The traditional Japanese pattern shippōtsunagi 七宝繋ぎ means "seven treasures linked." It is also referred to as wachigai 輪違 "various circles" sometimes.
Circles of the same size are crossing over one another, intersecting with one another to at a quarter of the circumference.
Like many traditional patterns, shippōtsunagi is a kisshōmonyō 吉祥文様 "lucky omen pattern." Kisshōmonyō patterns represent good luck and can often be found on kimonos worn at festivities or on gift wrappings for happy occasions. Each pattern has its own distinct meaning.
Shippōtsunagi stands for prosperity, harmony and good relationships. That is why it can often be spotted at weddings.
The seven treasures in Mayahana Buddhism refer to gold, silver, lapis lazuli, crystal, agate, red pearl and carnelian.
They represent the seven powers of faith, perseverance, sense of shame, avoidance of wrongdoing, mindfulness, concentration and wisdom.
Similar sashiko patterns
If you line the circles up next to each other, instead of letting them cross over, you get the the sashiko pattern marutsunagi. Though similar, it has a slightly different meaning, because it is not connected to the seven treasures.
The pattern looks as if you were meant to stitch each circle on its own, when actually you only stitch curves. This means to finish a circle, you will need to stitch from four different directions.
Make sure that the points where the circles cross are left open. If you are not sure how to distribute your stitches, I highly recommend you stitch this pattern with a pre-printed cloth once so you get used to it.
Pre-printed fabric by Daruma
If you want to do sashiko, but you don't want the hassle of drawing the pattern yourself, Daruma offers fabric that has the pattern printed on it, but the lines wash out when you've finished stitching. Super easy!
Leave a comment if you are interested in detailed instructions and I will upload more information as soon as possible.