Sashiko Quilting – Decorative Design From The Functional

Sashiko quilting actually began as a form of decorative reinforcement embroidery stitching, used to reinforce tears in clothing. This decorative form of reinforcement stitching had its origins in Japan. Some of the patterns were derived from Chinese designs, but many were developed by the Japanese as well.

This beautiful art form was actually used by the peasant class to patch and mend clothing. The eventual availability of white cotton thread, which was used to patch their indigo blue garments, is what gave this technique a distinctive quality.

As with other art forms, the patterns of this one are representations of things found in nature, such as plants, birds, animals, clouds, tools, war implements or written characters of the Japanese and Chinese languages.

Sashiko quilting is now used for decorative purposes in quilting and embroidery.

The patterns developed according to Wikipedia are:

• Tate-Jima – Vertical Stripes

• Yoko-Jima – Horizontal Stripes

• Koshi – Checks

• Nakamura Koshi – Plaid of Nakamura family

• Hishi-moyo – Diamonds

• Yarai – Bamboo Fence

• Hishi-Igeta /Tasuki – Parallel diamonds/crossed cords

• Kagome – Woven Bamboo

• Uroko – Fish Scales

• Tate-Waku – Rising steam

• Fundo – Counterweights

• Shippo – Seven Treasures of Buddha

• Anime – Fishing nets

• Toridasuki – Interlaced circle of two birds

• Chidori – Plover

• Kasumi – Haze

• Asa no Ha – Hemp leaf

• Mitsuba – Trefoil

• Hirayama-Michi – Passes in the mountains

• Kaki no Hana – Persimmon flower

• Kaminari – Thunderbolts

• Inazuma – Flash of Lightning

• Sayagata – Key pattern

• Matsukawa-Bishi – Pine Bark

• Yabane – Fletching

• and many more

For more information about Sashiko quilting and a short tutorial click here on the link to Patchwork Quilt Patterns There are also tutorials that can be accessed by clicking here on the link to The Purl Bee and click on the link to Creative Partners

The variety of quilting styles such as this one is what gives quilting such a broad appeal to so many and what makes quilting such a popular art form.

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