Pattern 6: Juji Kikko (Crossed tortoiseshell)
This design is a variation of the traditional tortoiseshell pattern that I have altered with diagonal crosses instead of vertical crosses. I like the hexagon shapes which remind me of grandmother’s flower garden design in English paper piecing.
I suggest you continue to use a short sashiko needle for this design to cope with the smaller stitches and short lines.
Mark out a grid of ¾” vertical lines and 3/8” horizontal lines on one of your squares on your sampler.
Thread your needle with double thread and a knot on the end. I have worked three stitches for each side of each hexagon. Begin in the top right hand corner and stitch the first two sides of the first half hexagon.
Similar to pattern 5 there is an order of work to follow for each motif. Add the half flower or cross to the centre as shown before looping across the back to start stitching the three sides of the next hexagon. (You’ll notice that while I was planning this pattern I popped in a few extra vertical lines so that my brain could check how the pattern was going to work!)
Add the first two stitches in the centre of the second hexie, arranged along the diagonal line towards the bottom right hand side. Add the last two stitches working them towards the top left hand side. This way the needle and thread are pointing in the right direction for the next line of stitching. Few!
Complete the first row and then come back in the opposite direction for row two, maintaining the rhythm of stitching three sides of the next hexagon before completing the diagonal cross.
The back does get very loopy and you need to remember to keep making little loops each time you change direction.
Gradually work your way down the square until all the rows have been completed.
And there we are five rows of nested hexagons forming another version of the tortoise shell pattern.
I will choose my favourite and get in contact to send you your prize! The Prize winner will be revealed on Monday 22nd August 2016. Good luck!
Enjoy your Sashiko stitching!