I took a class at the guild meeting last month on Sashiko. It is an ancient Japanese "art" of mending/quilting from what I learned. It was not as easy as one might imagine. The stitches should all be the same size with equal spacing. Also the gal who taught it told us that the traditional way was not using knots as thread was not easily acquired and often reused!! When you change direction you also leave a small loop.
Here is my first attempt :-) :-) The back shows my novice attempt at no knots and "small loops". I really enjoyed it - I might try it again - Nice thing is you use no hoops!
Here is a link to a better discription I found on the web.