Monday, July 13, 2020

Stitch Club :: Sashiko

After exploring kantha-stitching for the first month of Alison Glass' Stitch Club, I was pretty excited to see what was up next. Sashiko! Something I have admired for sure but never ever dabbled with. I originally had three projects in mind, but ended up settling on just two, omitting the final one where I would actually mark a design on fabric.

So first, I used Alison's Observatory Pulsar in Meteorite, which actually has +s printed right on it. I chose the color I did as it was dark blue and off-white, a clear nod to traditional sashiko. I stitched right over the +s with #8 perle cotton, not traditional, but great for a first try. The design is called a modified Asagao, and I purposely stitched on an oblong piece of fabric - about 6 1/2" x 18" because I had a tentative final project in mind. And just for the record, I backed it with a length of Kona cotton for my stitching.

I really enjoyed the stitching! I suspect the distance between the +s was larger than might be traditional, and the finished stitching is somewhat loose, but it really was a fun way to go.

So having recently made a Modern Japanese Rice Bag using the pattern by @kzstevens, I thought that would be a perfect pattern to use with my very first sashiko piece. I forewent the boro patches and stitching and just let my saskiko be the focal point.

A favorite detail of this bag are the drawstring casings which are especially fun with a mix of fabrics.

And I was so happy that I had enough left of the Yoshiko Jinzenji fabric that I used in the first bag that I could use it for a bit of the exterior plus the lining of this new bag. The piece is Rose Petals - neutrals on gray. "arbre Rose" translated means "pink tree" in English.

For my second Sashiko project, I chose to purchase an all-over pattern printed on 100% cotton Sashiko cloth from a Japanese company. The one I chose was 12" square with a Kaku-Shippo design. I used an off-white Japanese sashiko cotton thread that I purchased from snuggly monkey with Tulip long sashiko needles. I enjoyed stitching this piece very very much.

Once complete, I chose a simple Table Mat pattern from Simple Sashiko by Susan Briscoe.

I used Essex Linen in Ivory for the backing, as it pretty much matched the thread I used. What drew me to this pattern, besides its simplicity and being something I would actually use, was the way the 'backing' peeks out on the sides by just 1/8", and is secured by hand-stitching. Something about that little detail really 'fit' for me.

So I don't expect that Sashiko will be my go-to stitching going forward, but I was more than happy to give it a try.

If you missed my June Stitch Club project, you'll find it here.


  1. Gorgeous thread adventuring! I’ve done Kantha stitching but haven’t tried Sashiko. Your finished projects really are unique.

  2. You dove right in to the July prompt and it's awesome that you already have not just two stitched panels but finished projects with the panels. I really like the elongated shapes you added to the pluses, and the extra hand stitching detail on the edges of the table mat are a lovely final touch.

  3. Super hand stitching! Timeless embellishment making the world a more beautiful place.

  4. both projects are beautiful! so glad you are enjoying handwork again

  5. How creative to use the print of a fabric to build a Sashiko design onto. I love that. And your bag turned out gorgeous! Since the first bag you made is actually being used for rice, will you put this one to work for yourself? Sashiko IS fun, I agree, but as you suggest, it's not my go-to handwork. It's great that your stitch club is giving you opportunities to try new things.

  6. I really like what you did with the panel in your first project. The texture must be so fun!