yoko saito : leader of taupeism
By Patricia Belyea
TOKYO, JP Yoko Saito has emerged as a global quilting leader with her quiet shades of taupe and fastidious attention to detail. If you want to see her at the International Great Quilt Festival in Tokyo this week, head to the Quilt Party booth. There you’ll find Yoko meticulously signing books for a long line-up of fans.
Yoko ambitiously presents a special exhibit each year at the Quilt Festival. For 2016, her group of students celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter with “The World of Peter Rabbit.”
Beatrix Potter, one of the world’s best loved children’s authors, wrote and illustrated a total of 28 books. The low-volume palette in Beatrix’s illustrations translates well to Yoko’s philosophy of taupe in quilting.
The focal quilt for the exhibit was created by Yoko herself—centering on superstar Peter Rabbit and his friends:
In the exhibit, a series of students’ quilts show illustrations from Beatrix’s Little Books transformed into exacting quilt reproductions:
Original compositions and larger reproductions of illustrations take the level of difficulty up a few notches for Yoko’s more advanced students:
In the center of the exhibit, The World of Peter Rabbit comes to life with an oversized tree trunk and a cast of miniature characters:
It’s easy to be impressed with the creativity and dedication that produced this exhibit.
Before I left the Quilt Festival, I stopped by the Quilt Party booth. The line was short so I was quickly face-to-face with Yoko. What a polite and gentle woman. I bought Yoko’s most recent book and, like everyone else, I had her sign it.
If this was your 1000th autograph for the day, would it be so precise? That’s sums up Yoko Saito.
If you’re interested in purchasing English-translated editions of some of Yoko Saito’s books, please visit Stitch Publications +click here
If you’re thinking about visiting Japan, check out Okan Arts Japan Travel page for tips and recommendations +click here