Monday, 19 March 2012

Gartmore at Home Part 3 - Sashiko With Val

In the morning Val kindly showed us how to do Sashiko. Sashiko (pronounced sashko) is a Japanese form of quilting. Traditionally a running stitch was used to strengthen the materials of clothing. The traditional colours are white threads on the blue as this was the clothes which were worn by the peasants. They then began decorating the fabric and it has since become an art form. The quilt in the above photo was stitched by Val in this style (although in different colours). The contrasting threads against the fabric is very effective.

Unfortunately you can't see it very well in this image but grid lines are drawn on the fabric and this is used as the basis of the patterns. Mainly since a lot of them follow a pattern or geometric shape.

You can see a couple from Val's larger project above. The designs can be very simple to the complex. Val just has a few more of these squares to do before she puts them together. Whilst she is using a lot of Japanese designs she is also using some lovely Celtic knots so that it will become a mix of cultures. Can't wait to see it finished.

Unlike with other types of embroidery or sewing you start off by knotting the end of the threads. Val here is showing us an effective way of doing it by wrapping it round the needle (we really do learn new tricks on our craft days).

She made us up some kits with small squares to stitch in that style which could then become coasters. They even included wadding suitable for hot drinks to sit on. Helen here has picked up a lovely blue kit. Whilst Stephanie, just out of sight, has picked up orange.

As I think I said it's a running stitch that is used in the design. The point is to use minimal movement. So we were to follow the lines and circles that would allow us to continue with the stitching without having to break off the thread and starting at another point. The above two sets were started by Alison and myself.

Helen is a friend of Linda and Elaine's who came along for the day. She even picked up a kit and had a go. As did Roberta's sister, Mary.

For once our group was actually very quiet as we stitched. All so busy concentrating. There was something very soothing about stitching in this way. I can see a number of people taking it up.

We even had a few finishes. This one was done by myself which I gave to Margaret who couldn't be there.

This one was by Alison. She also picked up another in a matching red so that she would have a set. There were plenty of extras which quickly vanished. I can see that there will be a few photo's of completed pieces in the next few weeks.

Janette was also along for the day and whilst she didn't stitch with the Sashiko she did work on her own quilting project. This is going to be a competition piece and the stitching is going to be all in red. Hopefully we will get to see it once it is complete. It always amazes me the imagination behind the pieces created by both Val and Janette.

I can safely say this class was thoroughly enjoyed. It's hard to have a quilting demonstration and to have everyone make something in just a couple of hours. Thanks Val!

Tomorrows post will be another update but this will be about a class that involved no needles.

No comments: