Showing posts with label Sashiko. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sashiko. Show all posts

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. :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sashiko Style

This book has been on my list to review since I started doing book reviews.  The Quilt Show is about to do a show that features sashiko, so now seems like the perfect time!

Sashiko Style (Japan Publications Trading Co. & Joie, Inc., 2007) was originally published in Japanese, and this edition was translated into English by Yoko Ishiguro.  As you can see on the cover, it has instructions for 18 traditional and elegant projects.  By far its main strength, though, are the detailed and thorough instructions for how to actually do sashiko.  I bought Paradise Stitched by Sylvia Pippen at the same time as this one, and while she has some really beautiful designs, the instructions are very thin.  So I would recommend this book no matter whose designs you end up trying.

I was very interested to learn that sashiko originated as a counted thread technique, that was done to give additional strength to loosely woven cloth. Now it is more of a decorative technique, and you do not have to count, although this book does give instructions for counting if you want to.

If you have read any of the Japanese quilting magazines, you know how thorough they are with diagrams and photos of the instructions.  This book has the added bonus of being translated into English!   

All the basics are covered - starting and stopping the stitching, what do to do if you run out of thread in the middle, preparing the fabric, drafting and marking the designs, all the project instructions, everything!  It also includes several pages that catalog many of the traditional stitching patterns for you to use in your own designs:

Even with all this, it is not a huge book.  There is no fluff.  It has everything you need, and nothing you don't.  It also includes a pull-out pattern at the back for all the projects in the book.

For me though, the biggest payoff was an unexpected one.  I have long wondered how exactly the Japanese do their hand piecing for patchwork.  Have you ever seen it?  It seems so fast and easy.  Here is a video from Yoko Saito's Quilt Party channel:

How exactly is she holding the needle?  The same way you do sashiko!  It is thoroughly explained in this book.  Although I haven't tried it yet, I will soon.  I already know the project I want to do.

So once again, this is another book I highly recommend!

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