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Sashiko for Beginners--USA Only

Launch gallery slideshow

Sashiko for Beginners--USA Only
Swap Coordinator:twobluecrows (contact)
Swap categories: Sewing  Art  Embroidery 
Number of people in swap:11
Location:Regional - USA
Type:Type 3: Package or craft
Last day to signup/drop:December 31, 2009
Date items must be sent by:February 2, 2010
Number of swap partners:1
Description:

USA ONLY--but feel free to copy any info for your own International or other-regional version.

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Sashiko Embroidery is a simple but infinitely beautiful and complex form of embroidery from Japan, using sashiko threads and needles on a relatively loose-weave fabric and just running stitches in one color thread on a solid color fabric to create intricate or simple combinations of patterns. Usually Indigo Blue fabric and White Thread. (see the pics in the links)>

A Tutorial

http://www.shiboridragon.com/Sashiko-Patterns2.htm

http://www.h7.dion.ne.jp/~atelierj/wafabrics.html scroll down past the fabrics on this one

or...good ol' Google: http://images.google.com/images?q=sashiko&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi

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For this swap, for one partner, we will make a small set of coasters--4"x4" , OR a pillow cover, OR table mat, no larger than 18" . They will have an embroidered top and a backing to cover the back-side of the embroidery. see the tutorial

You can add tassels or other trim if you feel ambitious!

The point of this swap is to learn about this Japanese craft, and practice, so make something as nice as you possibly can, something you'd be happy to receive in return. Traditionally indigo blue fabric and white thread are common, but if you want to check your partner's profile for favorite colors, that would be nice.

The fine print: Swappers must have a rating of at least 4.9, Newbies to Swap-bot who are experienced stitchers are welcome, with a PM to me to explain your experience, It's for beginners in Sashiko, not embroidery in general please! Non-beginners are also welcome, but know thatyou may get a beginner partner doing his/her first Sashiko embroidery.

NO FLAKERS! I will check the list before assigning partners and ban if necessary. All participants must have logged in within three days of the sign up date to avoid banning--too many people who sign up early disappear just before partners are assigned, and people get flaked on--not fun!

Because it's a blue and white suggested color project, you can start as soon as you sign up, but I'm giving a month to make the project in case you want to please your partner with a favorite color.

Discussion

camelsamba 12/ 3/2009 #

I'm really interested in this swap, but I'm going to be traveling at the end of December and might not have access to a computer on Dec 28 to 31. Any way to work around this?

twobluecrows 12/ 3/2009 #

Since the sign up date is Dec 31, you can sign up anytime before then, and since it's not really partner-profile specific, you can start making your item anytime, too. It's nice handwork to take along on a trip if you have waiting time, and there's a month till you have to mail it so all sorts of things are possible..

twobluecrows 12/ 3/2009 #

I've edited the description to include a pillow top/cover or other similar sized item. Don't feel restricted to the things listed, anything useful or decorative in the size range is good. One of the links has lots of items for ideas.

Just remember, if you're a beginner, don't overstretch yourself and try something that may overwhelm you, take it easy and make whatever will give the most satisfaction in the making AND giving!

twobluecrows 12/ 7/2009 #

In case anyone is seriously interested in joining, but has some travel plans for around the 31st, as long as you PM me just before to tell me you're still ready to participate, I won't ban you for not being logged in on those days. It's just one way I could think of to be sure people are remembering they are in the swap when it's so far away in this busy season!

twobluecrows 12/ 7/2009 #

Hints--if you don't have an iron-on pattern, you can use a paper pattern, tracing the lines with a tracing wheel and light colored tracing paper--the kind used for tracing the darts and other pattern markings when sewing. Just pin the pattern and tracing paper together on top of your fabric to keep it in place, and roll the spiky wheel around on the lines.

There are also washable light-colored pencils that you can find in quilting sections of your fabric store that you can draw the lines on to guide you.

twobluecrows 12/11/2009 #

Another thought occurred to me and I'm going to try it--you can print or draw your design on tissue paper (the wrapping kind( and pin it or baste it onto your fabric, then stitch right through it, tearing it off when you're done. I picked up a soapstone pencil today, too to try to draw designs on my dark fabric. It's supposed to rub off. We'll see. Lots of learning experiences here!

beancounter17 12/13/2009 #

Looking at the pic above, indigo blue looks to be similar to "blue jean" blue. Is that correct? Also, I am wondering if we are supposed to use a special type of fabric or is 100% cotton okay?

twobluecrows 12/15/2009 #

beancounter17, the tutorials I read said cotton, and a heavier one than something like quilters cotton with relatively loose weave seems ok. The white thread is quite thick, so a long heavy needle and fabric just loose enough for it all to pass through should be ok.

I think blue jean denim might be too heavy, but something just lighter would be useful. If your partner has a real preference for some other color, then any cotton fabric with the right qualities would work.

I have some vague memory of a blue tablecloth I used to have that would have been perfect! I wish I could find it now!

twobluecrows 12/15/2009 #

If you click on the google link above, you can see all the different types of fabrics used--some look like chambray, some like denim, some like just random blue fabric.

twobluecrows 12/15/2009 #

Here is another good site with examples of the real Sashiko supplies.

twobluecrows 12/17/2009 #

I'm going to post here the steps I'm taking to make this project: Step one is gathering the materials and supplies

This is a picture of the two fabrics, thimble, soapstone pencil, washable fabric pencil, perle cotton and two types of needles I found--3" soft sculpture needles and quilter's basting needles

camelsamba 12/18/2009 #

Wow, you've been busy adding info here, I'm glad I checked back! I got a couple of books from our library with tutorials and patterns. I plan to start experimenting next week while I'm on the road.

twobluecrows 12/20/2009 #

I'm posting pics as I go in my blog:

twobluecrows.blogspot.com

twobluecrows 12/21/2009 #

We were a little bit snowed in this weekend, so I finished a pin cushion project, and posted all the pictures and what instruction I could think to add in my blog (link above) I'm probably going to be making a few more projects in this embroidery, so my partner will still be surprised by what I end up sending.

camelsamba 12/24/2009 #

Looking good, twobluecrows!

I practiced stitching during a 4 hour car ride yesterday, and I have not yet mastered small even stitches - but you can definitely see the progress! I tried using those soft sculpture needles but I think they were a bit thick for the fabric I was using. My mom is a quilter and I'm at her house, so maybe she'll have something I can use until I get back home.

twobluecrows 12/25/2009 #

Thanks! I think the thing I like about Sashiko, from the other pieces I've seen, is that the stitches aren't so small! Not like regular quilting where they are expected to be something like 10 to the inch. The stitches on the piece I did are more like three or four to the inch--if that. The thread is thicker, and can go farther. The fabric should be heavier than quilting cotton, more like something you'd make a pair of pants from, sturdy with moderately loose weave--I think painter's canvas, or cotton duck would be suitable. A light weight denim would, too.

twobluecrows 12/26/2009 #

Here is some more info about how to do it properly:

from Quilt.com

"...The Stitch

The beauty of sashiko is in the stitching design itself which is a simple running stitch done traditionally done without a hoop. The stitch count is usually 5 to 8 per inch. There are actually 3 variations of sashiko still commonly used: sashiko, hitomezashi and kogin. Hitomezashi requires only one stitch in any given direction with the end result being a design that is very dense and usually geometric in shape. If done well, it can actually resemble fine lace when finished. Kogin stitches are uneven in length and only follow the direction of the weft threads. The stitching instructions below apply to the basic sashiko variation.

The number of stitches per inch depends on the type of fabric, the number of layers, the type of thread used, and the ability of the stitcher. As a general rule, larger stitches are used for heavier fabrics and thread; smaller stitches for fine or lightweight fabrics and fine thread. For example, sewing with 3 strands of embroidery floss results in more stitches per inch than when using sashiko thread. IT IS IMPORTANT TO KEEP THE STITCHES AS EVEN IN LENGTH AND AS REGULAR AS POSSIBLE. Stitches of unequal length will be easily noticed in the design.

Use a needle that is comfortable and that can be threaded easily. Sashiko needles are best with the heavier threads, but embroidery needles or #7 or #8 sewing needles can be used also.

Generally, the beginning and ending thread is never knotted in sashiko. Instead, begin by taking 3-4 backstitches. Then stitch directly over the first few backstitches. Thread ends should be clipped as close to the fabric as possible. If a new thread needs to be started before the end of the design line, 3-4 stitches with the new thread should be layered over the old thread..."

twobluecrows 01/ 2/2010 #

All participants of this swap are 5s! We should have a great swap! Good way to start the new year!

Cyn

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