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I ran into this guy and his real life Sashiko repaired backpack at a local cafe and he was nice enough to let me take a picture of it. He had never heard of Sashiko, it was just how he'd figured out how to repair his pack, but he was interested to know that it is a traditional Japanese style of repair and decoration.
I am currently working on Plum Blossom - Sashiko, an Embroiders' Guild of America (EGA) Group Correspondence Course (GCC). I've done a number of Sashiko pieces and enjoyed them, but I'm not particularly enjoying this one. At first I thought it was because this piece doesn't have marked stitches and so I was having to learn to pick and make my own even stitch lengths. And admittedly, the chalk marks fading as I stitch thing IS irritating. But I realized that the real issue is that what I really enjoy about Sashiko is the way so many of the traditional patterns can be stitched in one line - it's like the 9 dots puzzle brought to real life and gives me the same sense of satisfaction that stitching logic puzzles do. Because this design is made as a sample of different patterns (and uses some of the traditional patterns that can't be done as a single line), I lose that satisfaction. That said, it is a really pretty pattern, and I've learned a lot about how to do more than stitch by rote following the dots. I'm working very hard right now to get it finished so I can send it in for evaluation, and then I'm going to use my new found knowledge of what I like in Sashiko to pick some patterns I will enjoy more!
Check out some of the Sashiko samplers that can be stitched as a single line (and some that can't) here
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