At Alabama Chanin, we believe DIY projects are integral to sharing creativity and promoting sustainable heirloom-worthy pieces. Bibliocraft: A Modern Crafter’s Guide to Using Library Resources to Jumpstart Creative Projects is a great guide to DIY crafts that utilize a range of library resources for inspiration. Written by rare book librarian Jessica Pigza, this book contains over 20 unique projects and crafts for your home, including the Cyanotype Throw, designed by the Alabama Chanin team.

Pigza walks readers through different types of libraries, collections, and other resources that can foster motivation and provide ideas for the curious and creative. The book shows you how to find the right library for you and also provides information on digital libraries and an array of library catalogs. To get you started on your project, there are lists of recommended library collections from general visual resources to performing arts and film. The book is an informative and inspiring guide for learning about new resources and turning to libraries for discovery. There is something different and special about holding an actual, physical book in your hand that continues to draw me toward libraries. As a designer I find escape within library walls, and as a business owner I find critical information that has helped me grow into who I am as an entrepreneur.


When I began thinking about research topics to explore in library collections, botany and poetry made up my reading list. Each of these elements informed our design of a stenciled, embroidered throw worked Alabama-Chanin style, using organic cotton jersey. The piece features a stencil portraying a hovering moth, which arose from my study of illustrations from pages of Letters from Alabama by English traveler Philip Henry Gosse. Color choices were drawn from Photographs of British Algae, in which Atkins, a botanist in England who learned about the cyanotype photography process from its inventor – Sir John Herschel – used the process to create vivid images of sea plants. Along with these design elements, we added words in the form of a poem by Cecily Parks, entitled “Luna Moth.”

Pale green and pressed against the window screen,
shot through with field, you watch nighttime’s corners
curl with four white eyes, your under-self unfurled
to my one room of world

-excerpt from “Luna Moth


6 comments on “BIBLIOCRAFT

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    1. Alabama

      Hi Kay,
      No kit is being offered for this special project.

      Full instructions and a list of supplies needed to create your own Cyanotype Throw (and other amazing library-inspired projects) are found in Bibliocraft, which you can purchase from our online store here. Happy making!

  1. Amber

    Ever since I’ve discovered you I’ve been excited about the idea of using the historical facsimiles of 18th century music I play from (and [thrillingly] have in part discovered myself in various libraries) in my profession as a Baroque violinist to create stencils and ultimately Alabama Chanin style garments with. Could this book be helpful in figuring out how to do that? Is that the kind of thing you cover in your studio workshops?

    1. Alabama

      Hi Amber, Bibliocraft doesn’t specifically cover how to create stencils, it just shows where we gained inspiration for our design. We do cover stenciling during our Studio Week Workshop – and may develop more specific stenciling workshops in the future. Stay tuned…