Summer Sashiko Season

Happy Marine Day everyone! Today is 海の日, a holiday to celebrate and give thanks for the sea. Many people use this 3-day weekend as an excuse for a beach vacation and to me it feels a bit like Memorial Day in the US — the weekend that marks start of summer festival season.

I love hanabi and matsuri season in Japan, and last year I posted this free sashiko pattern to celebrate. Hanabi, the Japanese word for fireworks, roughly translates to “fire flowers” though sometimes in Tokyo you’ll see fire shapes like fire Hello Kitty or fire sushi. No joke. I’m convinced that’s what I saw. 😉

fire flowersfire flowers free sashiko patternClick here to download the free PDF pattern.

Happy summer!

Fire Flowers: A Free Summer Sashiko Pattern

It is hot in Tokyo right now, and though I dislike the heat I love the way Japan deals with it: twinkling wind chimes to remind you of a breeze, shaved ice and cold noodles, evening street festivals, and fireworks.

The word for fireworks in Japanese is hanabi, which roughly translates to “fire flower,” and which I think is delightful.

I sashiko’d this placemat for the shop where I take classes. They asked us to create fun sashiko pieces for their summer window display, and I thought long and hard about what could represent summer in Japan. It was either unagidon (grilled eel on rice) or fireworks, and in the end I decided fireworks would look prettier rendered in thread.

Fireworks are meant to be enjoyed together with lots of oohs and aahs, so what better way to celebrate summer than to share the pattern with you!

Click here to download the free PDF pattern.

I used variegated rainbow sashiko thread for the big blasts, white for the fountain, and scraps of pink and blue for the others. I have some extra rainbow thread, so if you’re interested send me an email at and I can throw together a small, inexpensive kit.

Happy hanabi!