Sashiko Patterns, Projects and Resources

Sashiko-Japanese quilting
sot/Getty Images

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...MORE are all worked with a form of running stitch. 

  • 01 of 10
    Sashiko Pattern
    Cheryl C. Fall/About.com

    To get started with sashiko, try these ​free traditional patterns. Here you can find full-size patterns for each design, as well as a diagram showing you how to work the sashiko stitch. When you finish the first eight, check out the second set here.

  • 02 of 10
    The Purl Bee Sashiko Pattern
    The Purl Bee

    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.

  • 03 of 10
    Studio Aika Sashiko Project
    Studio Aika

    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.

  • 04 of 10
    20 Sashiko Tutorials & Projects
    Radiant Home Studios

    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.
  • 05 of 10
    Shibori Dragon

    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!

  • 06 of 10
    Simple Sashiko Towel
    Mollie Johanson/About.com

    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.

  • 07 of 10
    Clip from Sashiko Video
    Susan Briscoe

    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.

  • 08 of 10
    Sashiko Sachet
    Sashiko Sachet. Mollie Johanson/About.com

    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.
  • 09 of 10
    Sewing machine
    with love from Iceland/Getty Images

    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.

  • 10 of 10
    Quilt.com

    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.