I'm trying the other kind of Sashiko, hitomezashi, where you make straight lines of stitches and they intersect to form patterns. For this you need to draw out big huge grids on your fabric so your lines will be straight and even. (or, well, so you can atleast attempt, i mean practice, to get straight even stitches..) After drawing grids on two panels, my little chaco pencil was on its last leg. It was a little bit sad, but I'm happy I used up something I had instead of just letting it sit there or get lost and go to waste.
Today I'm working out of this book, Connecting Fabric Everyday , ISBN4-579-11116-8, which I grabbed in Tsutaya at Narita Airport just a few moments before getting on the plane home. There are some really beautiful pieces of patchwork with colorful sashiko, and patterns to make a hat, dress, blankets, pillows, and a cute-as-hell cafe apron..
Isn't this wonderful? Wouldn't you want to serve tea outside wearing it? Click to view the largest size over at flickr and check out the details.
Of course when it comes to the stitches (and the whole pattern, actually), I'm kind of making things up as I go along. I've mentioned before that sashiko is hard and I'm no where near good at it. I'm still struggling, as a quilter, to not make my stitches as small as possible. I'm finding it very tough to make big stitches that are even and intersect nicely. Or well, I can get them to intersect, but then my lines aren't straight. Please, I beg you, do not click on this picture at flickr to see the details.
I'm almost done with the first of 3 panels. I like it, the colors are a little funky and just what I need right now. Of course when I held it up to see what it would look like as an apron, I noticed that I probably should have adjusted the measurements a bit more because my midsection is quite a few senchi (cm) larger than the smiling Japanese woman in the photo. Maybe I'll just remake the center panel.. I'm hoping to make the top one, but may switch to the bottom one to accomodate what I end up with after all my stitching is done.
Back to my chako pencil.. though it was sad to toss it, I was very happy to be able to pull out a new one from my still-not-unpacked box of recent Japanese goodness. Thank you Clover. Thank you Japan.