Cross-stitch some Cath Kidston house cushions.
This bolster – a highly desirable terrace of three cottages – is a long-term project that will keep you occupied for weeks. Like the striped rug, it is also a sampler, which introduces some of the textured needlepoint stitches featured on pages 16-19. Have fun with this design. Either copy my choice of stitches or improvise with your own.
SKILL LEVEL: 3
Top tip: If your time (and maybe your patience) are limited you could make up the canvases one at a time and turn them into three detached houses.
© 2021 Cath Kidston / Quadrille · Reproduced with permission.
You Will Need
All three sections of the cushion are worked in exactly the same way. However, when stitching the second and third canvases, remember to work the roofs in either red or mid-green and the doors in either pink or light green. Mark the centre of one piece canvas. Bind the edges of the canvas with masking tape or mount it in a tapestry frame if you wish. The design is worked in a combination of needlepoint stitches. Following the chart opposite, and starting in the centre of the canvas, work the door’s outline and portico, handle, studs and letterbox in half cross stitch. Add the brown steps in mosaic or slanting gobelin stitch. Fill in the blue door with mosaic stitch, the other steps and path in slanting gobelin stitch and the porticos in mosaic or Florence stitch.
Next, work the window outlines in half cross stitch and the sills in a single row of cushion stitch. Fill in the panes, curtains and flowers in half cross stitch with a few French knots, if you wish, to add texture to the petals.
Work the berries in half cross stitch and the bushes around them in half cross or Florence stitch. Stitch the brown gutter in mosaic or tent stitch. Fill in the blue roof in slanting gobelin stitch and the sky in Florence stitch. (The blue house has sky only on the right; the green house has t only on the left.)
Finally, fill in the wall with ’bricks’ of eight slanting gobelin stitches worked over four canvas threads. Adjust the length of the diagonal stitches to fit around the other features and change the direction of each row.
Once the design is complete, remove the canvas from the frame and block if necessary. Trim each canvas down to a 2cm margin all round. With right sides facing pin the houses together in the right order, matching the edges of the needlepoint. Machine stitch along the edges of the stitching. Press the seams open.
Using the completed canvas as a template, cut out the backing panel and two pieces of calico for the cushion pad. Make up the cushion pad.
With right sides facing, pin the ‘terrace’ to the backing panel. Machine stitch all round the edge of the cushion front, leaving one short end unstitched. Press the seam allowances inwards. Turn the cushion cover right side out. Insert the pad and pin together the two sides of the opening. Using a double length of thread, slip stitch the edges together by hand to close the opening. Hand sew the fringing all round the edge, neatening the edges.