cover image Cottage Cross-Stitch: 20 Designs Celebrating the Simple Joys of Home

Cottage Cross-Stitch: 20 Designs Celebrating the Simple Joys of Home

Gail Bussi. Stackpole, $26.95 trade paper (120p) ISBN 978-0-8117-7359-1

This cozy embroidery guide by Bussi (Enchanted Garden Cross-Stitch) shows how to cross-stitch pastoral scenes. The simple designs use only cross-stitches, backstitches, French knots, and “a few half stitches where necessary,” and Bussi shows how to make each in a brief introduction. Cottages feature heavily in the projects, such as the “wool and whimsy” composition that features sheep frolicking on hills outside a small home, and the “cottage joy mandala” that portrays a small yellow house at the center of flowers and vines arranged in concentric circles. Other pieces are more text heavy. For instance, one design consists almost entirely of a recipe for apple crisp cake, and another depicts the scene outside a beach house accompanied by the sentence, “We don’t count the days in a little house by the sea.” Most of the compositions are intended to work either as wall hangings or on pillowcases, though Bussi also shows how to stitch a floral wrap for a journal. The combination of muted colors and photos taken in relatively low light can make it hard to see the details of some projects, but their charm nonetheless comes through. Recipes for pancakes, pumpkin soup, and rose essential oil are a bonus. Cottagecore enthusiasts will be pleased. (June)