Sashiko – I did it my way!

I have long admired Sashiko – I love the simplicity of the stitches to create what look like really complex designs and the indigo blue fabric is amazing against the white thread.

A recent Birthday saw this lovely book come my way so I had every excuse to give it a go!

Sashiko Sourcebook Review

This book is beautiful with a fascinating insight in to the history of this technique and the people who used it. The photos and projects are gorgoeus and make you want to delve right in.

I gathered some of the more basic tools and decided to give one of the patterns a go. I did treat myself to some Hiroshima Sashiko Needles to compare the difference against the clover ones and I’m glad I did. The Clover were too thick and clumsy so the Hiroshima were what I used to stitch my design.

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Sashiko thread is a special thread from Japan – this one is from Olympus and had a similar weight to #8 perle cotton. The 100% cotton is lovely and soft in texture and nothing like any of the other threads I use often.

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Sashiko needles are really long in order for a few stitches to be taken through the fabric at once. The eyes are larger to accommodate the type of Sashiko thread you choose.

Sahiko Patterns each have a name and are symbolic. Running Stitch forms the design which are geometric repeats.

The choices in the book were endless (!) and a little overwhelming. Given the fact I was going to have to draw the design I decided to start with a fairly simple one and chose a traditional hemp leaf pattern.

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The book is dedicated to the proper techniques used from transferring the pattern to the actual stitching. Since I was interested in doing this purely for enjoyment and not to be a slave to the technique, it was at this point I went off track!

I decided that drawing a grid pattern directly on to the dark fabric was way beyond my patience level so decided to draw it on to some Sticky Fabri Solvy instead! The book does break down the pattern really well so you can see how to draw it simply so this was now a nice simple task that didn’t take too long!

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The stitching was really relaxing and easy to do as you are effectively following the lines with running stitch. Again, I didn’t follow the ‘rules’ with this..

You are supposed to take several stitches through at once to give a nice straight stitch line (hence the long needle) however I just couldn’t get comfy with this and did a stitch at a time (!) – a bit wonky is ok with me!

Also, traditionally a hoop is not used and for some reason this just hindered me to distraction so I hooped up and happily carried on stitching.

As you can see from the close up above, my stitches were not perfect and my centre star points were not as neat as they could be but all in all I was really happy with the result…

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Sashiko has so many gorgeous designs to ponder over and I am definately going to have a go at a few more designs in the book as it was really enjoyable. If you are a stickler for doing things the right way then Sashiko is quite complex in my opinion due to the grid patterns and drawing them directly on to the fabric.

If you are happy to go rogue and put your own spin on it to make things easier for yourself then its a lot easier. You can also buy transfers and stencils for marking the fabric if you want to by pass that step as well!

If there’s a will there’s a way!

What’s New for 2019 – Embroidered bulldog!

For 2019 there are lots of plans for plenty of stitching fun.

I am currently working on a new Bulldog Stitching Kit to compliment the Schnauzer one which is hugely popular. This little guy is looking very cute and will be a kit to make a gorgeous charm…

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Stitched with Appletons Crewel Wool on to 100% wool felt the kit will provide all you need to make your very own.

I am also in the process of completing a series of patterns influenced by the Baltimore Quilt designs I love so much. These are a traditional take on Baltimore with my own twist, here’s one coming along…

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As you can see it looks great even with the Pug needleminder taking centre stage!

A series of Newsletters will be a part of this year with exclusive benefits for subscribers so don’t forget to subscribe if you want to benefit from free patterns and exclusive discounts. You also get a free hexie template for signing up…

There will be a lovely heart pattern available free just in time for valentines for all my Newsletter Subscribers.

More updates on that one soon…

10 Reasons why Embroidery is Good for you…

10 reasons why

1. Embroidery relaxes your mind and body

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Hand embroidery is a craft you can do anywhere, anytime as all you need is some fabric, a needle and some lovely threads. Sit down with your favourite movie and a glass of wine and stitch away – what could be more relaxing than that!

If you need some relaxation then stick to a simple uncomplicated design and just enjoy the stitching process whilst creating something you can be proud of.

2. Embroidery makes you smile

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From picking the design, choosing the threads, transferring on to your fabric to finally stitching the finished piece – embroidery has many different elements in the process for you to enjoy and smile about! No matter what you make, if it came out good or bad it will always make you smile and have you itching to get stitching again in no time.

3. Embroidery embraces all levels of ability

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There is such a diversity to embroidery that allows anyone to give it a go. You don’t need to be a great artist, amazing seamstress, or particularly creative to be able to stitch up a fabulous piece of art that you will be really proud of.

There are so many wonderful designs out there which beginners can easily achieve fabulous results with and once you start you find yourself learning more each time and getting better and better as you go along. Simple embroidery stitches and designs tend to delight and enthral people as much now as they ever did. You don’t need to have been stitching for years to create fab stuff you can be proud of. Ability is all in your head – give it a go and don’t be afraid to put your own stamp on it.

4. Embroidery is a simple form of expression

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If you have something to say – you can say it with embroidery! From the nice to the not so nice you can say what you feel and have it hanging on your wall for all to admire! A great inexpensive form of therapy if ever there was one!

5. Embroidery is comforting and calming

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Get comfy and cozy on your favourite chair with some music or your favourite TV and stitch – you will be calm in no time!

6. Embroidery builds your confidence

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No matter how good you are, you will always learn and improve as your embroidery journey develops. You will be able to see the improvement as you look back at what you have made and your confidence will soar!

7. Embroidery gives you a sense of achievement

Creating something from beginning to end and seeing it develop in to a creative and lovely piece of art is such an achievement and no matter who you are or how many projects you make there is always this great sense of achievement and buzz when you finally complete what you set out to do.

8. Embroidery creates inspiration

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Once you have been embroidering for a while you begin to see the world around you in stitches and embroidery projects and inspiration is everywhere! If you aren’t at this point yet – just wait – you will be!

9. Embroidery is a good addiction

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Addictions are generally not good for you but I am addicted to Embroidery and have no desire to quit any time soon! It takes up my time, invades my thoughts, spends my money but I swear – its good for me and could be for you too!

10. Embroidery is happiness

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What more can I say…