I'm trying to give customers as much choice as possible with the sashiko samplers, and am finding that these days, people have had a go and are coming back for their second, third or more designs. It's great to be kept on my toes! But I find people like to see the finished result rather than just being told "this pattern would look nice in this colour thread", so I am constantly stitching up new designs as they are sent from Japan, as well as reworking older designs to see if they look better (or different) in other colours.
Recently I have finished the Hanabishi (Diamond Flowers) and Hanazashi (Stitched Flowers) patterns and am very happy with my colour choices. Apparently, so are customers - the Hanabishi kits sold out at the Duxford show before the end of Saturday!
I've also reworked the Kakinohana (Persimmon Flower) kit with a different colourway. Originally I wanted to make it look like persimmon fruits, with orange fruits and green leaves. It does, but since I finished the design on Halloween I also thought it resembled pumpkins! Either way, I like the calming colourway as a an alternative to the original bright pink one. At some point I will also make a sample using lemon and green thread, to resemble the actual flowers of the persimmon tree.
While I'm waiting for another order to arrive from Japan, I'm working on a Linked Crosses hitomezashi sampler. Hitomezashi uses much more thread so there is more work involved. Usually, I work the horizontal and vertical stitches first, but this time I'm starting with the diagonals. The packet calls for 6 x 20m skeins of thread(!). Originally I was going to do the horizontal/vertical crosses in cream thread and the 'links' in 100m variegated pink (the colour is much more 'pink' in real life), so I wanted to stitch the variegated thread first to see how it looked. I really like the look of the pinks, so will probably stitch the whole thing in them. I also want to see if I can get it all done with a 100m skein...wish me luck! The kit will be available as soon as I've finished x
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I started Japan Crafts in 2006 and have been bringing wonderful fabrics and techniques to people in the UK ever since.