How to stitch the Peaks Sashiko Sampler
May 20, 2024

How to stitch the Peaks Sashiko Sampler

How to stitch "Peaks" sashiko design

This is how to stitch the Kugurizashi Sashiko kit called Peaks. I've written it to supplement the Japanese language instructions and stitching diagrams that come with the pre-printed fabric. 

This is a very good project for trying the kugurizashi (weaving under stitches) sashiko technique for the first time.

Sashiko sample "Peaks"

 Before I start the stitching instructions, here is some general information:


If you already know this, slide down the page to the step by step instructions :-)

Hitomezashi is a type of sashiko stitching.  Hitomezashi patterns are made up of single stitches that go from one side of the fabric to the other in straight lines. The stitching covers the fabric much more densely than the Moyozashi sashiko (large continuous line sashiko patterns). 

Kugurizashi is a two part sashiko stitching technique which involves using the Hitomezashi stitching as the base layer and then weaving threads under the hitomezashi stitching to create beautiful patterns and textures.

Things you need to know before you start:

The pattern is printed on Japanese cotton fabric which is woven on traditional narrow looms. 

 The 12" x 12" design is printed on a 26" length of the fabric and you are meant to fold the unprinted half to the back of the printed half and stitch through both layers. 

The printed design will disappear completely in water so keep it dry until you are finished. Also do not iron before it has been washed.

If you would like your cloth to have finished edges, fold the cloth in half with the printed side inside and stitch it together about 5/8" from the raw edge. 

Now, turn the cloth right side out (print on the top) and finger press the seam flat (no ironing!)

Smooth the fabric layers out, and you are ready to begin your stitching.

Before we leave this general information section here are two photos to review two sashiko basics:

1. Putting many stitches on the sashiko needle at a time. This will give you straighter more even stitching, and it goes along much faster.

gathering sashiko stitches on your sashiko needle

2. leave a loop on the back of the fabric when you carry a thread . This is important.

If you are using a skeined sashiko threads,  see this blog for how to prepare your sahiko thread for stitching 
How to stitch Peaks sashiko sampler:
1. Start the design by stitching all vertical stitches. 
sashiko stitching


Leave a loop on the back of the fabric when you carry a thread.

Apparently I forgot to take a picture of the finished vertical stitching finished but you must finish the vertical sashiko stitching before you can do the kugurizashi sashiko step.
Here are a couple photos of the vertical stitching after the kuguri (weaving thread under the stitches) has been done. 
This weaving under is the next step.
Also - taking a step back - lets talk about thread colours.
This design can be stitched in any combination of colours you like, or in a single colour.  I think it lends itself to variegated threads nicely.
I chose 9 colours and to try to create the feeling of sunrise on high bare mountain peak, then distant blue/green mountains and a foreground of near  green/grey foothills.  (There is no need to complicate things so much, its just how my brain works!)
Just choose colours you like and enjoy the stitching. Thats the important thing :-)
choosing sashiko thread colours

2. The next step is the kugurizashi sashiko, which is weaving threads under the stitching part of the design.

When all the vertical stitching has been completed, start the weaving.  To do this, start with a small knot on the back of the fabric and using the needle eye end of the needle, pass under the stitches as shown here. The fabric has a few of these lines printed for you to follow but it is up to you how many rows you want to do.

kurugi-sashi sashiko )weaving under threads)
I stitched more than the pattern shows, but but not all of the rows
kuguri-sashi sashiko stitching
My finished "Peaks"
Did I mention about washing? When you are finished give your project some firm tugs by holding two sides directly across from each other and pulling. Do this in several places, it will help to even up the stitching and pull any needed extra thread from the loops you left on the back to keep the cloth laying even and flat.  
Once you have done that, smooth it out flat, then put it in a bowl of warm water to soak a few minutes and rinse till the water is clear. Let dry and press from the back.
I hope you enjoyed this stitching :-)
Kind Regards