Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Apple Blossom Time!

I was printing up some of my kimono patterns to send to a store in Canada this week. It's been a while since I actually "looked" at these designs, and I was reminded of how enjoyable these patterns are to stitch - and look at. And the springy ones really caught my eye and I thought they might bring some springtime cheer to all of you too.... The kimono above is called APPLE BLOSSOM KIMONO, done with silk Waterlilies 088 ("Mountain Meadow") and a handful of pink and gold threads.

What I like about these kimono designs is how well-suited the rectangular blocks of the sleeves and body are for composite stitch patterns. The kimono shape provides the visual focus for whatever patterns you want to put inside of the kimono. Another great thing about these designs is how perfectly they show off variegated threads. The designs simply wouldn't look as elegant or complex if they were stitched with solid color threads. Here's an up-close look at the Apple Blossom patterns and how beautifully they showcase the variegated thread:

I developed a certain "formula" for these kimonos, in that I used smaller patterns inside the body areas, and then put the larger, coordinating patterns in the sleeves, and sometimes along the bottom of the kimono. I also discovered the soft rayon metallic thread called HI-LIGHTS (by Rainbow Gallery) that I used for all the kimono lapels because it had such a nice soft, shimmery sheen - like satin fabric.

Here's another seasonal design I call SPRINGTIME KIMONO (this is the pale version done with a now-discontinued Rainbow Gallery thread, but it's similar to Waterlilies 110 - "Hyacinth"):

I particularly love the little floral pattern that makes up the kimono body, as you can actually see lots of overlapping flowers. In this detail shot you can see that I picked out some random flowers at the kimono bottom and stitched them in metallic thread, to create a bit more texture and drama:

I also stitched SPRINGTIME KIMONO in a brighter colorway to see how it looked:

The great thing about these kimono designs is how adaptable they all are to changing the thread colors....A great project if you want to try mixing and matching your OWN colors!

In any event, HAPPY SPRING!!!!


Front Range Stitcher said...

All very pretty! We just never know what you'll present us with next. Fun!

Kayla said...

I love all theese kimonos, but first - is my favorite!

Tatkis said...

Your kimono patterns are SO beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

Best wishes,

Katherine Thomas said...

These are incredible! It's like painting with needle and thread! Your colors are blended like an artist with a palette. And the photos... those are incredible too!
I'll be back for more!

Barbara Elmore said...

Laura, I've seen lots of needlepoint kimono designs, and I have to say that yours are the loveliest ever! I love the coordination of the simple floral designs in the background that sets them apart!

Maria said...

I've got to saw I have no idea what I would do with those kimonos once I stitched them but they are all calling to me..."Maria, you love me, take me home!!" I think it is time to go whopping, I love the detail work! So pretty!!