After a pleasant train jouney with my good friend and neighbor we arrived in Stokke. The view from our patio on Friday at Brunstad Conferanse Center, in Vestfold, Norway, between Stokke and Tønsberg. Our appartment overlooked some of the row house apartments of the complex.
We had a little time to settle in before heading up to our much anticipated class with the incredible Yoko Saito. Upon our arrival we found a delightful pack at each spot filled with gorgeous taupe fabrics, a photo of our project and the pattern. Most of us ripped into these goodies immediately and with much delight explored the many fabrics.
Here is Yoko Saito explaining that the three hour course is far too little time to start and complete the bag. That much I had gathered immediately upon seeing the photo of our project, and think it will likely take me weeks.
There were about 20 of us eager to learn any little quilting finesse we could. We took turns gathering around to soak up her knowledge. You can see how we squeezed in around her table, hovering over her, watching those lightening quick fingers as they demonstrated.
While the other half of the class was engrossed over Yokos magical hands, we were put to task: cut uneven strips of fabric from our lovely new stash. The pretty wooden tool was a gift from Yoko. It is a very handy Alex Andersen 4 in 1 tool. The facing end that you see in the photo is what you use to press the fabric instead of using an iron and board.
This is my first wonky log cabin block. We each made two during class, while the remainder of the time we were watching Yoko and learning. I don't think Yoko was impressed with our speed at hand sewing. After we had been stitching for a very short time she seemed to wonder if we were finished and then asked if we mostly used the sewing machine. That did seem to be the case for most everyone.
We learned we would only need 25 blocks to make the bag. When we are done with them we are to use turned edge appliqué to sew the blocks together in a haphazard fashion slightly larger then the pattern.
To arrange the blocks she told us to pin them in place onto the paper initially, when they are in the desired position we are then to pin the blocks to eacheother removing the pins from the paper.
She showed us what to wear on our fingers to protect our fingers and make it easier to push the needle through the layers.
The metal gear on her left thumb is a thread cutter. That really must make it quicker than locating the pair of scissors to cut the thread. I think I might get one of these. I must say the speed of her tiny perfect stiches was quite phenomenal.
I think this will take some practice.
Yoko and her assistant also went around the room checking to see what needle size we were using. I didn't have the correct size at all, mine were far too big! She suggests size 12 for sewing the fabrics together. This is a petit needle with a very small eye. If you look on the table you can just see her orange plastic needle threader. This might also be a good investment. I am sure that in another decade or two I will be thinking these clip on magnifying glasses will be just the thing too.
Yoko must have the worlds most extensive collection of quilted items. This seemed to be her sewing bag.
Here Yoko illustrates how we to baste the bag before quilting. I am now thinking this will take months not weeks.
Here we learn how to put the parts of the bag together. Meanwhile the translator is having trouble remembering that she is supposed to speak Norwgian to us, not Japanese. It is comical and we all get a bit confused.
I thought you might enjoy a few close ups of Yoko's bag.
The handles are so pretty with the cotton trim.
I really hope I remember all that I learned.
When I arrived home my family met me half way, dear husband helped me with my luggage. I don't think I have ever seen my daughter any happier. She was like a little puppy, bouncing around me and nearly knocking me over with all her hugs and kisses. It was nice to be missed. There is way more to tell, but I will have to wait for another day. For now here is the progress on tmy bag:
12 squares are done, 1 more nearly completed, leaving me with 12 left to go.
I hope you too have had a most satisfying weekend?