QuiltCon 2022 Sashiko Workshops

QuiltCon 2022 Sashiko Workshops

It is my sincere pleasure to announce that I will be teaching again in the QuiltCon as a faculty. QuiltCon 2022 Sashiko Workshops will be offered as a part of QuiltCon 2022 in Pheonix, Arizona between February 16th to 20th (https://www.quiltcon.com/).

Thanks to many positive feedbacks that we had received in 2020, I can offer 2 kinds of Workshops in Quiltcon 2022. In this blog, I explain what is the contents of these 2 choices in QuiltCon 2022 Sashiko Workshops – Sashiko: Core & Essence and Sashiko: Application & Practice.

*The Registration for the Quilcton 2022 will open for MQG members on August 4, 2021, at 10 a.m. EDT. For General Registration, it will be available on August 19, 2021 at 10 a.m. EDT. To get detail information & description about the workshop on interactive catalogue, please search the class by my name “Atsushi” or “Sashiko“. I do not offer Boro workshop.

Sashiko: Core and Essence

In 6 hours of the workshop, I want you to learn the Core & Essence of Sashiko Stitching. I will go over a history, terminology, and the technique of how to use unique tools with one of the core essences of Sashiko – Unshin (運針).

This is a learning opportunity rather than a “let’s do sashiko together” workshop. Therefore, participants may go through some challenging phase to learn something new. In 6 hours of intensive stitching practice, you will be able to achieve the Unshin that you may have seen on Youtube.

Sashiko isn’t about making one perfect stitch. It isn’t also about embracing the inperfection. It is about communicating to the fabric by moving your needle at your own “rhythm”. This is the workshop of Sashiko’s Core & Essence.

While your practice, I will share many Sashiko Stories. Sashiko is more than just a technique (I will of course teach you techniques to make stitches even & beautiful).

With following some of my SNS Sashiko Stories and Youtube, this will be a memorable & eye-opening experience for you.

This workshop is the must workshop to continue learning from Atsushi & Upcycle Stitches. It is mostly the same contents to the other In-person Workshops (6 hours length) as well as the Online Sashiko Class. If you have taken the other In-person Workshops or Online Sashiko Class, you do NOT need to take this class again. Of course, it is your choice to repeat the same class, but please be advised that the contents will be very similar. If you would like to have the refresh of the workshop, please contact Atsushi with the email address you have taken the first class. I can offer some support.

Sashiko: Application and Practice

*Prerequisite: Sashiko Workshop (Core & Essence). Online & Other full-length in-person workshop can be used as the prerequisite as well as the “Sashiko Mastery Class” from QuiltCon 2020. It is perfectly fine to take the Sashiko: Core & Essence Workshop in QuiltCon 2022

I believe the Sashiko Workshop (Core & Essence) conclude my Sashiko teaching. Therefore, I do not offer the “advanced” Sashiko Workshop anymore. The workshop Core & Essence Is the ending of my teaching about Sashiko’s Core, and it is the beginning of your Sashiko. However, I receive many request to organize the workshop to encourage & inspire the continous Sashiko stitching with the core they learned.

This workshop, Sashiko: Application & Practice, is the workshop where I will walk you through how we can apply the Sashiko stitching to what you may enjoy more. I will teach some non-Sashiko related contents to enrich your Sashiko journey as welll.

As I wrote above, “Sashiko: Core & Essence” is the prerequisite for this class. I will only briefly review the Unshin in this class. Therefore, without taking those 6 hours of practicing, this workshop (Application and Practice) may be extremely uncomfortable. Please, please consider taking the Sashiko: Core & Essence before taking this workshop even if you have more than 30 years of experience in Sashiko. This workshop is NOT “advanced” – more like a “Let’s have fun together” with the core & essence I have shared – which is going to be fun because it is the first step to make the Jacket below in future (We will NOT make the Jacket like below in the workshop. However, I will be able to share how we make it with the core you have learned).

Some participants work on their Denim with Sashiko Stitching. This Application & Practice Workshop will be a great opportunity to learn that as well.

I will see you there in Phoenix

I have workshop from morning to the evening everyday. After the workshop, each day, I plan to enjoy the Quilt Exhibition in the main area. You may be surprized… but I am pretty shy. So if you see me walking, please say “Hi” to me. Unless I am running to the workshop, I will be happy to share our Sashiko with you there.

Sashiko Class 2021 Cover

Sashiko Class 2021 to 2022 to share what Sashiko is

Sashiko became a well-known word in English for those who enjoy hand-sewing and crafting with textiles. I am happy that many people are interested in Sashiko, and enjoying Sashiko with sharing the inspiration they got from the Sashiko they see. However, unfortunately, the Sashiko translated in English is not enough to describe the whole picture of Sashiko: not many non-Japanese Sashiko teachers are teaching the core & essence of Sashiko. Sashiko in English is NOT wrong at all – however, they are insufficient. It is my pleasure and honor to share what Sashiko is for us with teaching the core technique of Sashiko & essence of why it is so important to focus on the process rather than the result. Anyone can learn & start enjoying Sashiko as we do by joining one of the learning opportunity I offer: Sashiko Class 2021 to 2022.

In 2021 and 2022, I offer several options, both Online and In-Person. Please check my schedule & availability. I am looking forward to meeting you soon!


Online Sashiko Class 2021

The year of 2020 with pandemic brought us very difficult time. However, at the same time, it was the time that we all needed to somewhat adjust to the availability. For me, it was a year of investing majority of my time & energy to improve the Online Sashiko Class. With cancelling all of the workshop in 2020 due to Covid-19, I had to shift everything I had to Online.

I am confident that anyone can learn the Core & Essence of Sashiko Online. This is the main & the most important class I offer. I receive many good reviews with prefering Online Class because they can watch my hands movement closely and slowly over and over again.

You may find our Online Sashiko Class on our Official Website is the most costly option you may see (As of Summer 2021, it is $330.00). I occasionally offer Sashiko Class online collaborating with other platform. The reason of the fee of Online Sashiko Class from my website is that I offer the “Full-Support”, until you can do it (or until you completely give up while I will NOT give up on you). Although the Online Sashiko Class include only one virtual ticket to join the “Live Session” to confirm all of your learning, if a participant needs additional session to “be able to stitch like we do”, I will keep offering the time. I may offer the one-on-one session if necessary.

For me, “The learning of rhythm & practicing Sashiko in the rhythm” is the reason I share Sashiko. I sincerely would like you to be able to stitch in the rhythm – therefore, it would be very helpful if you would consider the Online Sashiko Class 2021. (*1) and (*2)


In-Person Sashiko Class / Workshop 2021

It is my sincere pleasure to start offering the In-Person Sashiko Class & Workshop as well. Although I am confident in sharing the technique & skill over Online Sashiko Class, it is also nice to meet in person and share the same moment. I will be there, right next to you, to share & teach Sashiko with my hands on your hands. Also, the biggest advantage of In-Person Sashiko Class / Workshop is that you can touch and feel what we make – the Sashiko we have been practicing. When the condition allow, I bring as many sample as possible with me. You may touch it and wear it for your inspiration. I will still try to limit the opporutnities of In-Person Sashiko Class, there are several of confirmed plann toward 2021 and 2022 (*3)

Sashiko Workshop: Core & Essence

Saturday August 14th: 10 am to 4 pm offered by Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh, PA.


Special 3-Day Sashiko Workshop

Monday January 31st (2022) to Wednesday February 2nd, offered by Aya Fiber Studio in FL.


Sashiko Workshop: Core & Essence / Application & Practice.

This is Sashiko Workshop for QuiltCon 2022 in Phoenix, AZ. QuiltCon 2022 will be held in FEBRUARY 16 – 20, 2022.

For more detail about Sashiko Workshop such as the contents, fee and how to register, please visit the QuiltCon webpage above, and follow the direction.


Annotation

(*1) The Online Sashiko Class from this website comes with “Full-Support” I describe above. The Sashiko Online Workshop offered by other platform, the “Full-Support” may be available with additional fee. No matter where you learn from me, my goal is the same. I just would need to priotize the one who pay the full price. Thank you for your understanding.

(*2) Other Online Sashiko Classes via different platform offer the same contents as the Online Sashiko Class 2021. However, the personal support may be available with extra fee. Most of the platforms provide you to access the recording videos. If you would need the personal support, please visit our website to purchase the ticket to get the personal support.

(*3) Please be advised that the In-Person Sashiko Class offered in Central PA (where I live) is still unavailable due to my family condition. Please wait for an update for that. It is my hope to start having the participants soon.

Sashiko Tour Japan Spring 2022 | with Tanpopo Journey

Are you interested in Sashiko & sightseeing in Japan? If so, the Sashiko Tour Japan Spring 2022 with Tampopo Journey is the all-in-one package tour for you. Sashiko – a form of hand-stitching developed in Japan – has been introduced in English very widely. With some keywords such as “slow-stitching” and “visible mending”, Sashiko has became a trend in crafting & textile field. However, Sashiko is more than just a trend with slow stitching or visible mending. It is a part of Japanese ordinary days, and traveling Japan to visit Sashiko artisans with an active Sashiko artisan (Atsushi) right next to you, will provide the comprehensive expereince of the Sashiko we have been practicing.

With collaborating to Tanpopo Journey, an experienced tour agency, it will be a very unique & comfortable Sashiko Tour Japan to satisfy your expectation & preferneces. I will travel with you to share the Sashiko we have been praciticing. In addition to the Sashiko experience, you will enjoy “tourists” part of Japan. I am happy to share the Sashiko we practice in Japan with visiting many beautiful places & enjoying the delicious Japanese meals.

Two Sashiko Highlights of this Tour

This is very unique tour because Atsushi, a Sashiko artisan & Storyteller, will travel with you in most of the itenary (Atsushi will not visit Kanazawa to prepare the workshop in Takayama). On top of that, we will offer the very special Sashiko Workshops collaborating with our family & friends – Keiko Futatsuya & Otsuchi Sashiko Project. There are many Sashiko Tours to Japan available. However, I can say out-loud, these 2 workshops with Atsushi’s translation & explanation will be available only in this tour.

Visiting Otsuchi Sashiko Project

If you are interested in Japanese Sashiko, and have not yet heard about Otsuchi Sashiko Project, then your understanding of Sashiko in Japan may be filtered (biased). Otsuchi Sashiko Project is one of the “community business” where people apply Sashiko to maintain their economical sustainability. Sashiko has become a form of hobby. Not many people can make ends meet by just doing Sashiko. I respect those who have been trying to revive the Sashiko from history & trying to pass it down to the next generation as a lifework (like me & Upcycle Stitches).

The essnece of Sashiko exists in the ordinary of Japanese culture. For that, Otsuchi Sashiko with trying to keep the economy moving within their project (a form of community business) is the on-going phenomina of Sashiko in Japan.

I will share everything I know about the Otsuchi Sashiko.

Learn about Otsuchi Sashiko Project via Upcycle Stitches

Meet Keiko & Learn from her artistry

Sashiko Tour Japan Keiko

I say Sashiko isn’t (Fine) Art because the essene of Sashiko existed in the ordinary. The definition of “Art” may bring Sashiko to the extraordinary side, and therefore I have not still yet considered Sashiko as the Art. However, what Keiko makes me think that Sashiko can be an Art. Her Sashiko isn’t traditional (which I will explain why in the tour), yet following the essence & core of Sashiko very much.

With visiting Keiko, we will have a day with Keiko’s workshop – making “Authentic Boro to be” pieces in playing with the fabrics (Both vintage & authentic Japanese fabric).

*We no longer offer the Sashiko Workshop by Keiko. A workshop may be arranged for those who took Atsushi’s Online Class and/or in-person workshop. Even that, due to Covid-19 & her condition, it will most likely “impossible” to offer her workshop. In this Sashiko Tour, I will make sure to be there with her and support her workshops. This is the opportunity to meet Keiko & learn from her (She doesn’t talk English, but I will be there to translate.)

Other Highlights of this tour

Please visit the official page for Sashiko Tour Japan Spring 2022 with Tanpopo journey for the details of itenary. The tour is focused on Sashiko, but it includes many other sightseeing & expereience opportunities as follows.

  • Welcome dinner & sashiko workshop
  • Take a tour of the Tsukiji Fish Market and have fresh sushi for lunch
  • Visit Tsutaya Edomoji Studio
  • Guided arts and crafts tour of Iwate prefecture
  • Visit stencil dye and homespun studios
  • Take a cooking class from a local women’s group
  • Workshop with Otsuchi Sashiko Recovery Project
  • Kanazawa sightseeing
  • Kutani Pottery Studio Visit
  • Feather & needle art workshop (optional)
  • Gold leaf application workshop (optional)
  • All-day sashiko workshop in Takayama
  • Day-trip to Shirakawago, UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Fabric Shopping in Textile Town
  • Farewell Dinner

Travel Details – Sashiko Tour Japan Spring 2022

Sashiko Tour Japan Welcome

Date: May 8 – May 19, 2022
price: $5,999 per person, single occupancy*

what’s included:
– Hotels & local transportation
– Workshops & demonstrations
– Some meals
– Guide/interpreter
– Transportation to/from hotel on the first/last day of tour
– $100 charitable donation to Otsuchi Sashiko Recovery Project (NPO)

what’s not included:
– Travel or medical insurance
– Flight to/from Japan
– Personal spending including:
– Shopping, alcohol, laundry, some meals
– Online-sashiko workshop / In-person Sashiko Workshop prior to the tour (Prerequisite)

Why is Sashiko Class prerequisite?

Please imagine that we will go to a Cycling Tour to Japan with planning to visit mahy cycling courses. You would need to learn how to ride a bycicle before the Cycling tour. This Sashiko Tour is operated with the similar idea. We will enjoy a lot of Sashiko stitching in 11 days tour. In those experience, the core technique of “Unshin (Needle Movement)” is a necessary skill to have. The participants do not need to “master” the technique or posture. However, they have to be aware of the idea & technique so that we can practice in the tour.

Some may think that they are experienced in Sashiko. However, unfortunately, I have not met anyone who practice Unshin like we do without taking our Sashiko Class. Therefore, in order to be fair with everyone, the Sashiko Class by Atsushi is prerequisite for this Sashiko Tour Japan.

If you have taken Atsushi’s Workshop (more than 3 hours length), please contact us with the email you took the workshop with. We should have you in the system, and we are happy to welcome you with some follow-ups.

Sashiko Customer Support

Sashiko Customer Support | Thank you for your support

It is my sincere hope to support our customers who purchase Sashiko supplies & tools from us. This is a website for Sashiko Customer Support. Since I am a “one-man business”, the support may be a bit slow. However, I will not just ignore your reasonable request. Meanwhile, a lot of questions you may have is already answered. Please check the answers & videos as our Sashiko Customer Support.

Thank you very much for your support. Your feedback is greatly & always Appreciated. (Your review is the best support I can ask for. Please refer the article for “How to Leave a Review” on our website).

(Last Edit: 4/23/2021 – I will continue editing)

FAQ as the initial Sashiko Customer Support

Please check the Q&A for the initial Sashiko Customer Support. Your question is/was someone’s question. There may be a good information available there.


How to keep Sashiko Thread in a good shape

Our Sashiko Thread is very unique. Please watch a video for “how to keep it in a good shape”. The article is also available here (with captions).


How to keep the stitches even

It is probably the most frequent questions I receive – “How can you keep the stitches so even”. It is challeneing to answer the question in one sentence. However, in order to share the beauty of this technique, I share it in our Sashiko Class (Online / In-person). Please consider taking it. I will make sure that you can stitch in the rhythm – and in the rhythmical stitching, your stitches will be even (automatically & eventually).

If you have already sign-up the class, please check your email box. You should have received the official welcome email with various follow-up & video links. Also, please check this website for the detail information.


How to prepare/handle the fabric I purchase?

The fabric we sell in our store usually do not require the pre-wash to align the fabric before you start stitching. The exception would be when you would use the “very” edge of the fabric for your project. If you would woul to have a great Sashiko stitching within 0.5-inch from the edge, then please soak the fabric into the water & try to align the fabric. (The fabric may be a bit twisted in a process of cutting into pieces).


For the color of the Indigo Fabric, the Indigo Color may come out for the first few times. After stitching, please hand-wash for the first few times without other fabrics to avoid the color transfer. After you confirm no color comes out, you may wash with other clothes. When the thread we offer is used, the Indigo color in the washing water will not change the color of thread.

*The Indigo Fabric I talked here is this one. Some swatches may not breach the color out in washing.

How to wash & dry the fabric

Since they are quite valuable fabric, hand-wash is always recommended. Drying on the table laying down the fabric instead of handging would be better to be kind to the fabric. However, since the fabric is strong, after confirming the color not coming out of the fabric, putting them into the washing machine will not damage the fabric significantly. It isn’t recommended so much, but even a tumble dry with high heat is okay. (I have a Samue – craftman jakect that I made from the Indigo fabric above – I have been washing it in the washing machine & drying it in the dryer… for more than 5 years, and it is still in a good shape).

I want you to care for the fabric. At the same time, Sashiko is the wisdom to make the fabric more durable in these harsh condition. So… “after several hand-wash“, it is okay to mix with other cloth.

*If you purchase the vintage fabric and/or a Jacket made with vintage fabric and Natural Dye Thread, please do not use the washing machine & dryer. It will add the “artificial” damage, and it can end up with destroying the fabric & color.


How to handle the Natural Dye Items?

We carefully hand-dye our Sashiko thread with some Natural Ingredience. The Natural Dye items are very beautiful. However, it isn’t so “strong” as the other mass-produced thread. For example, a spoon of breach “can” white out all of the colors. In order to avoid the unfortunate color change, please read the article below.

The Color Changes in Natural Dye by using it over time. We find it the beauty of Natural Dye. I hope you enjoy it as well.

Online Sashiko Class 2021 Update

Online Sashiko Class 2021 Update

It has been almost 2 years since I had started offering the Online Sashiko Class. It has been a great pleasure to share the Sashiko we have been practicing with Sashiko practitioners all over the world. Under Covid-19 pandemic, it helped me to go though the difficulties as well. I appreciate for those who support & show their willingness to learn. There are many wonderful Sashiko artisans coming from the Online Sashiko Class. It is my dream to share their artworks on our website as well. This is an announcement for the Online Sashiko Class 2021.

Online Sashiko Class 2021 Update

The Online Sashiko Class 2021 is the essential class to learn the Sashiko we have been practicing & would like to pass down. Our Sashiko requires the technique/stitching-form so called “Unshin“, and the Online Sashiko Class will help you to be able to stitch like we do.

After 2 years of experience in teaching Online, I am confident to say that anyone can stitch like we do when they follow step-by-step tutorials. One can, of course, learn Unshin by watching our Youtube videos. However, this Online Sashiko Class 2021 will give you the most efficient/quick route to master the Unshin. Some feel comfortable in stitching as fast as within a few hours. Please consider taking the Online Sashiko Class to avoid unnecessary detour (learn-by-watch can take you to a lot of detours – which isn’t bad, but not so efficient). Also, your willingness to take the Online Sashiko Class will help me to continue sharing the Sashiko We practice.

The Unshin you will learn (the right side of hand-stitching)

On Our Youtube Channel (https://youtu.be/rjEOWfY_6v0)

Price Adjustment in May 2021

I plan to increase the workshop price in May 2021 due to the increase of shipping fee as well as other price changes. It isn’t a great annoucement, and I feel bad about that. However. in order to keep our activities sustainable, your understanding is very much appreciated. I am thiking about 8% of increase in its price.

If you register the workshop in April 2021, the price will be the same. You will have (more than) a year to complete the Online Sashiko Class 2021. It usually take 3~4 hours to watch the videos & another 3~4 hours of practice stitching before 1-hour Live Session. After that, you should be able to find your own Sashiko. After you find your own rhythm, the more you practice Sashiko, the better your Sashiko will get.

For current Online Sashiko Class students

I sincerely appreicate your support & willingness to learn. I had sent you an important announcement on April 1st 2021 regarding the password change.

If your registration date for the Online Sashiko Class is after January 1st 2020, there is no action needed. Do Not Worry About it. Please find time for you to learn Sashiko via Online Sashiko Class 2021.

If your registaraation date for the Online Sashiko Class is before December 31st 2019, please check the email for the detail. The Online Sashiko Class has “one-year subscription policy” (as stated in the Online Sashiko Class description). The purpose of this policy is following: (1) to keep the video platform safe & healthy (2) to encourage you to learn Sashiko since you paid for that amount.

At the same time, I understand anything can happen in this busy society. The one-year subscription is not a rigid regulation. I will consider your case & extend it until you learn Sashiko. After all, my goal is to share the Sashiko we would like to pass down. Once you learn the Unshin in Online Sashiko Class & get a follow-up Live Session, you may not need to continue watching the videos. However I understand the needs of keep watching it. For those, I will offer the extended subscription with small fee and/or some favor to ask (like writing reviews, collaborating on Social media, and such).

Again, as I always say in the Live Session, once you learn the Sashiko we practice (the Unshin we would like to pass down), you are our friends. I will keep supporting you. This announcement is for keeping our “vimeo” account safe & secure. I appreciate your understanding.

(Important Note)

All of the notification regarding the Online Sashiko Class is done via Google Group. If you have registered the Online Sashiko Class, and have not received any updates, please contact me as soon as possible.

Advanced Online Sashiko Class

I have received several request to create some advanced Online Sashiko Class. Honestly speaking, after learning the Unshin, one doesn’t need the Advanced Online Sashiko Class. However, it is important to understand & accomodate the needs. I will work on it, and your requests on this article would be very much appreciated. Please leave the comment if you have any specific request!

Thank you & Enjoy Sashiko!

Sashiko Copyright

Sashiko Copyright Policy on our Stories & photos

As Sashiko gets popular, I receive many kinds of questions & requests. Please check this article for Sashiko Copyright on our stories and photos. As a summary, one may refer a photo and/or a story (caption) without for free with appropriatie citation. We do not give up the copyrights, though. If you are interested in using our photos and stories for commertial purpose, please contact us for the details.

Summary of Sashiko Copyright and Usage

  • Contribution/Writing
    • Commercial Purpose such as publication, part of the books, and/or product description: With Fee.
    • Academic purpose: Maybe without fee.
  • Interview on Zoom/Phone
    • Commercial Purpose: Maybe without fee
    • Academic purpose: Free of charge
  • Using a photo of our Sashiko work & reposting
    • Commercial Purpose: With Fee
    • Non-Commercial Purpose: Free of charge with proper citation

Reposting our photos & Stories

Please feel free to use our photos & stories which I have already made them public on Instagram, Facebook, or on this website. We have not given up the copyright. Therefore, please use the proper citation to the origin of the photo (if it is from Instagram, put the account name to share where the photo/story is from). As far as the proper citation is done, there is no need to contact me.

If you would like to use our photos/captions for your business, please contact me first. Based on your intention & request, I may be able to offer something for free of charge.

Translating our Sashiko Stories

If you are willing to translate what I share, please feel free to do so with proper citation. I will not be responsible for te translation on your ends, but I am happy to communicate to the people outside of Japanese & English lanuguage.

Reasoning behind the Fees

You may wonder why I charge fees on writing, and not on Interview. It is the same “time” that I need to contribute. What I care here is “who will be responsible on publication”.

The contents, either writing, audio or video, will be the responsibility of interviewer based on what I was intereviewed on. I do not have any control to what the interviewer summarize. Therefore, the responsibility will not be mine. However, when I write/contribute to a publication, books, and other media, the “writing itself” will carry the responsibility for me to “write” what I really want to share. In order to make sure that I write what I need to write, I charge fee & will spend more time on writing. By charging fee, it is also okay for the author to change their mind. Often, because the general understanding of Sashiko may be different, I do not write what the author may be expecting me to write.

The category of “Maybe with Fee” is that I do not have a specific rule for this category. If you can offer me something besides monetary compensation, I am happy to consider that.

Please do basic research before asking

Basically speaking, it is my pleasure to share the photos & stories with other media and individuals. It is pretty much the whole purpose of what I do – to share the Sashiko we practice. However, unfortunately, in last 4 years of sharing Sashiko, I have had quite sad & painful experiences in this “Copyright and sharing”. There was an author who contacted me, asking me to write a section about Sashiko. I asked for the compensation, if not, taking the Sashiko Class so that we could be on the same page. The answer was “Oh, there are people who wish to ‘pay’ me to write for publicity. I will find someone else”. Well… that’s how sad the communication can be.

I am a human, so I may write for the purpose of publicity. However, I will never distort what I would like to share for the profit or publicity. I write what I need to write. If I write what I need to write for free of charge, then the author may just throw it away to the trash bin (if the contents of my contribution didn’t match to the author’s goal).

I share a lot of stories on SNS, this website, and Patreon. Please do basic research first before contacting me.

Please read the related article about this topic as well.

The article about Sashiko Contribution in writing (2019)

Sashiko Talk Cover

Sashiko Talk to share the unedited voice of Our Sashiko

It is my sincere wish to share as many stories as possible in sharing the Sashiko we practice. The Youtube Playlist of “Sashiko Stories” is one of my challenges. Also, a daily update on Instagram with Sashiko Story is another challenge to share the stories. In addition to these platform, I am adding another challenge to share more stories: Sashiko Talk – where I can share the unedited voice of our Sashiko.

The true value of Sashiko Talk

In today’s society where anyone can say anything on any topics with modifying the surface, I realize it is very valuable to share the “unedited version” of its practice – here, Sashiko. “Sashiko Live Streaming” is the answer to this relization. I have been receving many compliment to the Live Streaming where viewers can enjoy our Sashiko stories while watching how I would do Sashiko stitching. At the same time, in the new normal of Covid-19, scheduling the Live-Streaming became very challenging. When the Live Streaming is not scheduled, it became quite difficult for me to talk on a specific subject because English is not my first language.

Sashiko Talk is similar to the Sashiko Live Streaming. The difference is that I invite my Sashiko friends to talk about Sashiko instead of me talking by myself. With having conversation partners, I can elaborate my stories even better. It is my intention for you to listen to the Youtube video as if you are the part of the group. Please bring your own Sashiko project, and stitch together while enjoying the Sashiko Talk.

I often talk by myself. On SNS, in Live Streaming, my voice tend to be understood as my opinion. Listening to the voices around my voice is the true value of Sashiko talk – to balance what I keep saying.

I would like to invite “anyone” interested in Sashiko eventually. As of now, I priotize the people I already know (such as in Patreon / Sashiko Online Class). If you have a strong desire to be on Sashiko Talk, please contact me with introducing who you are. I am happy to consider, but I would like to know you first.

Archives of Sashiko Talk in 2021

I am still improving the way of filiming us & broadcasting the video. By listening to those talks, I believe you will understand what Sashiko is for us much better than just reading books. Please let me know if you have any requests to bring up as a topic.

3rd Talk on 2/28

Theme: How Sashiko became the part of your day.

2nd Talk on 2/23

Theme: Tries & Errors made today’s Sashiko

First Talk on 2/14

Q&A: Knots or No Knots

Sashiko Story

Sashiko Story to share what Sashiko is for us.

Sashiko became very popular in a variety of interpretation. I am happy that many people are interested in Sashiko. However, Sashiko is more than just hand-stitching. We have Sashiko Story to share what Sashiko is for us, for the Japanese. Please follow the Instagram/Facebook Account to read our Sashiko Story. Your understanding of Sashiko is probably not wrong, but probably insufficient. I share Sashiko Stories to fulfill the missing essence.

Sashiko Story on Instagram

I make myself to share a Sashiko Story a day with introducing the photos of our Sashiko. All of the Sashiko on the photos are done by us: either myself, my mother Keiko, and/or our Sashiko friends who help our Sashi.Co project (or altogether).

Sharing Sashiko Story is a contribution I can do to the Sashiko Tradition. It is all free. Please follow the account & enjoy how Sashiko can be more than just stitching.

This is a comparison photo of back & front of one “Boro To be Jacket” we are working on. There are stories behind why we make one side “back” and one side “Front”. Sashiko Stories are the significance of the Japanese culture.

Support Atsushi’s Storytelling on Patreon

Sashiko is our life. Sharing Sashiko Story includes sharing very personal stories. Unfortunately, it is too risky to share “everything” where anyone can reach to. I have had very painful experiences caused by cruel trolls. Without many encouragement from followers & supporters on Patreon, I would have stopped sharing it. It can be too painful.

As a return to the support, I share very honest & personal stories on Patreon platform. I am willing to take a risk to share “everything” where they are willing to spend some money on what I write.

There are more than 100 articles in Patreon, and they are all exclusive. Your support to what Atsushi shares is very much appreciated.

https://www.patreon.com/sashiko

(Patreon Video is coming up soon).

Sashiko Fukubukuro 2021 Cover

Sashiko Fukubukuro 2021

The year of 2020 became such a strange, difficult, and challenging year. I am happy and relieved to write this article after all of challenges we had gone through. Thanks to your support, we are here today. We would like to welcome the new year of 2021 with the same way as we always did – with Sashiko Fukubukuro 2021.

The Japanese cerebrates new year’s business with offering the Fukubukuro (Fortune Bag – Lucky Bag). It is our pleasure to offer the great Fukubukuro again. Please read other articles about Sashiko Fukubukuro to understand what it means to us, in 2020 and 2019.

Sashiko Fukubukuro 2021

Some business use the opportunity of Fukubukuro to clear the excessive inventories (some even say that “Clear inventory Sale (在庫一掃)”. For us, Fukubukuro is an opportunity to offer a bit of discount at the beginning of year to enjoy Sashiko. We rarely offer the discount on our items in our store, so please enjoy this opportunity to get the great deal for Sashiko thread & other items.

*In Sashiko items/supplies/tools we carry, there arent any “trend” and “expiration date”. Also, most of them are not mass-produced. So, we do not have hundreds of inventory to clear and there are no worries for items to be wasted. Fukubukuro is a way to share our appreciation.

Each Fukubukuro has a theme. For example, in 2021, A.Keiko Bag is for the “thread lovers (Only threads, but many various kinds of thread)” and B,Azu Bag is for the “Sashiko Practitioners (thread, fabric, and some patterns to enjoy Sashiko)”. Please read this article as well as the product page carefully to find the best match for you (You are welcome to purchase several of Fukubukuro).

How to get Sashiko Fukubukuro 2021

All of the Sashiko Fukubukuro will be available for sale starting on January 2nd around 8~9 pm EST on our Store. The all sales ends on January 24th at midnight or all of the materials I had prepared are sold out. The shipment will be made accordingly, but please expect 3 ~ 14 business days for us to complete the shipping. (The regular order will have the priority.)

The price includes the US Domestic Shipping (either USPS priority or USPS First Class with tracking). If you are ordering it to the Non-US Address, please expect a follow-up email from Atsushi for the shipping fee adjustment. Based on the shipping address & type of Fukubukuro, I will suggest you the possible secured shipping options in Covid-19. Depending on the availability of international shipping, the package may be shipped from Japan.

*The contents & Price of the Fukubukuro may be different from today’s plan (Dec.31st). Please check the final product page for the final contents of the Fukubukuro.


A. Keiko Thread Bag 2021

The theme for A. Keiko Bag is “Sashiko Supreme Thread“.

We keep saying. “Thread Does Matter” in Sashiko. I receive many feedbacks from customers/friends with saying, “Yes, I got the reasons you are talking about” after they actually try our Sashiko thread. Thread is the biggest consumption in Sashiko. In order to enjoy Sashiko, we have to use thread (needless to say). Therefore, a Fukubukuro with a lot of threads are our ordinary offer in every year’s Fukubukuro.

This year, A thread bag (so called”A Keiko Bag“) will have a choice of its sizes.

  • Nami – Compact Size (Est. $40.00)
  • Dai – Big Size (Est. $140.00)
  • Tokudai – Super Size (Est. $250.00)

Nami – Compact Size

At least 4 skeins of Sashiko threads from the list below (3 regular Sashiko thread + small Sashiko thread). No Natural Dye Sashiko Thread will be included.

Dai – Big Size

At least 9 skeins of Sashiko threads from the list below, including at least 3 Natural Dye Sashiko Thread from our regular Natural Dye Collections. The bag includes some small Sashiko thread as well (the 9 skeins I promise will include a few small skeins).

Tokudai – Super Size

At least 12 skeins of Sashiko thread from the list below, including at least 7 Natural Dye Sashiko Thread. Some Natural Dye will be one-of-a-kind that is already discontinued (Not even listed on the website). A package of needle & thimble will come with the bag. If you enjoy Sashiko with 10 skeins of thread, 3 extra needle may be good to have. (If you do not need a thimble, please introduce the Sashiko we practice to your family & friends with gifting it).

All of the Sashiko threads are the one we use in every day, both small (40m) skeins/cards to regular (145m) skeins. I will make sure that contents will exceed the retail value of our Sashiko Store. Natural Dye Sashiko Threads are hand-dyed by Keiko Futatsuya

This is a list of thread that I would pick up the colors. The possible colors you will get are the following (but not limited to):

*Check all the thread availability from Upcycle Stitches.

I am happy to accept your preference in colors. If you have any preference (ex. I like pinks), please write your preference when you check out the cart as a comment to me. I cannot promise I can pick up the color exactly as you wish. However, I will do my best to make it happen. If your preference is “Earth Color” and “Soft Color”, please consider choosing the bag which contains the Natural Dye Sashiko Thread.

*A set of Needle & thimble will be available as “add-on” with the special price.


B. Azu Sashiko Bag 2020

The theme for B. Azu Bag is “(A lot of) Fabric & Thread & Some pattterns (Mylar Sheets) for Sashiko Practitioners.”

The more I continue the journey of “Sharing Sashiko”, the more “Sashiko beginners” I meet. I feel the “trend” of Sashiko more than ever. For the Sashiko Fukubukuro 2021, in “Azu Bag”, I decided to offer some choices in selection.

  • Azu Bag for Sashiko Beginner (Est. $50.00)
  • Azu Bag for Sashiko Stitcher (Est. $150.00)
  • Azu Bag for Sashiko Artisans (Est. $250.00)

Azu Bag for Sashiko Beginner

This bag is for a beginner who has never tried our thread, needles, a thimlble, and fabric. It is a compact package of everything you need to “try” our Sashiko stitching with a reasonable price. Most of the tutorials to enjoy our Sashiko are already on Youtube. You may need to spend a bit of time to learn – but I believe it is a good start to learn how to prepare the fabric as well. I plan to make a designated tutorial as well (toward the end of January).

Azu Bag for Sashiko Stitcher

We have several patterns that we had enjoyed stitching in 2020. We will send you “all supplies you would need” to enjoy several of new patterns with good amount of fabrics & threads.

Azu Bag for Sashiko Artisans

A lot of fabric + some vintage/rare fabrics that I have been collecting. I may contact you to understand the preference if you are the returning customer.

My wish for this years’ “B. Azu Bag” is to encourage a Sashiko lovers in continuing(starting) Sashiko stitching. The bag will have an essential items – as much fabric & thread as possible (toward the bigger bags). I will also make some tutorials to encourage you to enjoy Sashiko (For those who follow me, it may be a repetitive information. I hope it will be a good refreshment).

A list of items the Be.Azu bag “may” include…

  • Our Supreme Sashiko Thread
  • Fabric(s) made in Japan – good fabric for Sashiko stitching.
  • Supplies to prepare the fabric with patterns.
  • Sashiko Needles
  • Sashiko Thimble
  • Other Sashiko related items.

*Please be noted that the thread clipper on the sample photo may not be included.

In each bags, I will try my best to meet your expectations and exceed the item’s value (above the retail price on our website). My goal is always to encourage people to start & continue enjoying Sashiko. If you are a beginner, please mention it in the comment box at the checkout. If you are a returning customer (You are my friend), please let me know your preference. I am here to encourage you to enjoy Sashiko. Please contact me if you have any questions before the purchase.

As I mentioned above, many tutorials are already on Youtube for you to learn how to prepare the fabric & how to avoid making knots. I plan to make a webpage designated to the Fukubukuro customer as well. After receiving the Fukubukuro, if you would like to learn the Core of Sashiko (how to stitch like we do), please consider taking the Online Sashiko Class.

The special Bags I am still wondering…

Last year, I made one gigantic Fukubukuro with a pile of thread, fabric & supplies/tools in it. I received many good reviews & several requests – which were “More fabric”, “More Natural Dye”, and “Vintage fabric enough to make ‘To-Be-Boro’ piece”. I have been trying to collect fabric & thread, but I do not know if this “huge” bags are good option to offer in Covid-19 (since it is a bit more difficult to get supplies from Japan).

Therefore, I am still wondering if I can/will offer a special Fukubukuro for both Keiko Bag & Atsushi Bag with following the same theme. I have a few packages of “project materials to make Boro-to-be bag or placemat” that I am (was) planning to offer in 2021 with limited amount (Photo is coming – available upon request). Also, for those who wish to have A LOT of thread and fabric… These are the biggest Fukubukuros for 2021.

I think I can only prepare a few of this bag. I will offer them. However, I may take it down while watching what I have in my storage room.


Terms and Conditions for Sashiko Fukubukuro

Please read the terms of “Sashiko Fukubukuro” service before you complete the order. Fukubukuro is based on the concept of “a blind bag” and “a lucky bag”. Therefore, we do not accept any returns of the contents you receive. We will do our best to exceed your expectations, and promise that the value of the contents will be above the total of retail value on our webstore.

  • The Bags will be sold between January 2nd around 8~9 pm in EST to January 24th. The sales continue while the supply last, and it may be ended before the final date.
  • The shipping will be made accordingly. However, unlike the other regular orders which we usually ship in 1~2 business day, the Sashiko Fukubukuro order will take longer than that (Please expect a few days to 2 weeks to be shipped). I will do my best to complete the shipping as soon as possible.
  • We will not accept any return or cancel after the shipment. If you would like to cancel the order, please let us know as soon as possible
  • The Sashiko Fukubukuro Bag may contain an item without original packaging. We will re-package and will send them in a nice condition.
  • The item may be an item that was “returned” as the sellable condition. No second-hand item will be included (besides the vintage fabric).
  • The price of Sashiko Fukubukuro (2021) include the US Domestic shipping fee. If your shipping address is outside of the U.S., you may purchase one with agreeing the extra shipping fee will be applied (I will contact you with the estimate with reasonable & safe pricing to deliver under the Covid-19). Depends on the shipping address, the package may be shipped from Japan.

*All the photos are the sample contents. Colors and items insides are subject to change, but the photo explains what you can expect to get.

*Keiko maybe preparing for the Sashiko Fukubukuro – international version. Please consider one when if it becomes available.(Keiko’s English shop).

Sashiko Fukubukuro for the beginning of 2020
Sashiko Fukubukuro for the beginning of 2019
Sashiko Zoom Lecture

Sashiko Zoom Lecture | to communicate about Sashiko

It has been a great fun to share the Sashiko we practice on Youtube in form of “Sashiko Live Streaming”. The purpose of this Sashiko Live Streaming is to offer a real view of unedited Sashiko Stitching. I understand the great need for me to talk in English in the Live Streaming. However, since English is my second language, I often end up with talking in Japanese especially when I do not have a specific topic to talk about. As much as I will do my best to prepare the English Sashiko Live streamig, I would like to try other methods to deliver the similar message. One idea I came up with is the “Sashiko Zoom Lecture

What is Sashiko Zoom Lecture?

First, please understand that Sashiko Zoom Lecture is not a workshop or a class that I teach some Sashiko techniques. If you are interested in learning the Sashiko technique and posture, please consider taking the Sashiko Online Class. I am confident that the learning in Online Sashiko Class will enrich the experience in Sashiko Zoom Lecture.

Second, please be advised that this is not “Sashiko Gathering” that I occasionally offer. In “Sashiko Gathering”, anyone can speak up anything about Sashiko in a Zoom Meeting. I do not record the gathering, and I do not insist the copyright of any contents. I do not control who talks about what. I even leave the meeting with asking someone to be in charge from time to time. Sashiko Gathering is more like a “friend gathering”, and therefore, as of 2020, I only invite people who I know from Sashiko Workshop & Online Sashiko Class.

The Sashiko Zoom Lecture is an opportunity for me to answer your questions over a Zoom meeting. In the Youtube Sashiko Live Streaming, I just would read out the comments and offer the answers to the question as I talk & stitch. Since I often receive the same question, I end up with talking the same thing. There is nothing wrong with repeating the same answers (and I probably should do so to increase the subscribers), but I would prefer to talk about something new everytime I am doing. Sashiko Zoom Lecture enable me to choose the question first, and then I can have a conversation partner who has a question about.

I will invite those who wish to join the Sashiko Zoom Lecture with mute on. When you have a question about Sashiko, you may share it via “DM/Comment” on Zoom Platform. When I confirm the question is not so repetitive, I will ask the person to be my conversation partner for the question. You do not have to bring any questions, but please agree with the rules & guideline of Sashiko Zoom Lecture below

Guideline for the Sashiko Zoom Lecture

  • The whole lecture will be recorded. We shall obtain all of the copyright, and will upload the video to Youtube as an archive. The participants agree to allow me to upload the video which may contain the visual and/or audio contents. Although it is okay to not to share the image (joining with no videos), it is the participant’s responsibility to control the On/Off of the video.
  • The purpose of this Lecture/Discussion is to have a good discussion about Sashiko in English. A good question will be very much appreciated to enrich the discussion.
  • Please keep the microphone muted until I direct to unmute. When you are invited to the discussion, please engage in the discussion. It will be our dialogue. (It is more like a remote school that many children are experiencing now under Covid-19.)
  • This is a trial and free of charge to join. There is a capacity of 100 participants at once. 
  • This is not a workshop or class to teach techniques of Sashiko. So, I will probably not answer the question about “How to”. Please consider taking the Online Class for the specific techniques.
  • Please be advised that I may not answer the questions regarding the techniques and patterns to be fair with the participants of Online Sashiko Class / In-person Sashiko workshops. A question about Sashiko history & mindset would be very much appreciated. (The summary of many questions I have received so far is available on Patreon.)
  • I welcome a question. However, please do not “challenge” me. Upcycle Stitches LLC will have the right to remove a participant from the meeting.
  • All the questions & comments has to be somewhat related to Sashiko and/or Boro.

(Update: December, 2020)

How to proceed it

  • Please fill out the Google form to register the Sashiko Zoom Lecture after reading & agreeing the guildline above.
  • Please expect an email from Atsushi for the Link to join the Sashiko Zoom Lecture. As of now, the dates are very irregular. If meetings go well, I try to make it more periodical.
  • Once you join the Zoom meeeting, please make sure that your microphone is muted.
  • Please comment on the Zoom Meeting for your question. When I find a question non-repetitive, I will invite you to a discussion about Sashiko. (When you do not have any questions, you may just enjoy watching us talk.)
  • I will direct you to unmute the microphone. I will answer your question as if I have you as my conversation partner.
  • Once the question is answered & no more questions are appeared, I will move on to the next question.

Registration for the Sashiko Zoom Lecture

In order to secure the privacy of the Lecture, I will NOT share the zoom link (meeting ID) in public. If you are interested in joining, please fill out the form (Please edit your answers if you have filled out before for Online Sashiko Gathering). I will send out the email with link when we are ready.

Why Do I offer the Sashiko Live Streaming

I have reasons why I offer the Sashiko Live Streaming on top of everything.

“I want you to learn the Sashiko as the Japanese would have learned” is one of the reasons here. Many Japanese crafts were(are) passed down in learning by just looking. There is no caricurum. There is no textbook. The apprentice observe what the master does, and then learn by themselves without specific teaching. In fact, that’s how I learned the Sashiko I am teaching today. I am just summarizing my decades into 3 hours.

Anyone can learn Sashiko as they wish. For me, sharing the Live Streaming in which no one can “edit” and “hide” is the best thing I can contribute to the Sashiko we would like to pass down.

Please watch the Sashiko Live Streaming. There may be something you can learn even if I only talk in Japanese. Then, please join this new adventure, Sashiko Zoom Lecture, where I may be a bit more precise help to you.