Sunday, August 18, 2019

Embroidered Kitchen Garden

Embroidered Kitchen Garden is a new tutorial guide for surface embroidery by Kazuko Aoki. Originally published in Japanese in 2017, this English translation is due out 1st Sept. 2019 from Zakka Workshop. It's 104 pages and will be available in paperback format.

The author/artist's work is delicate and realistic. This is the third book from Zakka Workshop featuring her botanical surface embroidery designs. This one (see cover) features colorful vegetables and herbs, along with some insects and other garden creatures.These would be wonderful on table linens, decorative thread paintings, clothing, soft furnishings, and many other uses.

Roughly the first half of the book is a photo gallery of the included designs.  Some are pictured as they are in the templates at the back of the book, and some are positioned in garden-scapes together. There is an herb garden composition with a beehive, herbs, and even a tree with a bird and birdhouse that is lovely and colorful.

The gallery of designs is followed by a how-to materials and stitching tutorial with stitch diagrams and tips for using the included pattern templates.  These are clear enough to be accessible to beginning embroiderers. The designs themselves aren't overly simple, but they're well diagrammed in the templates with recommended stitches and colors.  The thread recommendations are for DMC mouline (6 strand floss), but conversions for silks or specialty fibres are available online for more advanced or adventurous stitchers.

There's a short list of included plants at the back of the book with common, botanical (Latin) names, and indigenous locations included for further inspiration. The artist's afterword was interesting also (she's a gardener and takes inspiration from nature and her own garden).

Really pretty designs, well drawn and appealing.

Five stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes

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