New #wisecraftstitchalong starting soon! Learn to stitch Sashiko!

Sashiko coaster

Samples for our next #wisecraftstitchalong.

(Added- Scroll the end of post for downloadable templates and supply list as they are available.)

I had such a great time demonstrating the way I English Paper Piece in our recent #wisecraftstitchalong.  Let’s do another one! What do you say?

Let’s put these stitchalongs I am doing in context first. You see, there are several different techniques in the quilts I designed for Wise Craft Quilts. I wanted to show in my own way that it doesn’t take years of intense study and practice to have fun with different quilting techniques and produce a beautiful quilt. Some may gasp, I get it. But in my opinion, mastery isn’t always the goal. In an effort to bring some fundamental understanding and clarity to the different ways I make quilts, I have found that doing these FB Live stitchalongs is the perfect way to demonstrate and also get immediate feedback from the viewers. Plain and simply put, I love teaching these methods I have grown to love and use in my quilt making.

Plus, let’s just face it. November is dark and cold in Seattle. Maybe it is where you are too? I prefer to be home in the evenings, not fighting traffic. BUT, I also like to stitch and talk stitching with others. FB Live videos offer the best of both worlds. We do not have to leave home to meet up and stitch together!

So, for the next #wisecraftstitchalong, let’s shift gears. The people have spoken! We will focus on Sashiko stitching, a Japanese form of embroidery. Sort of big stitch quilting, but also sort of not. Its soo pretty! And incredibly meditative. I’m so glad everyone wanted to do this technique!

My love of this type of stitching all started when I made the Boro quilt in the book.

The quilt called “Boro” from Wise Craft Quilts.

 

Japanese Boro cloth is traditionally made of tattered cloth or rags and uses a technique to stitch layers and layers of cloth together, mending worn areas in pieces like garments, bed linens, etc. Clothing needed to last a long time and hold up, this was a way to do that. The ultimate example of upcycling and reuse. The decorative hand stitching that was used was not only pretty, but also served to create warmth and insulate. These decorative hand stitches were called “Sashiko” which translates to “little stabs”.

In my Boro quilt, I secured the layers together with long vertical rows of hand stitching, but then added patches on top of the base cloth, securing them with Sashiko stitches. I intended this project to be one that could be added to over time. Swatches of special cloth (like clothing a child outgrows, for example) can be sewn down on the base, using any kind of decorative Sashiko stitch you choose. Creating a piece full of layered memories.

 

Sashiko stitches are done by hand, and are most traditionally done with white cotton thread stitched onto indigo blue. The cloth that is used for modern Sashiko is a cotton or linen (it was traditionally hemp in regions of Japan where cotton wasn’t plentiful) with a weave that is a bit looser than traditional quilting cotton. (I will discuss some suitable substitutes in the first video.) The needles typically used for sashiko are longer than needles you may normally use, very pointy. The long rows of stitching through layers of fabric require a special thimble called a palm thimble.

I can’t wait to share how I use all these tools in my work.

Since diving deep into the world of Sashiko stitching, I’ve stitched many more pieces and have developed a real appreciation for this meditative handwork.

Let’s get to our project!

The project I have created for our FB Live Stitchalong is a set of 4 Sashiko coasters.

Each coaster will be stitched with a distinctive traditional Japanese Sashiko pattern (fun fact- these usually represent something in nature). These coasters are small projects, but they are the perfect size to illustrate the technique and show you everything you need to know… how to transfer the design to the cloth, how to prepare your thread and thread your needle, how to stitch and finish the coasters, etc. Not to mention they would be a lovely gift in you are hand making for the holidays. From these videos, you could certainly take your project to a deeper level and complete a bigger piece if you find yourself enamored with one of the stitch patterns.

sashiko

The coasters we will be stitching will cover all the basics of four different sashiko stitch patterns.

There will be 5 FaceBook Live sessions, each starting at 5:30pm PDT (what time is this where I live?) and running approximately 1 hour.

Monday, 11/13/17FB Live Session 1)- Stitching pattern #1. I will upload the template in the morning in the Wise Craft Quikts Facebook group. In this and each of the next sessions, we will stitch one coaster/one stitch pattern. I will show you all the tricks I have learned for stitching each pattern. (My biggest trick? Don’t watch a movie with subtitles!)

Thursday, 11/16/17FB Live Session 2, Stitching pattern #2

Friday, 11/17/17FB Live Session 3, Stitching pattern #3

Monday, 11/20/17FB Live Session 4, Stitching pattern #4

Prior to each session, I will provide a link in the Wise Craft Quilts Facebook Group, so you can download the pattern and be ready to stitch.

 

How can I make sure I don’t miss these FB Live Sessions?

Make sure you are a member of the Wise Craft Quilts FB Group

Make sure you have “notifications” turned on, that way you will be notified when each session on FB starts.

Watch the video, let me know you are watching by commenting and asking questions. The beauty of these live videos is that I will be able to answer questions in real time, no waiting for a response!

Join my newsletter list, for a special announcement on Thursday, November 2nd at noon!

F A Q

Is the #wisecraftstitchalong free?

Yes! These stitchalongs are always free. I love engaging with members of the Wise Craft Quilts group and believe in giving back to everyone who has been so supportive of my book! I do carry some products in my shop that I use in my stitchalongs which are available to buy, but these are not mandatory.

There are Sashiko kits for sale in my shop. These have all the supplies you need to do our project and more! Here’s a video to show what is in them.

What if I can’t watch the #wisecraftstitchalong at the scheduled live time?

Not to worry, life is busy, and this should be fun, so don’t stress. You can always watch the playback in the Wise Craft Quilts FB group page by clicking on videos in the group (from your desktop). Also, I will upload these to my Youtube Channel after they have aired, so you can watch them there too!

 

Help! I hate FB! Any other way to watch?

Yes! I will upload each of these videos to my YouTube Channel Sashiko Stitchalong Playlist after they have aired on FB.

 

What if I don’t finish my project in time?

There is no deadline, no need to stress (unless you’re trying to get these done before the holidays, in which case you might want to move along). This project is available anytime, anywhere you can access it.

 

How can I show others what my project?

Please share, we’d love to see! Post photos of your work, in progress and finished, in the Facebook Group, on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, wherever you like to hang out online. Be sure to use the hashtag #wisecraftstitchalong so we can find your posts!

Any questions please post a comment on this post!

Download the supply list

Download the full size patterns as they become available below (the morning of the FB Live video for that coaster). (Print at full size, uncheck any “fit to page” type option)

Coaster #1

Coaster #2

Coaster #3

Coaster #4

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4 Comments
  • jane mihalecz

    October 31, 2017 at 11:14 am Reply

    I want to make sure I am a member of the wise crafts quilt fb group.

  • Rosalie Roberts

    November 2, 2017 at 2:31 pm Reply

    I cannot find where to check out and pay for the things I am wanting to buy! What am I missing here?

    • Blair Stocker

      November 2, 2017 at 2:54 pm Reply

      Hi Rosalie,

      If you click “add to cart” (blue box) when you are on the page for an individual item, it should take you to the checkout page, where you can finish your order. If you’re not able to do that for any reason, email me at blairwisecraft@gmail.com and I’ll help. 😀 Blair

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