For those of you who are fans of Yoko Saito and the world of Japanese taupism there are some good news!
Yoko Saito has written many books over the years. Unfortunately, those books haven’t been available in English. Most were translated to French so if you were willing to dig out your French 101 skills and a dictionary you could have ordered them from a European supplier but really…
But things seem to be changing for those of us who are not fluent in French or Japanese but are in love with Yoko Saito’s work. Not only has Interweave now put a couple of her books out in English, a new publishing company called Stitch Publications came into its own in the last few years with the primary purpose of making Yoko Saito and other Japanese quilt authors available to an English speaking audience.
I met the president, Pricilla Knoble, at quilt market in Houston last fall. She is the brain behind the lovely translations as well – she is fluent in both English and Japanese.Priscilla has a true passion for making the meticulous beauty of Japanese quilting available to all of us here in the US.
I obtained a copy of Yoko Saito’s Japanese Color Theory. It is a classic and I was really curious to see what the English Translation would be like. It is a much heftier volume than I had expected. The book includes very detailed examples about how to select colors and fabrics and it really opens your eyes to the rich subtleties of the taupe color world.
I thought it was particularly interesting that Yoko Saito apparently starts her color selection with thinking of a taste, smell, texture, etc and then emulates that in color. Having this book is a bit of a privilege because it offers some unique insights into how a true color expert thinks when she selects colors for her quilts.
The book doesn’t stop with giving us theory and examples on taupe color selection. It also includes numerous lovely projects for those who want to try their hands on some of Yoko Saito’s quilting projects. The photography is gorgeous, in that serene and zen way. Even if I never make a single project from this book, it is the kind of reading that I take to bed over and over and which will probably have me thinking all night about the fabrics hibernating in my sewing room downstairs.
Stitch Publications sells their books wholesale to the trade. Currently six of Yoko Saito’s books are available. You can contact your local quilt store and ask them to order a copy for you, or you can also visit Stitch Publication’s companion retail store which is Willow Lane Quilting Company. Be aware though, the retail store also has a beautiful collection of Yoko Saito’s fabric for Lecien available so depending on your level of self control, you may end up with some new taupe fabrics to try out with the book.