Book reviews: Sashiko books in English part II

Continued from yesterday’s post, here are four more excellent sashiko books in English. Once again, these are listed by publication date. Quick summary statements are underlined. Click on the title links to purchase.

Japanese Country Quilting: Sashiko patterns and projects for beginners by Karen Kim Matsunaga. Kodansha, 1990. 96 pages.

An excellent all-in-one sashiko reference, great for beginner and beyond. This book starts out with a basic history of sashiko in Japanese culture and moves on to more technical information including tools, materials and pattern drafting. Diagrams are small, but clear. Although it lacks any photographs at all, it is still one of the best sashiko general reference books available in English.

Quilting With Japanese Fabrics by Kitty Pippen. Martingale & Co. for That Patchwork Place, 2000. 96 pages.

Colorful and inspiring, this book appealed to me as so many beautiful yukata, kasuri and ikat cotton fabrics are used in Kitty’s quilts. Filled with colorful projects originally done in authentic Japanese fabrics, then broken down in the pattern section and shown made from fabrics readily available here in the US, such as Kona Bay prints. This book is more about quilting than sashiko, but it does meld the two very effectively.

Sashiko: Japanese Traditional Hand Stitching by Ai Takeda. Quilters Resource Publications, 2004. 96 pages.

This beautifully photographed, Japanese produced book is a handy reference for those who enjoy the blue and white look in a traditional setting. The first third of the book includes color photos of finished projects, followed by instructions and templates in black and white photos and line drawings. This book does not dwell on the origins or history of sashiko as many Western-written books do, but does showcase the historically important Museum Meiji-Mura to give each project more cultural appeal.

Paradise Stitched–Sashiko & Applique Quilts by Silvia Pippen. C&T Publishing, 2009. 80 pages plus pull-out paper patterns.

Kitty Pippen’s daughter Silvia has taken her mother’s blend of quilting and sashiko and pushed it even further into technicolor territory. A strong Hawaiian flavor permeates this richly colorful project book. Patterns and instructions for art quilts and embellishments are well laid out and easy to follow. The pull-out patterns in the back are on durable, heavy stock, not tissue thin paper.  Another good book for quilters looking to add sashiko to their projects.

There are still more books on my shelf to review, but I’m going to take the weekend to prepare for next weekend’s Fanime Con in San Jose, California. On Monday I’ll have more on the Indigo feature I’ve been working on, plus KimonoMomo shop updates.

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