Inspired by flowers and Sashiko

We are well underway with the 4 Seasons Table Decor Workshop, having completed the online sessions in October and November. It’s been really enjoyable planning and hand-stitching on my own table runner. The workshop attendees have been having fun too, deciding where to place their flowers for October, November and December on their fabrics.

Table runners: hand-stitched using the Japanese Sashiko technique

Transferring the design

We’ve been using a combination of methods to transfer the designs onto the beautiful hemp cotton fabric. (My preferred method for transferring my designs on to fabric is to use a tailor’s chalk pencil with a lightbox. I place my template onto the light box then lay my fabric on top and can see to draw on top with tailor’s chalk.) We’ve also been using carbon paper and trialling iron on transfer pencils. After drawing the flower motifs on the fabric, then the stitching can begin. We’re using a running stitch and working with sashiko thread for the flowers.

Detail from JL’s hand-stitching

It’s amazing to see how different the table runners are starting to look after such a short time. They are using using the same set of flower motifs, but showing their personality and creativity in different ways. I love the way the bright coloured sashiko threads have been used by JL.

Another lady is using a range of blue sashiko threads, from pale blue through darker shades to navy.

I’ve used a variety of different hitomezashi sashiko patterns in the background of my work. It takes me a while to mark out the grid ready for hand-stitching, but I love how these simple patterns are made. Using running stitch to create and repeat the hitomezashi sashiko patterns becomes a calming, meditative process as I move my hands to form the stitches. JL has gone free form, using running stitches in a fluid way to surround her flower motifs.

It’s not too late to join this project.

This workshop will run with a session once a month until Spetember 2022. If you are interested in taking part you can still join us. Visit Sashiko Workshops for more

Learning about hemp fibres

The fabric we are using in this project is a wonderful plain weave undyed organic hemp cotton fabric. It’s beautiful to stitch and softens with handling. Hemp has so many great and useful properties and has excellent eco credentials. It requires a lot less water than cotton to grow and is far more resistant to disease and pests. If you want to find out more, Hemp Textile Designer Laura Bossom of Cultiva Kingdom is offering An Introduction to Hemp Textiles talk through Eventbrite in December. Alternatively, visit Laura’s website to find out more.

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