Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Yuza and Shonai Sashiko Courses 2015 - 2016

I have just about finalised details for my Yuza and Shonai Sashiko courses for 2015 - 2016, which will start running in October 2015.   These photos show some of the samplers made by the 2013 - 2014 group at The Studio, Loch Lomond, which have been exhibited at the Loch Lomond Quilt Show, Yuza Sashiko Guild's exhibition at the Sanno Club in Sakata, at the Japan Handcraft Teachers' Associations' exhibition at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum (above) and at Otsuma Women's University's New Gallery, Chiyoda Campus, Tokyo.

I am currently running the course for the second time at The Studio, but sadly that venue will close at the end of March when the lease finishes.

While it is traditional to stitch in white on dark blue, there is scope for using colour and of course every sampler is unique...

From October 2015, I will be running the course in two venues - Kaleidoscope at Milngavie near Glasgow and Edinburgh Patchwork.  Both these shops have excellent workshop rooms with good lighting for doing hand sewing.  The course at Kaleidoscope will run on Thursdays and the one at Edinburgh Patchwork will run on Saturdays, so there is a choice of day as well as venue.

Dates are as follows -

Kaleidoscope, Dobbies Garden Centre, Boclair Road, Milngavie, Glasgow, G62 6EP, tel: 01360 622 815
Thursdays – 8th October 2015, 5th November, 3rd December, 28th January 2016 changed to 4th February, 11th February, 3rd March, 31st March, 5th May

UPDATE - we have had so much interest in the course at Kaleidoscope, we will also be running on Wednesdays - 7th October 2015, 4th November, 2nd Decembet, 3rd February 2016, 10th February, 2nd March, 30th March, 4th May.


Edinburgh Patchwork, 4 Bellevue Street, Edinburgh, EH7 4BY,
tel: 0131 538 5030 
Saturdays - 10th October 2015, 7th November changed to 31st October, 5th December, 30th January 2016, 13th February, 5th March, 2nd April, 7th May

  We will be learning how to stitch numerous hitomezashi (one stitch) and larger sashiko patterns from the Yuza town and Shonai district of Yamagata Prefecture in Japan, an area noted for its special sashiko patterns and long tradition.  Exploring the different groups of patterns, we will make a series of samples – finished sizes 9in and 4 1/2in square, plus some rectangles 9in x 4 1/2in – that can be combined later into a patchwork sampler.  These patterns are handed down through the Yuza Sashiko Guild and among other stitchers in the area, and this is the only longer course taught with their approval outside Japan.  

Next season's sessions will be structured slightly differently from the previous two years, as the first seven sessions will all work as stand alone sessions, although you will definitely achieve more from the course if you aim to do most of them - I would recommend doing at least session 1 or 2 if you intend to do some of the later sessions, as these will give you a huge head start in terms of stitching techniques.  If you have already done my 'Introduction to Shonai Sashiko' workshop it will stand you in good stead and I have plenty of more challenging stitch patterns for you to try if you have already mastered the easier ones!  Please note - I will have to give priority for places to stitchers who want to do the full course.  At Edinburgh, places are limited to 10, while at Kaleidoscope I can teach up to 16, although we are aiming to keep the classes to less than that and we will have two sessions per month, one day after the other.


Session 1 - rice stitch variations and woven stitches - small samples –on 4 1/2in squares, with grids directly drawn on the fabrics.

Session 2 - persimmon flower stitch, coin stitch and variations - small samples and long sampler, plus more variations on persimmon flower stitch - triple, igeta pattern, infinite - on 4 1/2in squares.

Session 3 – introduction to flower diamond pattern, fish scale stitch, diamond stitch, abacus stitch - on 4 1/2in squares plus stitching on stripes and patterns in circles.

Session 4 – fans and kamon crests – marking and stitching corner fans and family crests – on 9in squares, using paper templates for the fans and chaco transfer paper for the crests.

Session 5 – drawing larger patterns with straight lines – raimon (lightning spiral), masuzashi (stacking boxes), asanoha (hemp leaf) and elongated asanoha – all on 9in squares.

Session 6 – moths/butterflies, grasses and bamboo patterns – patterns for all over pictorial effects - on 4 1/2in squares

Session 7 – drawing larger patterns with curved lines – shippou (seven treasures – like wineglass), fundou (balance weights – like applecore patchwork), nowaki (grasses in clamshell shapes), seigaiha (ocean waves, also clamshell shaped) and ganzezashi (sea urchin stitch, a variation on shippou) – all on 9in squares.

Session 8 -– sewing samples together into a patchwork sampler – with a brief look at some of the denser hitomezashi patterns - paving block, kasuri (ikat) check, ground stitch, cedar stitch, facing butterfly, arrow stitch.  It will be possible to do this session with any combination of samples made in the previous sessions – 4 1/2in and 9in – using 1in sashing strips.

Book your place either with me or via your chosen venue.  Sessions at Edinburgh patchwork will be £37 - prices for Kaleidoscope will be announced shortly. We will stitch on genuine Japanese sashiko fabric and threads from Yuza Sashiko Guild (fabric costs 35p for 41/2in squares & £1.40 for 9in squares, thread costs £6 for 300+m skein, at current prices).

I'm looking forward to starting two more great groups and helping everyone create some wonderful sashiko, learning lots of new patterns! 

Here's some of the 2013 - 14 samplers to inspire you.  By Irene Beattie - 

By Valerie Preston - 

By Isabel Patterson - 

By Ruth Higham -

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