Tuesday, August 20, 2013


So I tried my hand at cross-stitch and here is the result.

(This blog is a family show, but the uncensored version can be found HERE.)

I have been seeing more and more cross-stitches in the shop lately and my interest was piqued.  I enjoy knitting and crocheting, but have never really moved beyond those in my off-hours crafting.  And then one day I read a 2005 article that claims that Dame Judi Dench, during her downtime on movie sets, does beautiful embroideries for her castmates chock full of amazing expletives.  Variations of this claim are all over the internet. (All notably without photo documentation.)

LOVE that!  It reminds me of art an old friend made in college.  She taught herself to embroider and made a gorgeous feminist wall hanging that said in ornate script, "Love makes women rot from the inside."  HA!  Still love that!  (as I have not forgotten it for 25 years)

And so I found Subversive Cross-Stitch, ordered a kit, and went for it.  

I generally do my crafting at night when the house is quiet.  I do it in front of the news (or the fake news as the case may be).  And I will tell you, this summer was the perfect season to cross-stitch a big F * C K.  It relaxed me as I watched the home team, watched a school system writhe, and contemplated orca captivity.

But another thing cross-stitching this F * C K did for me was inform my framing of them!  Almost immediately as I set to work, I thought about my stretching of it in the end.  Finding centers and counting rows rather than measuring in inches.  I learned some cross-stitchers swear by stitchery tape to mount the finished project.  In completing my own, I found that I prefer to be old school by stretching and pinning.  Also, I chose not to mat this particular piece (it needed to remain small to fit on Mr. Fatale's desk), but I did use spacers and museum glass like some of my textile clients.

There are other schools of thought on how to display cross-stitches, and this summer I had some of them represented here in the shop.  (These less vulgar clients are proper cross-stitchers and do beautiful work.)

This one is unusual in its red background.  This client is otherwise a purist and prefers her cross-stitch work to be framed with no glass, no mats, as is tradition.  Her work is always precise.

And this cross-stitcher treats her work like a precious document--double silk mats, museum glass, and ornate frame.  It is epic in scale (40" long!) and technically brilliant.

These are totally by experts, but there is no beginner-shaming here at the shop.  Now I completely understand what an accomplishment it is to complete even just a tiny cross-stitch.  (My little F * C K is 6 x 6 and took me weeks!)  They deserve to be framed well and displayed proudly (if sometimes privately).  

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