cover image Amazing Sashiko: Modern Japanese Embroidery Designs

Amazing Sashiko: Modern Japanese Embroidery Designs

Ayufish int. Tuttle, $17.99 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-0-8048-5580-8

This largely successful English-language debut by the embroiderer known as Ayufish int. details traditional and modern approaches to sashiko, or Japanese embroidery. The author splits the projects into three types: hitomezashi (“one stitch sashiko”), kugurizashi (“threaded sashiko”), and moyozashi (“pattern sashiko”). Hitomezashi consists of simple, boxy patterns sewn onto a grid in which “each stitch is equal to one side of a square”; designs made with this technique include repeating lines of ascending steps and numbers styled after their look on digital clocks. Kugurizashi is more advanced and is made by passing thread under “base stitches” to create diagonal lines in patterns that look like “mountain ranges” and chain-link fencing. Moyozashi patterns are the most complicated, with projects that break free from the grid system to make pieces resembling paperclips and loop de loops. The author provides helpful guidance on how to prepare fabric for embroidering, including how to use erasable fabric pens and a ruler to draw grids onto textile. However, the organization leaves something to be desired, with photos of the completed projects relegated to the first half while instructions on how to make them are stuck in the back, meaning readers must flip around to reference what the finished product should look like. Still, crafters will enjoy the neat designs. (Apr.)