We are really excited to have Satsuma Street printed charts now in store. To celebrate we caught up with Jody Rice, founder and designer of the company to find out all about her striking and instantly recognisable designs.
Your designs are instantly recognisable, how did you come about that style and stick to it throughout your charts?
My design aesthetic is influenced by my love of mid-century illustrators and designers like Mary Blair, Charley Harper, and Alexander Girard, so their influence is clearly visible in my work. But I try to also look for more unexpected sources of inspiration, like the native embroidery traditions of Central America, or the barn quilts of the American Midwest. I haven’t consciously tried to keep my look consistent, I just try to make sure that I always design things that I’d really love to stitch for myself.
I’m deeply in love with all color, but I’m especially drawn to very vibrant, unexpected combinations. I tend to start with two or three colors I know I want to use in a design and then I add complements, shades and tints of the base colors to create a larger palette. But mostly I just make a big pile of floss in the middle of my work table and see what I like. I always stitch models of my charts and consider that an important part of the editing process as I see the way the colors all work together in the context of the whole design, and I almost always end up ripping out colors and replacing them once I see it all together.
How do you get the inspiration for all your charts?
When I first started my shop, all my designs were text-based because that’s what I thought people wanted. But I did one little whimsical castle design, Pretty Little City, because that’s what I really wanted to stitch. Lo and behold, that was the design that immediately took off and caught people’s attention. I learned from that not to worry too much about trends or try to predict what customers will want, and so my shop is full of a little bit of everything I like; cityscapes, animals, plants, and inspirational quotes.
Can you tell us some fun facts about yourself that we might not know?!
I put salt on everything (even toast), I’ve been to Lebowski Fest multiple times (a convention for fans of the movie The Big Lebowski) and I have a favorite freckle (it’s on my big toe).
Do you have a top tip for cross stitchers?
The question I get asked the most is how I make my stitches so neat, even though I don’t use a hoop or any type of frame. The key to good looking stitches starts before you make a stitch, it’s in the way you treat the floss before you thread your needle. Floss has a directional twist, and when you bring two strands together that are going in different directions, they will twist around each other and your stitches will look thin and won’t cover the fabric well.