running stitches

I've been adding quite a few examples of Japanese Sashiko quilting to my Pinterest Textile Project board lately, so I thought it was time to try it out. Its traditional application is as a decorative darning stitch to make mended garments look a bit prettier. The Japanese have such a beautiful sensibility when it comes to such things.

I like that it isn't too fussy and that neatness isn't essential. The simplicity of the basic running stitch appeals to me and you can think about other things while you're filling in little grids of stitches. I don't have the special grid transfers or erasable marker pens that the Sashiko tutorials mentioned were needed. Holes punched in a page from an army issue field message book and transferred with felt-tip onto pieces of linen served just as well.

Among my bags I have a little hand embroidered purse that looks like a version of sashiko, although looking at the stitches close up shows that this very neat embroiderer picked up two threads, evenly spaced on alternate rows and then built up her design from there. Lovely!


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