Thursday, 9 January 2014
I had never heard of Sashiko until about a year ago when I came across it in The Gentle Art of Stitching.
It's a Japanese craft and involves stitching in quite thick thread in running stitch on a linen type fabric. I bought the indigo patterned fabric as a pre-printed square with the lines for you to stitch on already marked. You use sashiko thread which is a heavy cotton and is used double in a sharp and fairly large needle. If you like hand-sewing this is the ultimate relaxation. This was my very first attempt and although the stitching is not very neat I still think it looks really effective. I sat in the garden last summer and did this. I didn't use a frame and I suppose that is why the fabric looks a bit wrinkly - but I like the kind of homespun effect of this.
This is my second attempt here
Once I had finished the sashiko stitching I just added a border in some Kaffe Fassett shot cotton and then made a quilt sandwich with wadding and a bit of curtain lining. I then hand quilted the stripes on the border with some embroidery thread. To finish I added a back to the cushion cover also in shot cotton.
I ordered all my Sashiko supplies from the excellent Euro Japan Links. The kits are not expensive and I think would make a lovely gift for someone who likes to sew. I then bought a book to find out more about sashiko. This was The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook by Susan Briscoe. It's a lovely and fascinating book to read and also has some really nice patterns for more advanced sashiko. I haven't got beyond the kits yet but I am sure I will one day. I notice Susan has a blog too, here. So if you fancy something stitchy that's easy and relaxing then I would definitely give it a try. Talking of which I need some relaxing craft at the moment. My new year project (yellow/orange/brown half log cabin quilt - see here) is giving me big headaches. More of that soon :(