms. Saito allowed us to videotape her as she demonstrated how she pieces and appliqués by hand. We captured four videos, which are now on our Youtube channel. Watch Ms. Saito piecing Log-Cabin blocks by hand, making hand-appliquéd houses, creating slim (and we mean slim) appliquéd vines, and demonstrating her lightning-fast running stitch.

Yoko Saito's Beautiful Bags, Pouches & Quilts

Her latest book, Yoko Saito’s Beautiful Bags, Pouches & Quilts, features 25 enchanting projects, from small, simple pieced and appliquéd pouches . . .

Half-Square-Triangle Mini Pouch and Little Bird Mini Pouch
Half-Square-Triangle Mini Pouch and Little Bird Mini Pouch

. . . to a grand two-color, geometric-style quilt:

Geometric Wall Hanging
Geometric Wall Hanging

The breathtaking bags in the book reveal some of Ms. Saito’s favorite things—nature:

Wheat Harvest Single-Handle Bag
Wheat Harvest Single-Handle Bag

Birds:

Heart & Bird Project Basket
Heart & Bird Project Basket

And animals—which, with Ms. Saito’s interpretations, always inspire a smile:

Card Cases
Card Cases

Yes, it’s a Yoko Saito kind of day.

Yoko Saito's Beautiful Bags, Pouches & QuiltsIf you’re ever in need of time to relax, dream, and recharge your creative batteries—whether you have just a bit of down time on a lunch break or an entire day to yourself—may we invite you to make it a Yoko Saito day? Her work will inspire you, her methods will teach you, and her books will allow you to slow down and reignite your creativity, over and over again.

See more books from Yoko Saito here.

Which Yoko Saito book would you love to own (or which books do you already own)? Tell us in the comments.


54 Comments (leave a comment)

  • I have three of her books, one quilt, one bags and one embroidery. Love her subtle colors and meticulous work! I’m going to have to buy this one I think!
    Thank you, Saito-sensei, for all your inspiration and teaching!

    —Sharon S on September 25, 2019
  • Beautiful Bags Pouches and Quilts – but love all of them!

    —Brenda Hayes on September 25, 2019
  • Beautiful Bags, Pouches & Quilts book is the one I would like.

    —Joann on September 25, 2019
  • I do own this one. I love the book; however, I have not started a project from it yet. Hopefully, someday, I will.

    Danette Stankovich on September 25, 2019
  • I would love to make a bag from the beautiful bag and pouch book

    —Judy Thompson on September 25, 2019
  • I have several of Yoko’s books and I love looking at them. I really want to make the handbag with the shear on it so I guess I will have to order ANOTHER book.

    Ha ha, we know that feeling, Barbara! –Jenny

    —Barbara Daniel on September 25, 2019
  • Beautiful Bags Pouches and Quilts looks like a lot of fun!

    —Eilene Hengen on September 25, 2019
  • I have Housewarming Patchwork and New Classic Patchwork and a small stash of fabrics set aside in a bin labelled ‘Yoko Saito fabrics’. Her projects are very appealing!

    —MoeWest on September 25, 2019
  • Although I have several of her books, this one is one I need! What wonderful inspirational talent!!

    —Viv on September 25, 2019
  • Since I basically machine piece, I would really like to add her Traditional Block Patterns book. I usually use strong contrast in my colors and have to work hard to get the sophisticated blend that Yoko uses in her work.

    —Carol Schon on September 25, 2019
  • I own her woolworks book but would love to have this one with the bags and pouches. I already see these projects being great as gifts. She’s such a wonderful designer.

    —Barb S on September 25, 2019
  • Do not own any…would love to have one. WOW what a talent

    —Geri on September 25, 2019
  • Beautiful Bags is a gorgeous book! Love her intricate hand work. Thanks for the give away!

    —Cheryl Sedlar on September 25, 2019
  • I would love to own any and all of Yoko Saito’s books! The elegance of those bag designs just takes my breath away. 🙂

    —Jane S on September 25, 2019
  • I would love to own the book Houses, Houses, Houses!

    —Gail N on September 25, 2019
  • Love Yoko Saito’s style! I own the Traditional Block Patterns book. I love to hand piece and am trying to learn hand piecing the way Yoko Saito does hers.

    —Vicki Sprain on September 25, 2019
  • Who wouldn’t want Beautiful Bags, Pouches and Quilts, or any other Yoko Saito book? I have only Yoko Saito Through the Years.

    —SandyMay on September 25, 2019
  • I think I’d like to try "Strolling Along Paths of Green".

    —Gail on September 25, 2019
  • Her books are all sensational! I would love to have”. The bags I love to carry. Her choice of colors is always so interesting! Thank you for sending the video of her work

    —Kathy g on September 25, 2019
  • I don’t own any of her books, but I can see that I need to get this one!

    Donna Murdock on September 25, 2019
  • I have admired Yoko Saito’s worK forever, since I first seen her work. I think her book 120 Original Embroidery designs would be the best of all. I would pick the book of little houses but, it HAS NOT BEEN PRINTED YET!

    It’s coming this November, Althea! https://www.shopmartingale.com/yoko-saitos-i-love-houses.html

    —Althea Klosterman on September 25, 2019
  • I’m pretty new to the quilting, but I have been in awe of ms. Saito’s work for a couple of years. I just can’t believe that one little Japanese lady can produce all this beauty. I’d love to own a piece of her work or any book that shows how she makes her bags and Wallhangings.

    —Glenda Hollander on September 25, 2019
  • I want to own all of them, but I really like this book on beautiful bags

    —Sue Smith on September 25, 2019
  • I knew I loved Yoko Saito’s designs but I didn’t realize I had FIVE of her books. Yoko Saito Through the Years, Japanese Taupe Color Theory, Japanese Quilting Piece by Piece, Housewarming Patchwork, and 138 Original Applique Designs. My sister gave me a wall hanging kit of Yoko Saito’s for my birthday this year. And last weekend I was to a craft show and picked up a jelly roll of Lucien’s Yoko Saito fabric. I am in heaven now.

    You are officially a collector of Yoko Saito books, Sherry – many of us are here too! Welcome to the club, ha ha! 🙂 –Jenny

    —Sherry Jurykovsky on September 26, 2019
  • They all look wonderful but Beautiful Bags Pouches and Quilts is the one I want.

    —Pamela J Jones on September 26, 2019
  • I love bags! I would definitely love to have “Yoko Saitos Beautiful Bags, Pouches and Quilts. I love the bag pictured on the cover of her book!

    —Elaine Czarnowski on September 26, 2019
  • Beautiful Bags! I think I have 2 of her other books. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE her work. So elegant. To beautiful to use.

    —Linda Ahn on September 26, 2019
  • I would love to have every one of her books. I think I have two.

    —Linda Ahn on September 26, 2019
  • I don’t own any, and this one looks amazing! I would definitely like to try something from her beautiful book.

    —Kyra Franz on September 27, 2019
  • Beautiful Bags, Pouches and Quilts

    Lorie McAnelly on September 27, 2019
  • I have 2 of her beautiful books and love this one, too!

    —Carol Porter on September 27, 2019
  • I love this new book! Would love to own it—even just to look at!

    —Vivian Lewis on September 27, 2019
  • I have 2 of her books and they are beautiful. Full of inspiration. I would own all of them, exceot bit orucey usually.

    —Lynne C on September 27, 2019
  • I don’t own any of her books, but I do have a beautiful quilt pattern of hers. I must put this book on my shopping list. It’s lovely.

    —Joan Moore on September 27, 2019
  • Her work is breath taking and would I love to have her book on bags, oh yes!

    —Gladys Bacon-Rust on September 27, 2019
  • I don’t own any yet.

    —Sharon Browne on September 27, 2019
  • I have admired Yoko Saito’s work before, it is so intriguing and understated. This new book Beautiful Purses, Pouches & Bags looks like I’ll finally own one. So lovely!

    —Debra on September 27, 2019
  • I would adore her wool works book thank for this opportunity

    —Millissa Masters on September 27, 2019
  • I have a couple of her marvelous books, and would love to add this one to my collection. Love the cat pouch!

    —Susan MacLeod on September 27, 2019
  • Unfortunately, I don’t yet own any of these books. Soon!

    —bookboxer on September 27, 2019
  • I love her work. I wish I had her super powers. Any book I see I want, but would love any of them.

    —Vicki Allen on September 27, 2019
  • this is the first time i’ve heard of Ms Saito her work is wonderful and very inspiring thanks bobbie

    —bobbie rumler on September 27, 2019
  • I don’t own any of her books, yet. I would love to love this one to my collection – I’m inspired!

    —Teresa C in California on September 27, 2019
  • I would love to own her new book, Beautiful Purses, Pouches and Bags. Love her work, I have watched a few short videos of her work and can’t wait to try her patterns.

    —Margaret Campbell on September 27, 2019
  • Love the beautiful colours, wonderful lady
    dy

    —Sandy McPherson on September 27, 2019
  • I don’t own any of Yoko Saito’s books, although I’ve seen her work and admired it. Recently I tried needle-turn appliqué and discover that I love it! Now I know that I will want to learn from Ms. Saito, although I don’t know where to begin.

    —Beth T. on September 27, 2019
  • I too have a couple of her books and would love to have Beautiful Purses, Pouches, and Bags! Lovely work!

    —Susanne Zientarski on September 27, 2019
  • I have been a fan forever it seems. I love to make bags so Beautiful Purses, Pouches and Bags.

    —Rosemary Barron on September 28, 2019
  • I have admired her from all your stories and highlights about this amazing artist! I would love to own my first book!BEAUTIFUL PuRSES and BAGS! And I see several items I would love to learn and create.

    —Alfreda Rupert on September 28, 2019
  • EXQUISITELY BEAUTIFUL!!!!They are no other words.

    Barb H. on September 29, 2019
  • I have seen quite a few examples of her work – so inspiring. Do not own any of her books – but would love to 🙂

    —Susi on September 30, 2019
  • Sadly I have none but have long been an admirer of her work. I’m inspired by several images here. I’d love to tackle that geometric wall quilt!!

    —Wendy on September 30, 2019
  • I have Strolling Along Paths if Green and Houses Houses Houses.

    —Susan Ikin on October 1, 2019
  • I could only be so fortunate as to own all of her books. I would especially love to own her Traditional Block Patterns and her Floral Bouquet Quilts. Her newest book I Love Houses looks wonderful as well. Thanks for the opportunity.

    —Ann West on October 3, 2019

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