Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Book review: The Crafter's Guide to Patterns


The Crafter's Guide to Patterns by Jessica Swift and published by Lark focuses on both creating the patterns and on their application to your projects.  If you've ever stamped a simple pattern onto a background fabric in order to have a unique surface for your beading, you've been involved in pattern creation.  For me, this is an area of interest.  As much as I enjoy seeking out and using commercial fabrics in my work, I enjoy creating my own patterns even more, and Jessica has made the process very accessible.

The first part of the book covers finding inspiration for you own patterns, use of color, and pattern type.  From there Jessica moves into how to create the various types of repeats: straight, half-drop, and brick.  Unfortunately, there is a little bit of a problem with the instructions for the straight and half-drop (step 6 and step 2 accordingly), but if you follow the illustrations you can easily see what you are supposed to do.  Once you understand the process, you won't need the instructions anyway, but the first few times it's nice to have them.  I like that the process is also described for Photoshop and Illustrator, the two most widely used digital imaging tools.



The second half of the book focuses on application of those wonderful patterns you've created!  Fabric, giftwrap, stationery, packaging, and home goods are all covered.  Perhaps you'd like to create your own pattern and stencil a wall when you're not busy beading?  Jessica has you covered.  Also included in each of these application chapters is an interview with a top-notch surface design artist that Jessica has tagged for more inspiration.


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