The triple backstitch is a common design element in pojagi. It is used primarily as an accent or to hold two layers of fabric together like quilting, but it is not a seam.
There are different variations to this stitch pattern. Sometimes it is done in groups of two rather than three, and some have different spacing. They are all stitched with the same method.
If you have done embroidery before, it will be pretty familiar. Be careful, though, it is harder than it looks. Even for experienced needleworkers, it takes a practice to get it right.
In this sample the stitching is going 1/4″ in from edge of the yellow piece as an accent. Bring the needle up just a tiny bit away from the corner.
Put the needle in (at the corner) and then bring it up past the thread.
When you go back for the next stitch, don’t go all the way back, but leave a space. The space and the stitch should be about the same length.
Continue for three stitches. At the third stitch, you need to leave a bigger space.
This is what is hard to get. The space in the middle should be the size as if there is a stitch missing. So if your stitches and spaces are the same size, this space is three times that. If you err with this stitch, it is almost always by making the space too small.
Continue with another group of three.
Continue around the piece. On corners, you might have to turn the corner in the middle of the group of three. That’s fine. I always make sure I have one stitch that goes right into the corner, so it’s not empty.
It seems easy, and it is, but it takes a lot of practice to get the spacing.
Use this stitch to enhance your traditional pojagi projects.
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Elizabeth DeCroos is the designer and teacher at Epida Studio. She loves to work in quilting, pojagi and embroidery and teach these techniques to others.
Learn more and get her to speak to your group.