17 June 2015

Japanese sashiko embroidery class

On one of my recent Saturdays in Edinburgh I headed along to MyBearPaw at Lochrin Buildings for a class on the Japanese embroidery style called Sashiko. I'd seen a previous class advertised for this but it had been booked up, so when another class became available I booked up for it.

The tutor for the class was Jo, who was ably helped by Hikaru who is originally from Japan but now married to a Scottish guy and living in Edinburgh. Hikaru has had an interest in sewing since she learned it at primary school. She told us the meanings behind many of the traditional Japanese patterns, which was fascinating. She also showed us some of the embroidered items she has made. Jo does quite a bit of magazine work, and she showed us a notebook cover with sashiko on it which was published in Love Patchwork & Quilting.
It was so lovely to spend an afternoon in the company of a group of ladies who like to craft. I was a bit nervous since it was my first class there and most of the others had been before. But they were incredibly welcoming! We discovered that a few of us had an interest in Japan. In fact, the lady right next to me had been to Kyoto last year!
The stitching technique was fairly easy, but there were some skills to be learned. Hikaru showed us how to cut the thread in a way that leaves it in equal lengths, how to knot the end of the thread the Japanese way, and a way to join thread.
We were issued with squares of navy linen with the lines of the pattern marked on in white pen which will disappear once ironed. We did a flower shape first. then moved on to a grid with circles overlaid on it. The technique for this was to do the edges, fill in the grid, and then do the rest.

The technique originally helped to strengthen and insulate the fabric, and the threads carried across at the back would have helped with this.
I'm really pleased with my sashiko pieces, and I will show you them again when I have added the backing material to turn them into coasters. Some of my skills need a little work, though, like making sure to leave a little slack at the corners, and leaving small gaps at each intersection.

1 comment:

Teresa said...

Your sashiko pieces are beautiful!! <3

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