Japan has some legendary quilters and one of the most renowned quilt shows in the world: the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival. So it's no wonder needle arts junkies get excited when a new Japanese quilting book hits the shelves. Japanese Quilting Piece by Piece by Yoko Saito (Interweave, 2012, softcover, $26.95) recently hit my desk. (It's newly translated from the Japanese version, which has been around since 2006.) And what a thump it was! This slim volume of 29 projects is a marvel of creativity and devotion to the pickiest aspects of this already picky craft. Saito's colour palette takes cues from both Japanese rough-hewn hand-dyes and rustic North American homespun fabrics. There are beautiful dove greys, pinky browns and subtle earthy dabs of colour in her patchwork. It's a cosy palette for a cold winter day – like an old quilt your great-grandmother made and passed down. The nerd in me loves the design of each project in this book. There are clearly marked material lists, step-by-step instructions and diagrams, including clear how-tos for some of the more obscure techniques. There's also a fat packet of mostly full-size templates included at the back – no fussy enlarging on a photocopier (or graph paper) for all but two of the projects. Now, mind you, these aren't projects for the beginning (or impatient) quilter. But if you're looking for a challenge you can sink your needle into, then this book could be your ticket to creative glory. Anyone dedicated enough to take on one of these projects?