DIAPER PATTERNS, Ann Strite-Kurz, book with CD, self-published
I first became acquainted with Ann’s love of diaper patterns in the early 80’s when I did her Group Correspondence Course on the through my local EGA chapter. I still have that pillow in my living room and I love the pretty patterns which developed.
Ann later published a book, Potpourri of Pattern, which explores diaper patterns and how to form them in more detail.
With Diaper Patterns she has given us an even more comprehensive look at these patterns, packed full of history, design guidelines and examples. Like her other recent books on backgrounds and couching, Diaper Patterns comes with a CD which has larger pictures of all the stitched samples. This is such a wonderful way to expand an enhance what can be shown in the book.
The first chapter has an in-depth discussion of diaper patterns and covers what makes them distinctive. Because use of diaper patterns is a step in the EGA Master Craftsman in canvas certification, much of the discussion in the chapter focuses on that. This discussion, while technical, will help anyone really understand what is behind these compelling patterns.
The second chapter use several different stitch patterns to show the difference between several types of patterns. For example, one patters, of Mosaics and Inside-out Mosaics is shown as a grounding (background), two diapers, a stripe, and a Chevron stripe. Every one of them not only helps the reader understand diapers but is a great stitch idea on its own. A second part of this chapter broadens the discussion to show how diaper patterns appear in different needlework techniques.
The third chapter discusses pattern networks, the skeleton of all pattern design. You learn through charted examples, how to recognize these patterns in stitches.
The fourth chapter shows you, with color pictures of stitched examples, how to develop a diaper pattern. The examples are discussed and sometimes several variations of a pattern are shown. The fifth chapter expands on this discussion by covering diaper variations, ideas and principles you can use to develop original patterns. This chapter really goes into depth with many examples of larger pieces which use diapers (the CD shows these pieces in detail). Not only do you learn how to create a variation but then you see how this type of variation is used in practice and learn through the detailed explanation, why it works.
The sixth chapter takes on type of variation, color change, and shows how it works in detail. Several stitchers were asked to stitch a diaper and their color choices are shown (at the back of the book) and analyzed. Because color choice is an important part of stitching diapers, understanding this by seeing what works and what doesn’t is important.
The seventh chapter shows more examples of diapers in use on finished needlepoint by showing and discussing pieces from many designers which use diaper patterns. If , like me, you have become a fan of these patterns, you are going to find plenty of new projects to tempt you. At the end of this chapter a gallery of Master Craftsman projects shows even more needlepoint using diapers.
The eighth, and final chapter, shows specific pathways for stitching some diaper patterns. Knowing the order to stitch diaper units and stitches of various types results in cleaner needlepoint without annoying traveling threads showing through.
There is just so much in this book, it’s hard to fit it into one short review. It’s going to energize my needlepoint for years.