Being a reader, I've wanted to design an embroidery featuring books for ages. And in fact I did come up with one for my book, Embroidered Home. But we had to scale back on the number of designs and so this one has been languishing in various formats for a few years now.
Flipping through back issues of Ideas magazine between then and now, I came across a project to make wooden bookends in the shape of a sausage dog and it reminded me of the bookshelf design. I scaled the books down to a more manageable size and added my own dog bookends to either side of the stack - only a dachshund really worked, because of its long body. I traced the design on to fabric and backed it with voile, ready to embroider ... and then it sat, and sat, and sat while I worked on other designs and editorial projects and pretty much forgot about it.
I have a file of pattern ideas and patterns in progress that I dip into, which is where Bookshelf had been lurking. I wasn't happy with the colours I'd thought to use in Embroidered Home but hadn't managed to come up with a better idea. This is how the design ended up in the file in the first place.
I pulled it out and fortunately it sometimes happens that an idea just pops into your head. In this case it was to embroider the books in white through shades of grey to black and the bookends in bright yellow to make them pop. The bold colours made the design fresh and modern, and it finally felt right to me.
It can be quite exciting when an idea that's been rattling around in your brain for years suddenly comes together, and I embroidered Bookshelf in a weekend. I was almost sorry when it was done that I hadn't added more books!
The graphic colourway lent itself well to a printable, so I've included one as a free extra on the last page of the pattern that you can print and frame as wall art for your home or perhaps a housewarming gift.