Quilting: Sashiko Tea Towel

Sashiko Tea Towel

An introduction to Sashiko

1 review

There's a tradition in Japan of giving small domestic items as gifts to friends. This type of gift is called "zakka." An embroidered tea towel, a handmade pincushion – these are the sorts of presents friends exchange and treasure. In this workshop I'll use a traditional Japanese quilting technique called Sashiko to embellish an indigo tea towel. The design is a classic geometric pattern of a square folding on itself and reminds me of origami sculpture. The bold white stitches against the dark blue background look fresh and modern today. This tea towel might just be too nice to use!

Making an everyday object beautiful is a great place to start with any craft. And after you've made one towel for yourself, you can use your new skills to make beautiful gifts for family and friends. Drying dishes can be a mundane chore, so why not turn it into an opportunity to admire and showcase your crafty talent?

I can't wait to teach you this stylish, zen method of embroidery. This workshop features step-by-step photo instructions, and should you have any questions, my quilting expertise is at your disposal.

Finished Dimensions

In this workshop I'm making a tea towel from indigo fabric cut 18 in. x 24 in. (45.5 cm x 61 cm). It's really your choice as to the eventual size. Bought tea towels come in many sizes. If you use a bought tea towel, remember you need to only embellish the towel near its hem.



Skill Level:

level 2 difficulty


Basic Skills Necessary:

  • Basic hand stitching skill
  • Basic machine sewing if you make your own tea towel
  • Measuring with a ruler
  • Cutting using a rotary cutter or scissors


  • Sashiko pattern template
  • Step-by-step photo instructions
  • Help from renowned quilter Pepper Cory!

You Will Need:

  • Fabric: ¾ yard of indigo (a very deep blue) in a homespun fabric
  • Sewing machine threaded with color to match your tea towel
  • Rotary cutter or scissors
  • Iron
  • Sashiko thread
  • White chalk marking pencil
  • Measuring square
  • Ruler
  • Sashiko needles – assorted pack

About the Designer:

Pepper Cory

Pepper Cory

Pepper Cory has made quilting her life's work. She owned a quilt shop, has written seven books, and designs stencils and templates for quilting, and cotton prints for fabric companies. She is the past president of the International Quilt Association and a recipient of the Jewel Pearce Patterson Teachers Scholarship. She continues to teach in the US and internationally. Pepper also blogs about learning to quilt at the Quilt Studio and shares photos and commentary about vintage quilts at Quilt Flap.

Reviews of this Workshop

Average Review (of 1 review)
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Good Relax and Enjoy  January 31, 2013

Pepper Cory does a great job of explaining a form of embroidery that she clearly loves. I find this a most relaxing craft.

regular price 15.99

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