Kate, family & cross stitching: an interview with Bothy Threads


Get to know Kate Golby and find out how she got into cross stitching, why she decided to start her own business and how this evolved into Bothy Threads. Plus, find out what inspires her, along with top cross stitching tips!

How did you get into cross stitching?

I‘m one of those peole who can never sit still. Stitching has been my life-long hobby. I find it amazing how the time flies when I’m stitching and I like the fact you can do it anytime and anywhere. I soon ran out of kits I wanted to stitch and tried to make some of my own. I had some very lucky breaks early on, but the business really developed when I began to ask artists, whose work I Iiked, if I could use their pictures as a basis for designs. We now use over 20 artists’ work and produce over 700 different designs.  

Sadly, I don’t actually manage to stitch all the designs myself these days. I‘m incredibly lucky to have the help of some fabulous stitchers. This gives me more time for designing and allows us to bring out over 80 new kits each year. This means that we always have something fresh on offer!   

Why did you decide to start your own business?

The business started off in our very own Bothy. It was a little cottage in my parent’s garden that was very picturesque... but sadly rather damp!  

Summer cottage

As the business grew it gradually took over our entire house! I cut all the material myself by hand on our kitchen table for over 10 years while our two daughters were growing up. When the children left home, my husband, John, joined the business and we moved to the Lake District in 2013. We‘re now a 20 strong team and our younger daughter, Iona, has also joined the business. I started Bothy Threads in 1992. 

Where do you get your design inspiration/what inspires you?

I‘m constantly on the lookout for interesting art work. I still get really excited when I find something I like and can‘t sleep all night thinking for how I‘ll approach it. I particularly like designs that are colourful, fun and a bit quirky.  

What’s your favourite cross stitch creation to-date? Can we see?!

That‘s really difficult to say because it‘s always the one I‘m designing at the time! Saying that, I think it would have to be ‘Love Tree‘. I was really pleased at the way this worked in stitching and I love using embellishments.  

Bothy Threads Love Tree

Crafts are known to be excellent for wellbeing – how vital do you find crafting for your own mindfulness and wellbeing?

I find that cross stitching is a really good way of getting into ‘the zone ‘ and I‘m totally absorbed. Taking a break and enjoying a creative activity has been shown to boost self-esteem, increase motivation and enhance wellbeing... So there you have it – it‘s good for your health too! 

Love nothing more than escaping into a world of creativity? CrossStitcher magazine is packed with beautiful designs to inspire your stitching, plus beautiful charts, expert features, top tips, SALs (stitch-a-longs) and so much more! 

What are your top tips for beginners/those who’d like to start cross stitch? Please share your top tips…

  • If you‘re new to cross stitch then choose a smaller design with just whole cross stitch to start with. 
  • My favourite top tip has to be using the loop method to anchor your thread.

"Iona and I have filmed a set of nine videos to help with all aspects of cross stitch, long stitch and tapestry. The one called ‘How To Cross Stitch Part A‘ covers all the basics.“

Are you into any other crafts and if so, what are they?

I‘ve done quilting, freestyle embroidery and stumpwork over the years. These days, because I spend most of my time designing and stitching, I spend my downtime on my bike!

Tell us about your craft room/work space – we’d love to see pictures, too!

I love my workroom. It‘s small and warm and has a view of the garden. I painted it lilac, and as you see it‘s full of colour and fun!

Bothy Threads craft room

Where can people find out more about you?

Our website: bothythreads.com

Facebook: facebook.com/bothythreads


From one family business to another, meet Jess of The Geeky Stitching Co and her wonderful Japenese-inspired cross stitch designs.