At Schoolhouse this fall, Yoko Saito introduced her fans to her gorgeous Centenary 23 fabric line, available in 2018. You can see all 61 fabrics in the collection on Lecien’s website. As she showed the fabrics, she gave wonderful tips about how she incorporates the various fabrics into quilts.
Yoko Saito’s Tips for Appliques
The Centenary 23 fabric line included several fabulous brown prints, suitable for trees. Saito-san recommended using the prints vertically for tree appliques, and horizontally for representing paths or streets.
She was also insistent that quilters use more than one fabric for tree appliques, because no tree has just one color!
Several of her fabrics incorporated leaves and trees, and gave completely different effects when viewed up close or from a distance.
Saito-san encouraged us to consider using both sides of the fabric, as sometimes the backside of the fabric provides the right amount of color and a softer design.
Using Fabric as a Design Element
Saito-san is renowned for her extremely detailed, intricate appliques and quilting, so I was delighted with her tip about selecting background fabrics. She said that using a subtly busy print for the background makes it look like you appliqued more than you really did.
The Centenary 23 collection includes a basket print in several color options. She created this print because she loves Nantucket baskets. She recommends using the basket weave print in sashings.
One of my favorite prints from the new collection is this stunning black and red print. It’s such a contrast to most of her palette, but it works perfectly with the other fabrics.
The new collection also includes new Etoffe Improvue linens for clothing. Here is Saito-san modeling one of the three new linen prints in her gorgeous tunic.
Saito-san hinted that one of her new quilting books will also include patterns for making clothing, and knitting! I’m starting to learn knitting NOW so I’ll be ready by the time this book is available in English (a couple of years down the road!)
So, that’s it for my Schoolhouse recap! Next week I will be sharing photos from Saito-san’s exhibit at Market and Festival.