Not quite what I thought it would be
Where I live

Straight lines & Curves

I have thought of a new design for my next Kogin project but I am finding it difficult to realise it.  The problem is that Kogin embroidery is all about straight lines.  All the designs are mainly based on a diamond pattern.  There are some patterns that are used as borders and again these have straight edges.  My pattern is about curves.

I have drawn out a template of the curve and then tried drawing this using my computer program.  It looked fine but experience has taught me that what might look fine on the screen might not translate to the fabric.  So I have been 'swatching' and I can see that the bottom edge of that curve needs some tweeking.  I may have to look at stitching through a thread.

Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 5.01.27 pm

The other problem to be solved is that the design has to go across a seam.  I have drawn this so that when the seam is sewn the missing parts of the design on the left of the pattern will be stitched in.  This part of the pattern will appear on the far right of the printed design.

One of my goals for this year is to get the first draft of my book on Kogin Embroidery completed.  I have this project on track.  But the more I think about it I am understanding that my experience of this typed of embroidery is very coloured by my Western Culture.  My Embroidery looks like the traditional technique but the experience of stitching it is totally different.  Trying to use curves where there are usually straight lines just highlights this.






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Actually I think you are doing a very Japanese thing - stretching and tweaking a traditional, or foreign, idea. The Japanese are experts at picking up a Western item or idea and then adjusting it to the Japanese mind and market.
Examples: the Terry towel expanded into a sheet, a 'towelket' (towel + blanket)
Lace up shoes where the laces are only for decoration and there is a zipper for easy fastening (so you can easily step into your shoes at the entrance of houses or temples)
The battery operated bicycle
Hot dog bread filled with fried noodles
Log cabin quilts made with kimono silk.
Fabric origami cranes decorating a quilt....
Young designers often take a traditional design and give it a modern look.
Good luck with your wonderful idea.

Carolyn Foley

Gee I didn’t know any of those things.


This is going to be fascinating - I do hope you are able to achieve something you are happy with!

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