Friday, 13 September 2013

Loch Lomond sashiko course, session 1


We had the first session of our eight part Yuza and Shonai sashiko course at The Studio, Loch Lomond, on Thursday.  It has been great to have the opportunity to run a longer sashiko course, as the (mainly) hitomezashi (one stitch sashiko) patterns from Yamagata Prefecture benefit from extra time to practice and build up skills.  Our course will gradually work up towards the more challenging patterns like sorobanzashi (abacus stitch) and others that are beyond the scope of a day workshop or weekend course.  We started off with easier patterns like kawari kikkouzashi (tortoiseshell stitch variation) and komezashi (rice stitch) variations.  Everyone is stitching on 4 1/2 inch squares, so we can sew them together later to make patchwork and sashiko samplers, and the larger patterns from Shonai, like ganzezashi (sea urchin stitch) from Tobishima (Tobi Island) will be stitched on 9 inch squares.  We are using proper Yuza sashiko fabric and thread, although I've asked the students to try out other thread and fabric combinations as experiments - not exactly 'homework' I hope!

Every month, I will take different samples and sashiko pieces.  One of the panels I had this time was given to me by my former English student Kumiko Saito in 1992.  It is the first piece of Yuza sashiko I owned and it is a special treasure for me.  We also had samplers by Chie Ikeda, who was my first sashiko teacher, and bags stitched by Reiko Domon.  They are two of Shonai's sashiko experts.

Everyone worked hard, but we also had a lot of fun! I'm looking forward to our next session with these enthusiastic stitchers. I'm planning to showcase their work at the Loch Lomond Quilt Show in may 2014. We could squeeze in a couple of extra students, so if you are interested, please contact Ruth at the Studio link above.  If there is enough interest, we may run the course again and I'm also thinking about running it closer to home near Perth.


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