Cassidy, Queen's Square | March 1, 2019
Cross-stitching has seen a resurgence in popularity over the last several years. What was once an art form seemingly limited to intricate floral designs and the phrase “home sweet home” has become a way for artists to express their favourite quotes, interests, and even frustrations.
I first picked up cross-stitching in the summer, after a friend sent me some beautiful pieces she’d made for my birthday. She had stitched some of our favourite quotes from some comedy podcasts we both enjoy, and I realized how creative you can be with cross-stitching. I went out, bought the materials I needed (around $15), and started creating textile art! I’ve crossed-stitched items and symbols from favourite television series, quotes from my favourite comedians, and even used designs used as costume pieces.
Traditional cross-stitch designs often heavily feature beautiful floral designs and names or wholesome sayings, but there is something to be said for the juxtaposition of those same intricate designs with elegant, looping font that, instead of “home is where the heart is”, says “this took forever”, “screaming internally”, or even a single, bold curse, elegantly and painstakingly stitched onto the cloth.
With some patience, a few dollars and a bit of creativity, cross-stitching is a fun and even soothing hobby people of all ages can take up and make their own.
Tools of the Trade:
To get started, you’ll need a few things. Some of these you can check out from Idea Exchange.
Cloth: Aida cloth is the most common embroidery fabric. With small holes at intervals, it makes measuring out patterns and stitching easier. It comes in many different colours, and different mesh density.
Needle: Most often, a tapestry needle (much like a sewing needle but with a more blunt point) is used.
Thread: Embroidery floss comes in hundreds of different colours, and is the thread most commonly used in cross-stitching. It helps to know what pattern you are using before you buy your thread, so you can make sure you have the right colours in the right quantity.
Accessories: Hoops and other frames can help hold the aida cloth tight, and allow for more comfortable stitching.
Patterns: Cross-stitch patterns can be found online, or in books here at the library! Find patterns and how-tos in The Big Book of Cross-Stitch Designs, or boldly go where you’ve never cross-stitched before with Star Trek Cross-Stitch!