Needle and ThREAD

New Bookmark Patterns

As you probably know, I invite designers to join the Stitching for Literacy campaign by designing bookmarks to raise money for literacy programs. I provide the Needle and Thread: Stitching for Literacy logo in exchange for a commitment from the designer to donate at least 10% of profits from the sale of the pattern to the literacy program of his/her choice.

Cross Eyed Kat claws on board with the Bookmarks and Banners pattern.


I asked Kat about the bookmarks.

Are these your first bookmarks or have you designed others? I’ve seen other knot designs and borders in the Cross Eyed Cat collection. What inspired your interest in knotwork?

The official name for the chart is “Bookmarks and Banners” because these bookmarks are big (everything is bigger in Texas)! I originally wanted to do a sword bookmark as a play on Excalibur being the sword in the stone. I couldn’t come up with any clever wording about that, so just left it as a sword. These are the first bookmarks I designed (that I remember), which is part of the reason they came out so big.

I’ve always loved knotwork designs, probably because they combine geometrics and some lovely intricacy; I see knotwork as a melding of engineering and artistry.

Do you have and use any stitched bookmarks of your own?

I confess, I used the original model for the “Blue and Gold” bookmark in this set as a bookmark. The original is slightly off-center and I had it restitched, so I used it and it is still sitting in the middle of my copy of To Green Angel Tower, part 2! Banding is trickier than it looks to stitch on!

What do you most often use as a bookmark?

I have big stack of bookmarks on a bookshelf, but I am more likely to use a spare scap of paper, like a receipt or a ticket than to use a real bookmark. Many times, these scraps get left in a book, especially things like plane tickets. When I read the book again (which I will if it is good), I find them and remember where I was or what I was doing when I last read the book.

What do you like to read, what are you reading now, and what was the last GREAT book you read?

I mostly read science fiction and fantasy novels.

I am currently reading A Feast for Crows, the fourth book in George R. R. Martin’s “Song of Fire and Ice” series. I can’t believe I hadn’t read this before! It is a fantasy series, but has a minimal amount of fantasy elements like dragons or magic and deals more with the characters and the events that move them along. Another author that I’ve discovered in the past year and can’t put down is Charles Stross. His books are quirky, full of in-jokes for geeks, and a fun mix of science fiction with fantasy.

One of the best books I’ve ever read is Tailchaser’s Song by Tad Williams. It is a fantasy novel where all the main characters are cats. The author does a fabulous job of making the world the cats live in believable, from their hunting, civilization to their mythology.

Where do you like to read, and where do you like to stitch?

While I usually stitch on the couch, I read almost anywhere: the couch, a car, in bed, in a waiting room, on a plane. I’ve even read a book while sitting in the galley of a boat having my lunch!

Do you ever listen to audio books while you stitch?

I’ve never listened to audio books while I stitch. I haven’t yet gotten into audio books, although listening to Neil Gaiman’s performance of The Graveyard Book may change my mind.

Oh! I’m eager to read The Graveyard Book. Maybe I’ll listen to it instead.

What books did you enjoy as a kid?

I remember some of the books I read as a kid vividly, but sadly not their titles or authors! I would go to certain sections of the public library and find favorite books and authors. I remember when I discovered the area that held books about folk tales and fairy tales from around the world. Near that was the area that had books about Robin Hood and King Arthur. These were my favorite subjects as a kid.

Did you stitch when you were a kid?

I have always loved doing crafty things, and I remember my mother teaching me to hand-sew when I was little. For a while in elementary school, I was doing plastic-canvas, which involved patterns and such. Mysteriously, I jumped to cross-stitch sometime in middle school. I got back into it in high-school when I found a pattern book with a bunch of space patterns. Then, in college, I was lucky enough to have friends who also stitched. That’s when I really started designing because at the time there just weren’t enough dragon patterns!

cek-briar-rose.jpgYou’re designing a stitched book of the Briar Rose fairytale. Why that

I’ve been wanting to do a stitched fairy tale for a few years now and the idea has finally ripened. Sleeping Beauty was always one of my favorite fairy tales. I remember reading a book of Grimm’s fairy tales and learing that the story was originally called “The Tale of Briar Rose” and not Sleeping Beauty. Also, I remember reading that Cinderella’s step-sister’s cut their toes off to fit into the shoe the prince had!

Do you know how you’ll put the book together once the pages are stitched?

For the cross-stitch book, each pair of designs will be stitched together to form a whole page leaf (front and back). So, Page 1 and Page 2 will be stitched together to form the first leaf. Keeping the layout in mind, the border of Page 2 and Page 3 match because those pages will face each other. Each “leaf” has a little extra fabric that will stick into the binding of the book. A cover design will come last (so that I know how much fabric to allow for the binding), but it is already designed. I’m really excited about this series, because I think when people see the whole book finished it will have a really big “WOW!” factor. Also, I can envision the whole series framed going down a long staircase!

Any plans for more bookmark patterns?

I already have some more knotwork bookmarks designed (they’re smaller), and some sketches for dragons on bookmarks! So look for those in the future.

Thanks for stopping by and chatting with us, Kat. And thanks, too, for supporting literacy by donating 10% of your profits from this chart to a literacy program.

2 replies »

  1. I love Kat’s new designs. I ordered the three new snowfight dragons from the Needlework show. I think I’m going to need to get the bookmarks and Briar Rose, as well!

  2. I enjoyed reading your interesting yet very informative insights on fairies. I just love reading anything about fairies and magic. Thank you for sharing and I am looking forward to reading your newest and most recent blogs related to fairies!!! – Fairy