I’ll Stab You.

I thought I’d reveal some of what my crafty little fingers are up to when not riding bikes through the city or sloshing through fish guts.  Three weeks of radio silence, or, shall I say cybershush? (thanks for that, spoppy!) combined with a few cross-Pacific flights, and this embroidery project didn’t stand a chance.  Honestly, it was so addictive I couldn’t put it down.

You may remember that during one of my first ventures into a craft store here in Tokyo, I emerged with some sashiko supplies.  Sashiko 刺し子 literally meaning “little stabs,” is a Japanese style of embroidery used to decoratively reinforce fabric, though nowadays I think it’s all for fun.  The pattern I picked up is called shippo tsunagi 七宝つなぎ, or seven treasures, and it was printed directly onto the fabric.  You simply follow the lines.

Sashiko needles are really long for optimum stabbing.  On the left you’ll see my regular embroidery needle, and on the right, I can’t believe I found a US quarter!

Stab the needle through the fabric, following the pattern, until you have a few stitches lined up.  Then, pull your thread through.

I found a rhythm, doing this over and over again.  Stab stab stab, pull.  The patterns look a little confusing until you break it down into small parts.  Stab stab stab, over and over again.

And voila!  So now the question is, what to do with my finished block?  I have some ideas, but I’d love to hear your suggestions.  In the meantime, I think I might have to find some more patterns.  I’m still feeling a little stabby.

Update – since posting this morning, I’ve had even more sashiko excitement!  I wandered into a store in my neighborhood (that coincidentally only sells blue and white things) and discovered they offer sashiko classes!  I immediately signed up for the next one in September.  I might also consider it language practice, since the whole class will be in Japanese… Can’t wait!

16 thoughts on “I’ll Stab You.

  1. How about blocks of stabby work made into a quilt someday. Looks like a fun new craft. You’ll have to take me to one of those stores when we come and visit. I’d like to try it!

  2. Ang- I think you should put it in a frame- and put it on the wall! dont forget to date the back…. It’s beautiful– I may have to have you send some home to me LOL!! Thanks for all of your awesome posts… Love, Mickey

    • I m pleased to know more shashiko I embroider in Madrid I have done a kit of Tapisserie Bayeux Normandie france i am from madrid

  3. Pingback: Feeling Stabby – An Update « Saké Puppets

  4. These sashiko samplers make great fronts for Cushions. Use a fat quater of fabric and attach small border around the sashiko panel, use the rest for the back. I add zip at the bottom. I also add an inside backing to the front panel for strengh, and to protect the stitching.
    Happy stitching.

  5. Pingback: A Beautiful Stab in the Neighborhood « Saké Puppets

  6. Pingback: Stab to the Heart « Saké Puppets

  7. Pingback: I Really Need to Stab Something « Saké Puppets

  8. I m pleased to know more shashiko I embroider in Madrid I have done a kit of Tapisserie Bayeux Normandie france i am from madrid

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