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Needle Works Cruise 2018 Highlights

Lola Girl Sashiko table runner

I had an absolutely amazing time tutoring on the 2018 Needle Works cruise.

The whole experience perfectly combined holiday relaxation and creative abundance. It was wonderful to be able to look up from our work to see the stunning blue ocean or gorgeous beaches.

We set sail from Sydney on the 21st of April for cruise that took in Fiji, Hawaii and Seattle. I was joined by a number of other very talented tutors from a variety of stitching disciplines.

Diamond Head, Hawaii
Diamond Head, Hawaii. Simply stunning!

I held daily classes with an enthusiastic group of ladies on deck to study the art of sashiko and boro. For our first class, we worked on one of my favourite designs, the Chelsea Sashiko Table Runner.

Lola Girl Sashiko table runner
First project of the cruise: Chelsea sashiko runner.


Indigo Niche sashiko workshop
My students working on their first project: The Chelsea Sashiko Table Runner.

The Chelsea table runner consists of the traditional Japanese Seven Treasures sashiko motif and Japanese print fabric, and is constructed by a combination of the sashiko stitching discipline and applique.

Indigo Niche sashiko class
Sashiko and lovely ocean views. Perfect!


Indigo Niche Sahiko class
One of my students preparing some circles of fabric for applique.


My main objective was to show how individuals could apply their own creativity to the sashiko and boro disciplines. I’ve always felt that sashiko need not be restricted to traditional Japanese motifs—although I adore those—and that one’s own personal journey and influences can be explored through sashiko stitching.

My students chose to interpret my designs in a variety of creative ways, with lovely results.

Another project that we worked on was a Temari sashiko runner. The Temari design incorporates a number of circular traditional Japanese sashiko motifs, charmingly arranged in a way that evokes the traditional children’s toy the temari ball.


Indigo Niche sashiko workshop
Some of my students working on the Temari sashiko runner project. (Looking very focused!)


boro flair on denim jacket
Jenny added this gorgeous boro flair to her denim jacket in her spare time.

In my downtime I was able to catch up on some of my boro projects, as well as brainstorm some new ideas for sashiko and boro products that I plan to bring to the store.

Indigo Niche boro project
Working on a boro project in my downtime.


Indigo Niche boro project
The finished product: some boro in my spare time.

I also had the opportunity have a look at the other groups’ wonderful creations, which I found very inspirational. I was particularly taken by Prudence Mapstone’s work.

The cruise was a wonderful experience, such a refreshing way of exercising one’s creativity.

Until next time,


If you would like to enquire about my teaching schedule, or have any questions about the sashiko runners featured in this blog, feel free to contact me via the form below.

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CUSTOMER ALERT for orders placed April 21-May 9th 2018

From April 21st to May 9th,  I will be tutoring sashiko on the Needleworks Tour — Sydney to Seattle. 

This means that all orders placed during this time will be despatched AFTER May 10th.

During the tour, I will be posting highlights on Instagram and the Indigo Niche blog, as I show my students how to create gorgeous Celtic and Japanese shashiko creations!

You can follow Indigo Niche on Instagram here.

You can subscribe to the Indigo Niche Blog here. 

If you would like to know more about amazing Needleworks Tours, check out their website.

See you all when I get back!


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Moving Forward in 2018

As you may be aware, we made the decision last year to close our retail premises.

This caused many of our loyal customers to wonder about the future of the Indigo Niche brand heading into 2018, not to mention our product availability. Here’s what you need to know.

We now sell exclusively online.

I will continue to provide premium sashiko designs, supplies and kits, as well as beautiful Japanese and Taiwanese fabrics, from the online store.

I’m very excited to bring you an extensive range of new fabrics, sashiko designs and kits over the coming months, so I suggest following my blog and newsletter for updates.

Classes and workshops are continuing.

I will be conducting sashiko and boro classes throughout the year. You can keep track of my schedule via the calendar, or email me with any questions you may have.

While the store is being updated, please check product availability with me before purchasing.

If you have any queries about our products or classes, please contact me via the form below.

Sue Howie

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Yarn-dyed Spring Clean Sale

Exclusively for the month of September, we’ll be having a ‘Spring clean’ sale on a selection of our yarn-dyed stock. If there was ever a time to update your stash, this would be it!



K051-6 Yarn Dyed Rolls No 6 Chocolate JR

Buy One of our Taupe Jnr Jelly Rolls in any colour and get $10 off the price.  This special is only available until the end of September.



Taupe Stash Rolls Pink

Buy one of our Taupe Stash Rolls in any colour and get $5.00 of the price. This special is only available until the end of September.


Collection DY1407-A

DY1407-A Yarn Dyed Pastels  From the 18th – 22nd September, packs of yarn-dyed pastel fabrics will be $6 off.


K050 - Green

Gift Pack of Yarn Dyed Fabrics — Beautiful as a gift for Christmas or a birthday. Available for one day only.  On the 26th September, all Yarn-dyed Gift Packs will be $10 off.

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Getting Creative With The Lola Girl Sashiko Panel

The Lola Girl sashiko panel is one of my favourite designs.

With its interesting take on the traditional Seven Treasures motif, it got me thinking about how it would look as a runner for my dining room table.

After completing the sashiko stitching, I chose a suitable Japanese backing fabric to subtly contrast the design. I chose an indigo cotton print fabric that featuring the Seven Treasures motif.

The results have exceeded my expectations, and the runner is now a permanent (and gorgeous) addition to my dining room.

For my table runner, I used:

On to the next project!



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Sit & Stitch Classes 2017- Yeronga Workshop

Sit and Stitch at our Workshop –  2017 –  – Bring your Sashiko Stitching for some tips on the day and a very relaxing morning of like minded stitchers – All skill levels are very welcome – 9.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m. on days as noted on the Calendar –

Our 2016 Calendar is now available for your perusal  –   Please click here for dates and times of our Sit and Stitch Classes  –

Also available are our Craft Shows and Workshops for the 2017 Calendar Year –

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Needlework Tour: Sydney to Seattle — April 22 – May 14 2018

New Cruise just been announced.  Sue is delighted to be a tutor on the Needlework Tour from Sydney to Seattle from April 22nd – May 14th – 2018. 23 days cruising the Pacific – calling into wonderful Ports and stitching Sashiko . What a time to be had! click on the link for details