When Elizabeth offered to let me use her Baby Lock Sashiko I was so excited! I’ve heard her talk about it and I’ve seen the projects she and others have made using their Sashiko machine and I was excited for the opportunity to give it a try.
I decided to make a wall hanging that I could quilt using the Sashiko. I pieced the Modern Prism wall hanging (pattern by Cotton & Joy for Quilters Candy Membership) using the Baby Lock Crescendo. See more about that here: Piecing on the Baby Lock Crescendo
I love my finished wall hanging, but there are a few things to keep in mind to achieve an amazing finished quilted project.
THreading the Sashiko
The Sashiko is unlike any other machine I’ve used. There is no top thread – only a bobbin! The sewing machine uses the bobbin thread to create the unique Sashiko style top stitch. Because there isn’t a top spool of thread, threading the Sashiko can be a little tricky at first. But if you follow the instructions carefully, it works great!
Quilting with the Shashiko - Getting Started
Once the machine is properly threaded, quilting is actually pretty easy. Some things to note before you start sewing:
- Set the desired stitch length and gap between stitches. Play around on a scrap of fabric to determine your favorite combination. I set them both at “5” to achieve a hand-quilted look.
2. The markings on the presser foot make it super easy to see exactly where the needle is coming down to start quilting. This is a great feature since I wasn’t starting and finishing at the edge of my quilt.
3. Go slow! Take your time and go slowly – you will end up with a much better quilted project.
4. Leave a fairly long thread tail to start. I’d recommend 2-3 inches at least. Make sure the tail is pulled back behind the needle so it doesn’t create a nest of tangled threads on the back of your project.
Quilting with the Sashiko - Finishing Up
Once your project is quilted, you need to figure out what to do with all the thread tails on the back. The tails from each starting and ending point need to be buried and trimmed. This would be similar to burying threads if quilting on a domestic machine. (This step is not necessary if you start and end quilting at the edge of your quilt top.)
(So many thread tails to bury!!!)
The Sashiko manual had a few suggestions on how to take care of the threads. I decided to use a needle to bury them in the back of the quilt. This is why longer thread tails are important! If you trim them too short, it is more difficult to bury them (as I figured out!).
I’ll admit this process was super tedious. It took me about 45 minutes to bury all the tails for this small wall hanging. (It took me about 40 minutes to complete all the quilting – so burying the threads doubled the time spent on this project!)
I love how my finished Mystic Path wall hanging turned out. Using the Babylock Sashiko for the quilting gave it a beautiful finish. I’d definitely use it again for smaller projects!