Cross-stitch is a craft which many of us learnt when we were younger. Traditionally it was taught to a young child so they would learn how to stitch, record the alphabet and practice patterns that may be used in their everyday sewing. The oldest surviving surviving cross-stitch samplers from Europe date back to the 16th and 17th century. These samplers serve as important insights into the history of traditional crafts, folk art and the personal histories of the people who made them.
Recently, cross-stitching has seen a rise in popularity and more contemporary designs are being embroidered using the traditional x shaped stitches. Perhaps one of the most famous male embroiderers working in contemporary cross-stitch is Jamie Chalmers, otherwise known as Mr X-Stitch. Jamie fell in love with cross-stitch after buying a kit to busy himself whilst on holiday, he now has turned his hobby into a full time creative career. His pieces often feature slogans that we will see in advertising and internet culture, presenting a contemporary version of samplers from the past, where the things we see in the world around us are immortalised in stitch.
We’re really pleased to see a resurgence in this traditional craft so we got Sue on the case to road test one of our sampler kits. This Home Sweet Home Cross Stitch Kit is suitable for beginners and is a steal at £3.97. Sue decided to turn her sampler into a mini pillow using white cotton for the backing and filling it with stuffing. If you would like to give cross-stitch a try for the first time, revisit what was once a childhood pursuit or simply fancy exploring some new designs we have everything you need to get started, whatever your age or skill level.
Subversive Cross Stitch
Aida 14ct - Ecru - 35 x 45cm/14x18"
4M Cross Stitch Kit
1 – Samplers (Left) by Jaye from www.artquilmaker.com (Right) Antique Sampler from www.countryliving.com
2 – Mr X-Stitch work from New Art MK exhibition at MK Gallery, image from MK Gallery.
3 – Sue’s Home Sweet Home sampler.