Embroidery Tutorial: Sashiko Table Runner

Our cover design for the February 2023 issue, the Sashiko Table Runner by Kathleen Berlew, is a real showstopper but maybe you think you do not have the skills to make it happen. Let us help you out with a few visuals from the designer and a bit of background about the stitching technique.


Sashiko is a type of traditional Japanese embroidery used as decorative reinforcement to repair worn out areas in fabric. There is a special Sashiko thread used in these traditional designs and most of the patterning just involves a series of running stitches. It has been popping up all of the internet in visual mending books, blogs and social media posts. But we thought it would be fun to use this decorative stitching on something special for your home.

The Sashiko style embroidery in this runner, is strictly decorative but is soothing and meditative. Let’s run you through the steps of creating the surface stitches used. Also, I should note that this runner is worked in Tunisian crochet. If that isn’t a style you are accustomed to; no worries, you can work this in regular single crochet and achieve a very similar look.

First, each square on the chart represents on square on the Tunisian crochet fabric.


Next, draw the needle through several stitches on the wrong side of the work to secure the tail.


Now to begin embroidery, pull the needle to the right side of the work at the point indicated in the chart.


Use a running stitches and straight stitch to create horizontal lines using the width and height of your stitches as guides to the length of your embroidery stitches. When working the stitches, run them through the center of the stitch. This keeps them secure and the back of your work clean and tidy.


The Tunisian crochet makes it easy to follow and create the vertical lines of the patterning.


Use the chart to guide you through making the motifs throughout the runner.

That really is all there is to it. If you can make some running stitches, you can work Sashiko patterns! Look around the internet for more inspiration. What else can you apply this lovely technique to?

Need some yarn? Head over to the catalog site for just the right DK cotton or cotton blend.

—Britt Schmiesing, editor

One response to “Embroidery Tutorial: Sashiko Table Runner”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *