Friday, March 28, 2008

Orange Sashiko Place Mats

This set of four place mats has been hand stitched with a sashiko pattern. Sashiko stitching is traditional Japanese country quilting. The tradition of sashiko is from northern rural Japan where originally the stitches were used to join fabrics together to mke clothing warmer and strong. Nowadays sashiko stitching is for decoration and there are literally hundreds of wonderful patterns. The running stitch forms exciting geometrics, motifs and even pictures. The designs are hand stitched onto 100% cotton fabric normally with a running stitch to create the delicate and eye catching pattern. I fell in love with sashiko some years ago and got hooked on the elegant smoothness of the embroidery action. As a craft that is easy to carry places and do a little of in your spare time. My favourite is sitting in the botanical gardens at lunch time and stitching for a work time out. These orange place mats are not a traditional sashiko surface. I found them in a charity store and knew they needed to be reborn. I drew up the pattern on the place mat surface using a stencil and chalk duster. I have used blue and ivory embroidery thread to complete the patterns on each place mat. To complete each of the place mats, I have appliqued small shapes of Shibori (Japanese dyed) fabric. The result modern decore from seventies leftovers and centuries old craft.

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