My happy place is a bookstore, a library or a comfy couch for reading. This design is my recreation of these happy places, and I hope stitching it brings you some comfort too…
It is also one of the first designs to feature the new Bookshelf range – my collaboration with Cottage Garden Threads and designed to complement Fox & Rabbit linen. This design uses 12 of the colours in the range: Hot Coffee, Sleepy Cat, Moth, Page Turner, Cloth Bound, Chamomile Tea, Candlestick, Pocketful, Foxing, Anonymous, Mercator & Austen. They are such a delight to stitch with, and I’ll be adding a post all about them soon – and you can see me introduce them (somewhat awkwardly!) in my first Flosstube video here.
I stitched my model on 36-count ‘Baked Clay’ by Fox & Rabbit Designs – a beautiful, warm, almost mushroom-brown. The colours of the new threads just pop on this – even only using 1 strand! The chart contains a full DMC conversion, and a conversion to Weeks/Gentle Arts/Classic Colorworks, but some of the effects of the Cottage Garden Threads are unique. In this post, I’ll talk you through some of the ways I used the CGT to create different effects, and some tips for stitching the design using other threads.
Threadpacks and charts are available in store now and direct from my Etsy store.
Stitching tips for ‘In the library’
Working with these threads was such a joy – and I’ll be creating lots more designs with them, and lots of tutorials for how to use them as well. I’ll also upload a video on using them on this design soon – subscribe to my new Flosstube channel to see more!
As you can see, some of the threads used in the design from the Bookshelf range have some very unique variegations – these allow us to achieve some different effects. In some cases, we need to stitch in a slightly different way to get the most out of them. Nothing to be scared of – just think of your needle as a paintbrush – you’re directing where the colour goes.
These variegations are perfect for stitching natural forms, for example. Using Cloth Bound in the Ivy border means that each leaf is slightly different, just like nature. Using Moth in the moths in the border, allows you to place the colours where you want them. If you start in the same place in each moth and follow the same stitch path, you’ll make them all similar. But if you want to stitch them as unique, start from a different part of the thread and/or follow a different stitch path. And don’t worry if some of the Moth and Page Turner colours seem to blend in the wings – this is intentional – following the softness of a moth’s dusky wings.
The books themselves are stitched in lots of colours, using the variegation of the threads to get the most impact. For the books standing upright, I stitched them normally (in horizontal rows). This means that the variegation moves up the book’s spine. However, for the books laying on their sides, I stitched in vertical rows – this means that the variegation moves across the book spines. Take a close look at the cover of your chart for reference.
A couple of the motifs were really fun to stitch too – the cat, on his gold-tasselled pillow was stitched to give him a creamy chest – I used the creamy part of Moth to stitch this, and stitched him in upward stripes elsewhere.
The other main feature where you can play is the globe. The lovely colour ‘Mercator’ is based on the colours of an antique globe. Using it creatively, we can create a globe that looks like it was made with 4 colours – when it’s only 2! Rather than stitching in horizontal lines in the globe using Mercator (you’ll end up with stripes if you do this), use the green and gold sections of the thread clustered together to create continents – and use the turquoise parts of the thread to stitch the seas.
You don’t need to stop and start the thread to do this – simply carry the thread behind to move across the motif to create the features that you want. Remember, your needle is a paintbrush!
If you are using DMC or other overdyes, the piece will still be beautiful, but it will have more solid blocks of colour. You might like to introduce some more colour changes in the book spines for more variation. And in the globe, you will need to stitch random continents separately, and fill in the oceans around them.
Convo me on Etsy or DM me on Instragram if you have any problems – but have fun! You’re an artist, so make the piece your own. Much more coming very soon!