Sunday, April 22, 2012

Craft for the Car: Sashiko coasters

     Sashiko is meditative. Sashiko is satisfying. Like quilting, it puzzles my family and friends why I do it. Maybe I wanted something I thought the granddaughters could sew easily. Perhaps friends who want to craft, but say they cannot, could enjoy this. I do hope I develop good muscle memory to one day hand-quilt,  rather than machine stitch, a quilt. I always start with the most complicated patterns because they are more interesting to have, should I quit. I will pad, back and stitch these to the proper size for coasters, but they were so easy to handle while Joe drove the car.

      Sashiko kits are available online. I got mine at the New England Quilt Museum and the City Quilter. I bought the thread and needles, and that is all one needs. The blue fabric is marked with stitching guides that wash out. I kept poking myself as I loaded many stitches onto my needle so I bought some stick-on thimbles. After wearing one, I found I never stuck myself again. I find it easy to pull the thread through, but people also use wider rubber bands or finger protectors from the drug store to pull the loaded needles through the fabric. 

     When I first got interested in Sashiko, I bought books and tools to print my own designs on navy fabric. Ellen showed me the beauty of the colored threads and how to start and end without knots. There are preferred paths to follow when stitching, but it is not imperative. 
      I picked up 12" x 12" pillow forms at JoAnn's half price last week. Needle-pointing coasters and knitting are great travel crafts, but Sashiko coasters are a new one for me. Click to enlarge the photos to see mistakes that happen when you hit potholes or before one learns all the rules! In all honesty, I take out my stitches a lot so it may not be so easy for children. I believe perfection doesn't happen for me, even in easy tasks.


  1. Gorgeous! I can see how stitching like this would be very meditative.

  2. Perfection certainly doesn't happen for me. Somehow, I like it that way.

  3. I think that I might have been the one to first mention Sashiko to you! I did a bit of it, but have never done as much as you have; you have far surpassed me! I need to get back to it, truly, as I agree with all that you say about it. Would love to have a kit of those coasters, though in truth, I now have some of those 'stone ware' coasters with quilt pattern designs on the top that are by far the most useful and nicest coasters I've ever had. At least as far as coasters for the living room tables are concerned. A Supper Club couple gave those as Xmas gifts last Xmas. BUT I could use coasters like you made for the dining room table, when I use my blue and white dishes. Hmmm, must look into that! Anyway, this is a super super super good post, and I totally adore your lovely Sashiko work!!!

  4. What interesting designs, but does the repetition make you sort of dizzy? I guess I'm always looking for an excuse NOT to do handwork, though I sometimes REALLY want to do it. These coasters are lovely and very artfully done, as is everything you attempt. ss

  5. So sorry, but I don't see any mistakes. The stitches look rather elaborate. I can't do anything in the car without getting carsick, but of course, I do all the driving in my family, so I don't have to worry about that.