What do you do when you are tired and stressed and life is giving you lemons? No, you do not make lemonade you sew Boro. Sat here on a beautiful afternoon, sun shining with a slight breeze, relaxing on the university campus of Trinity of Saint David’s, in the beautiful Welsh town of Lampeter. What more could a person ask for while enjoying a much needed holiday.

My Boro inspired project is taking shape, more slowly than I anticipated. I am learning this as I write these blogs. I do not profess to have all the answers or know the details of what is involved completely in this Japanese craft. I cannot afford to go to lessons or even buy lessons online. As my journey happens, I look for ways to inspire others.

With this lack of knowledge in mind, I have a confession to make, in part one of my Boro blog, I said that you needed an embroidery hoop.  You do not; I however, do find it helps me. Our wonderful Susan Briscoe, upon reading my blog was able to set me straight.

          “You do not need a hoop for Boro – like Sashiko, it is just held in your hand. Great use for old fabric. It will stop you pleating the fabric onto the tip of the needle, loading up lots of stitches and then pulling the fabric off the back of the needle, which is the basic way of doing running stitches in Japan and keeps your stitching lines straighter. It is also quicker.” Susan Briscoe May 2018.

My stitch lines are far from straight and the stitches are not equal lengths.  To combat this I tried a-work-around using a ruler, I marked a row of straight even spaced lines with a fabric marker. 

Then I attempted to sew over them. The first row was fine but subsequent rows became divergent from the first.

It is a good job this piece is Boro inspired. My Boro needs so much more work to get these stitches straight and even.

A row of running stitches, which gathered along the needle, produces the rows. The stitches themselves need to be longer than the gap between.




However, some of mine have not come out like that. I have been tempted to unpick the lot and abandon this project all together. I realised this would defeat the object of my blogs, which are to inspire others. I can only achieve this if I show errors as well as successes.


Life has over taken me this month and I have still yet to finish it. I had a few weeks where I had lost heart in this project and felt a failure; it was nearly destined to become a UFO – Unfinished Object – but not quite.

So far, my pieces resemble what not to do, rather than what to do. Therefore, to help me with this I have invested in Sashiko needles. These needles will make the gathers along the needle better; you can get more along the shaft and keep an eye on spacing.

I hope that in my next Boro blog, part three, you will see a finished miss mash of attempted Boro inspired, blue on blue work. In addition, reveal, what I intend to do with it. Baring in mind I am still thinking of that sewing kit we have been acquiring as we do this wonderful crafting journey together.

NOTE: Sashiko needles are another item to add to your sewing kit and cost less than £10.