Sashiko is a form of Japanese folk embroidery using the basic running stitch to create a patterned background. The geometric patterns include straight or curved lines of stitching arranged in a repeating pattern. The Japanese word sashiko means little stabs and refers to the small stitches used in this form of needlework. Sashiko embroidery has been used in Japan for centuries, worked for both beauty and function. The designs in this style of embroidery can range from simple to complex, but they... are all worked with a form of running stitch.
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Mari at the Purl Soho blog has an outstanding sashiko tutorial, which includes materials, and stitching techniques using a pre-printed sashiko pattern.
In addition to the basics, Purl Soho has a few fun projects that feature sashiko designs.
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Studio Aika features a wealth of information on sashiko embroidery and offers kits and patterns for all skill levels.
You can also save and print their free Sashiko instructions which include information on handling sashiko thread, transferring designs for sashiko to fabric, working the basic sashiko stitch, and the best way to work with the Sashiko Sampler kit.
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Sara Curtis of Radiant Home Studios collected 20 great links for creating beautiful items with sashiko. When you're wondering what to make with your Japanese embroidery, this is a perfect place to start!Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Shibori Dragon is an online store offering an extensive selection of sashiko supplies, threads, stencils, fabrics, books and patterns. They have everything you need to try sashiko!
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For an easy project that's also useful, try this kitchen towel with a band of your favorite sashiko design. All you need is a colorful ready-to-stitch towel and some sashiko thread or perle cotton.
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Watch this video on making the fish scale stitch called urokozashi in sashiko, by pleating the stitches onto the needle. Susan Briscoe, author of the Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook, shows you how. To make it even simpler, she works with striped fabric so there's no need to transfer a pattern.
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For a smaller project, start with the free single sashiko patterns and frame. Then, sew your finished stitching into a sachet for your drawer. It's fast to put together and makes a great gift.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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Sashiko is traditionally worked by hand, but this tutorial from Sewing Machines Plus teaches you a free-motion, machine-made technique popular with quilters that is similar to hand-sewn sashiko.
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This detailed sashiko tutorial from Quilts.com features historical information about sashiko embroidery and quilting, and features free patterns you can stitch by hand or machine.