Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sashiko Inspiration

Best Friends Forever Month 5.4

Back in July I was just starting Month 5 of Best Friends Forever, and looking for a new way to fill in the large circle in the centre of this motif, when my blogging friend Jillian took a class on Kantha embroidery. The criss crossing running stitch of that technique reminded me of some Japanese sashiko stitch designs:

I reviewed this book back in 2012. I decided to try out one of my favourite sashiko patterns for this motif. The grid was marked with a water erasable marker:

I stitched around the circle with stem stitch first.  This gave me an anchor for the lines of sashiko:

The stitches look loose here because I tried to blot out the blue ink before I took the photo. Not very well! But they are fine after a proper rinse. The back is cute too:

You can see how I was able to weave the ends into the stem stitch border.

This was the first part of Month 5 to be stitched, and then the motif languished while I stitched all the others. I really was low on ideas on how to colour and stitch the rest of it. In the end it is a little different - the first motif that doesn't have any yellow - and I am satisfied with it.

Plus, after my six week holiday from this project, I am refreshed and full of new ideas for Month 6! Three months left. :)


  1. How cool is that! It's a great centre - really works with the design. The whole thing is so unified and fresh. I agree the back looks pretty good to - might think about putting that into a Kantha design when I grow up.

    1. Young at heart, Jillian, young at heart! Thanks for the inspiration -- it's fun to see where it starts sometimes, isn't it?

  2. the centre has worked so very well and the finished piece looks lovely

  3. Perfection as usual. I have several books on sashiko as well. My attempts at it were not very good. Well, let's be honest. They were horrible. But I haven't put the time in on learning the skill, so I guess the poor results are predictable. Inspiration can come from many sources and this turned out really well.

    By the way, I was able to find a copy of "Primitive Quilts" at Jo Ann's. Jacks and Cats is on my to do list. Probably will do a smaller version of nine blocks - four cats and five wonky log cabins or vice versa - in normal quiling cottons and/or homespuns. Like you, I doubt I could find a variety of orange flannels, even for my smaller version. Plus there is a smallish project that I also like. It's the one with the apples and barn on p. 11. No velvet for me, though.

  4. Great choice for the center of your motif. Beautiful front and impressively tidy back.

    Interesting how sashiko comes to the rescue. I just finished a set of placemats where I was at a loss as to how to fill in the corner sections; I also found inspiration in my sashiko books. After checking out your 2012 blog on sashiko, I decided one can never have too many reference books, so off to Amazon I go. Thanks for the review.

    1. Thank you! I like this book so much because it is completely authentic, published by NHK and written for a Japanese audience first, and only later translated into English. I hope you can find a deal!

  5. That looks interesting! I have never done sashiko.


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