zakka style

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Zakka Embroidery presents designs that are an elegant blend of Japanese and Scandinavian style

Zakka Embroidery: Simple One- and Two-Color Embroidery Motifs and Small Crafts
by Yumiko Higuchi
Roost Books
2016, 192 pages, 8.3 x 0.6 x 5.9 inches, Paperback
$14 Buy on Amazon

I’m a sucker for fiber arts. I only ever had a passing interest in embroidery and basically did all of my needlework embellishments freehand and on-the-fly. But since hitting the embroidery thread jackpot at a yard sale last summer, I’ve been inching slowly closer to learning the actual craft. Zakka Embroidery was exactly what I needed.

Yumiko Higuchi first draws in readers with a collection of beautiful embroidery motifs (shot clearly and up close so that you can practically feel the stitches on the muslin) with corresponding projects. All the motifs are garden/nature inspired and only use one or two colors of thread. This was a huge selling point for me, as I am not naturally drawn to overly colorful designs and have a hard time figuring out what goes well together (outside of gray and dark gray). The projects range from sweet, floral clutches and satchels, to baby items, to home decor. There are a lot of great gift-projects in this book. The second half is a thorough, photographically illustrated guide to embroidery techniques, and then the actual embroidery and project patterns.

Because many of the projects in this lovely little book do involve sewing, it’s good to have some basic sewing skills to fully utilize it. But don’t let that stop you! You can easily embroider these motifs onto pre-made garments (some projects actually call for this), tea towels, or accessories. You could even make these tiny gardens into your classic wall-hanging, but I think one of the nicest things about this book is that everything is intended to be actually used, worn, and appreciated in action.

– Marykate Smith Despres

March 27, 2017