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Sashiko Bookmark

This bookmark is made with sashiko, a Japanese embroidery technique that uses the running stitch to create geometric patterns.

blue fabric bookmark with ribbon

Photography: Jessica Antola

Source: Martha Stewart Living, January/February 2019

Introduction

Once used for repairs and reinforcements, sashiko originated as a practical method for mending clothes. Today, it's also used to stitch striking designs—often as white thread on dark indigo cloth.

 

For more ideas, scroll through our entire collection of embroidery projects.

materials

  • Cotton indigo fabric

  • Washable embroidery marker

  • Ruler

  • Sashiko stitching thread (Pictured: Olympus sashiko cotton thread, in White 01, $2, purlsoho.com.)

  • Sashiko needle (Pictured: Olympus sashiko needles, $3.30, purlsoho.com.)

  • Bias tape for edging

  • Scissors

  • Patching fabric (optional)

  • Silk ribbon (optional)

steps

  1. Download and print the bookmark template. Using a washable embroidery marker, ruler, and your eye, transfer stitching design onto main sewing fabric, as shown in diagram.

  2. Using sashiko thread and needle, follow pattern to stitch design.

  3. Fold fabric in half (as shown in diagram) to hide backside of stitching.

  4. To edge entire bookmark, sew bias tape around every edge of solid fabric, remembering to stitch down optional ribbon.

  5. Optional: To further personalize bookmark, stitch on small patches of meaningful fabric, as desired.

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