When cross stitch says it so you don’t have to

I was always put off cross stitch by the twee and irritating designs I saw online and in craft stores. Why would I want a limp stitched bear carrying a heart or a shaggy stitched dog staring at me from the wall?

I had almost entirely written off cross stitching, but then I found it. The cross stitch book of my dreams. The book, that managed to perfectly express so many of my thoughts in beautiful coloured stitches. The book is Subversive Cross Stitch by Julie Jackson.

CrossStitch_SubversiveI was so impressed with the graphics and that the lovely shiny feel of the pages (it’s the little things). As a relative noob to cross stitch it was great to have the detailed starting instructions at the beginning. The only thing I’ve found is that you don’t need the extra border of 3 to 4 inches that Julie recommends if you’re going to mount it in a frame. I used pinking shears to cut because fabric fraying makes me nervous.

I was pretty intimidated by what felt like metres and metres of stiff cross stitch material (cheers Hobbycraft). The where-oh-where-do-I-start panic that I usually reserve for cleaning starting setting it. But Julie said to fold the fabric in half length ways and then width ways so that’s what I did. It made it SO much easier to see the centre.

I spent ages painstakingly picking out my first design, there’s just so much sassy choice. I choose the relatively vanilla ‘cheer up loser’ because I was planning to do it on holiday and I thought it wouldn’t inspire THAT many tuts from my mum. I matched my folded centre of fabric to the centre of the design by following the helpful little black arrows. I actually drew some lines to get the exact points.

Then I was away, it was so much fun to do in front of the TV. I finally now understand why so many annoying cross stitched bears are made. Now I’m on a total roll, I can’t wait to fill my wall with passive aggressive phrases. I’ve also got a pretty hefty list of requests from my friends so I need to get stitchin’.

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