Thoughts on Stitching

I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and answer the questions that Melissa posted over on Musing from a Three Bedroom Ranch.

1)Why do you stitch?

I stitch to stay sane; to make beautiful things; so I can give gifts that try to express how I feel about someone; so that I have an outlet for my creativity.  Oddly, I also stitch partly because it is a womanly thing, something the our fore-mothers have done and hopefully our daughters will do.  It is a way to feel connected to other women and to women of the past.  And, I hope that one day I can pass on my love to a granddaughter or daughter-in-law since, sadly, I expect Baby Man will have no interest in stitching.  (I have hope he might like knitting.  Yeah, I’m a dreamer.)

2) On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being least important and 10 being most important what is your cross stitch passion level?

I’d say 9.  I love cross stitch.  I’d do more if I could, but it isn’t too toddler-friendly.  I think when Baby Man gets older and I can stitch when he is awake, I will probably knit much less and go back to cross stitching most of the time.

3)If you’re only option for cross stitch supplies and patterns happened to be the major chain craft stores would you just walk away from the little X? Kiss it goodbye?

I hope that never happens!  And, really, except for needing some DMC, I could probably live off my stash until the end of my life. But, if I had too, I think I could make due with what is in a mass market store (i.e. Dimensions designs).  It may not always be to my taste exactly, but I do like some Dimensions designs.  (Did I just say that?!)

4)Also are you so passionate about cross stitch that if indeed your only option was the major chain craft stores, would that inspire you to create your own cross stitch pieces because you have to stitch and you’ve stitched your way through the whole of Dimensions catalog–because you must stitch and the thought of life without a relationship with the little X leaves you feeling empty?

I think that I might try designing.  I keep thinking I would like to do a band sampler or something of all my favourite speciality stitches.

5)Finally what do the cross stitch magazines on the market offer you? Do they relate to you as a cross stitcher? Do you look at them and think to yourself, who do they think buys this magazine? I guess what I’m asking, when you see the current cross stitch magazines do they make you feel like they know their readers or do you find it’s more of the same? What could they do to be ambassadors for the art of cross stitch other than putting a sampler on the cover with “F-U” on it? What are we missing on a PR level that could change the opinion of cross stitch itself?

I’m a bit meh on cross stitch magazines lately.  The whole trend toward simpler designs isn’t really for me, even though I have been stitching a lot of them lately.  I think the designs I generally like aren’t right for magazines: large TW or Mirabila pieces mainly.  I think that U.K. magazines do a great job with all kinds of articles to read, great cover kits, and a wide variety of styles.  And the inclusion of large designs in every issue is great.

I don’t know that magazines are the right way to attract new people to cross stitch.  I mean, do you go look at magazines for things you don’t do?  I don’t.  Cross stitch needs to be passed on at the person level.  We need to out there stitching interesting designs, offering to teach the skills in schools, etc.

I’ve also noticed, as has Anna at Stitch Bitch, that all those people doing “cool” cross stitch are using Adia cloth and plain old DMC.  They aren’t being adventurous in terms of materials, methods or stitches.  I like how a lot of regular designers are experimenting with overdyed threads and handdyed fabric.  (Although I will admit to being really annoyed when a small ornament expects you to spend $50 on materials.)  Maybe a meeting of the minds is required here.  But I don’t think cross stitch will ever be really popular if the “cool” designers stick to simple methods and materials and if the regular designers stick with simple motifs.

6) And finally, finally, do you do other crafts and if so what are they and why do they pull you away from cross stitch?

I knit and crochet. I’ve also been known to sew a little and do a wee bit of scrapbooking.  I knit and crochet mainly because they are more toddler-friendly.  I also like having a finished piece that I can wear, like the lovely socks I knit all the time.

To head off in another direction, Silkweaver announced the Showcase 2009 winners yesterday, and sadly I wasn’t one of them.  You can see all of the winners here. Congratulations, ladies, all of your pieces are beautiful.

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