Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sashiko

Sashiko is a combination of two Japanese words: sashi (to stitch or pierce) and ko (small). Sashiko is a stitching technique originally used to patch and reinforce the indigo blue fabric garments worn by Japanese fisherman. Now it is more of a decorative technique than for a utilitarian purpose. The stitch is a running, or quilting, type stitch with the top part of the stitch longer than the underneath part.  The key to making it beautiful is a consistent stitch length.

I took Lois Kershner’s Sashiko class at the Chicago EGA National Seminar.  The project was a vest, but you could make a table runner if the vest didn’t appeal to you.  I chose the table runner option. Here is Lois showing the front and back of her vest.


I loved how hers looked, but wasn’t so happy with mine.  The even consistent stitches take a lot of practice. I had taken four classes at that seminar, so when I got home, I put the sashiko project away and worked on other things, thinking I would come back to it later.  A year or two later, Lois had a table at merchandise night at Calloway School of Needlearts and was selling a kit for a small sashiko project.  I bought it, thinking I could practice with the smaller project before going back to the class project from Chicago.  So that made two unfinished sashiko projects.  If you will recall, I recently purchased a small printed piece of sashiko cloth when I went to the mall here. My thinking on this was that I could stitch the printed stitch lengths to get the hang of even length stitches.  Here’s what I have done so far.



Even with the printed fabric, it is difficult to make the stitches the same length all the time.  As you can see, there are a lot of stitches yet to do, so maybe I will get the hang of it by the time I complete this.

Here’s the link to Lois Kershner’s website: http://www.loiskershner.com/sashiko_embroidery

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