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Embroidery artist and avid gardener Kazuko Aoki shares her newest collection of exquisite designs inspired by her very own kitchen garden. This bountiful assortment of embroidery motifs includes everyone’s favourite garden treats. From humble tomatoes and radishes to show-stopping figs and Brussels sprouts, this collection features over 30 designs. Each design features artfully illustrative details yet are made with just a handful of simple embroidery stitches. Instructions and templates for all designs are included, along with personal embroidery tips and expert advice from the author.
Kazuko Aoki is a popular Japanese embroidery artist who draws inspiration from her garden and the wildlife that frequently visits there. After attending art school in Japan, Kazuko Aoki studied textiles in Sweden. She is the author of multiple embroidery books.
This is a book that surprised me. Who would have thought that vegetables would be interesting enough to embroider?
Once I looked through, I discovered just how beautiful the artistry and embroidery samples are and thought they would look fabulous embroidered onto those French cotton tea towels and what wonderful gifts they would make.
As well as superb drawings, Embroidered Kitchen Garden has a lot to offer. It is filled with stitches, advice on where to start and how to get the best effects from your stitch work.
Stitch recommendations are included and DMC floss is used. There is no problem however with choosing our own colours to make your sample unique and distinctive.
The motifs vary in size, so it is easy to piece together a sample to stitch onto a tote bag or kitchen cushion.
The pictures are beautiful and delicate and the photography and colours showcase these designs perfectly.
Gardens are popular subjects for embroidery and have been so for centuries. But they usually focus on the floral side of nature and neglect the other important group of plants found in gardens vegetables! This book redresses the balance with patterns for use in the kitchen and anywhere else associated with this type of plant.
I guess the fact that vegetables are usually just seen as ingredients has made them seem rather ordinary. But take a closer look and see how attractive many of them are, plus of course, many also produce pretty flowers of their own.
Like all the books I have seen that originated in Japan, this one follows a particular layout. At the front are photographs of all the projects, followed by the instructions and patterns. This means you get to whet your appetite with pages of colourful examples of embroidered vegetables before getting down to the more practical aspects. This is a book aimed at the embroiderer who already has a working knowledge of freestyle stitches and knows what tools and materials you are going to require. There are two pages of this type of information plus stitch diagrams, the latter helpful to anybody, as it shows which stitches you are going to be using.
The patterns vary from rows of small plants suitable for borders (or a sampler showing the layout of a kitchen garden) to whole page drawings and everything in between. Lines are black and very fine; the author suggests you trace them onto the fabric over dressmakers carbon using a stylus, which is what I always do. Each pattern has lines to show which stitch to use, and which colour of DMC floss.
Choose from traditional garden favourites such as tomatoes, carrots, onions and potatoes. or more contemporary choices such as edible flowers, sprouting seeds, okra and komatsuna. Also included are patterns for garden tools and visitors like birds and insects. There arent any projects to make, but any of these patterns would be ideal decorating a tote bag to take to market, apron, napkins, tea cosy and anything else for use where actual vegetables might also be making an appearance. For anybody who wants to grow the actual plants there is a list at the back. This does not give the actual species used but the common name (i.e. carrot, parsley etc), scientific name and where it originated. An attractive book for anybody who likes to cook, garden and embroider.
If you cannot find a good range of embroidery and needlecraft materials locally try www.searchpress.com for a list of suppliers.
By Kazuko Aoki