Kogin – working from pattern books (2)

July 5, 2009

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Hiroko Takagi. 95 pages. Published 2000. ISBN-4837706991.

This starts off with some excellent descriptions of the practicalities – how to set up your fabric, stop the edges from fraying, etc., as well as some nice single diamonds to stitch in small 12x12cm square format. It then launches into some contemporary patterns for contemporary applications such as napery, wall hangings, etc. The focus tends to be on friezes and linear designs, rather than strongly authentically original all-over designs, but it is possible to expand these linear designs to become ‘all-overs’.

The last six pages of life-size black-and-white photos of frieze designs, with patterns, endear themselves to a sampler and wall-hanging project. Some of the frieze and other patterns in the book are quite contemporary – given the amount of background showing through; some are more authentically ‘dense’ with little dark blue showing. For me, it’s a personal thing, but I like to know what the ‘original’ was before becoming familiar with modern interpretations of the original. Pages 2-32 are colour photos of cushions, table runners, bags, vests, screens; also copies in colour of traditional Japanese blockprints.

Highly recommended for its practical approach and for its excellent frieze/sampler opportunities. Having got the hang of friezes, one can more confidently tackle all-over surface patterns.

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