Herbarium: Fiori e Colori a Reticello

Herbarium: Fiori e Colori a Reticello.  Giuliana Buonpadre, 2015, Quaderno, Verona, 80 pp., soft cover. From Barbara Fay, 35 euros. Italian, French and English.

Another Reticello book (see also review of Guida al Ricamo Reticello Liberty  by Marzorati), it is based on square grids, filled with flower shapes that wander from square to square and out on to the surrounding linen. The author skips lightly over the process of preparing the grid, so this is not really a book for a beginner – see Margaret Stephens, A Guide to Embroidered Lace,  for this and for many of the motifs. Where Herbarium scores is in its use of colour and adaptation of motifs to provide a semi- naturalistic design of plants that seem to grow as you look at them. Construction of the motifs is illustrated with drawings that are not too hard to follow if you have some background in reticella, but they might baffle a beginner.  At the beginning are some small patterns for individual flowers covering about four squares. They are followed by a series of larger patterns (about 40 squares) with a riot of flowers and foliage. A nice touch is the inclusion of flower drawings from the author’s notebook, placed on a grid to be translated to embroidery motifs.