Aug 12, 2009

Insights On Stitching

Melissa at Musings From a 3-Bedroom Ranch posed these questions...

"Now, I have a question for all you cross stitchers, and yes, it's really specifically for cross stitchers and I'm honestly interested in your answers because we cross stitchers seem to be a misunderstood lot and that really, truly bugs me. I mean I wake up in a sweat at night pondering the issue of cross stitchers being misunderstood by major chain craft stores (and please don't yell at me for that, for some people, it's their only way to purchase supplies, even in this day and age there are stitchers don't know anything beyond the cross stitch aisle at Micheals, AC Moore or JoAnns, and I'm sure there are some yarnie folk that find those same stores their only source of knitting and crochet supplies) and publishers.

So here are some questions I'd love answered either in comments or on your blog and if you post your answer on your blog please leave a link in the comments so we can all read your insights."

1) Why do you stitch? I stitch because it’s a creative outlet that I really enjoy. It’s also a great stress reliever for me because I have to concentrate on what I’m doing so the frogs don’t come to visit. In the process of concentration, everything else goes out of my head.

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 it would be an 8. It fluctuates from week-to-week, depending on what's going on in my life. Life's responsibilities come first, stitching is always secondary.

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? Nope. When I started stitching, that’s where I got my supplies. I still get things there occasionally. Mostly, my supplies comes from ONS.

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? Actually, the first piece I ever stitched I designed myself. I have enough stash to last several lifetimes, so I don’t think I have to worry about stitching my way through. LOL I’m creative enough that I wouldn’t mind designing my own pieces, if I wanted to.

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? Personally, I think the PR for cross stitch is lacking. I rarely buy magazines anymore because usually there is only one or two designs that I like and it’s not worth the cost to buy. I would never stitch the "subversive" designs, nor would I buy a magazine with F-U on the cover.

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’ve done other crafts in the past and have those supplies, but I really only have time for one craft. XS is portable and easy to pick up and put down without having to drag out everything to create.

7) Are we cross stitchers just a different breed of crafter, do we take life slow and easy, does it mean we have this inner stick-to-it-tiveness that gets us through those projects that last not days, weeks, months but years? Yes, stitchers are definitely a "different" breed. I often have people tell me I have a lot of patience to stitch. The slow and easy lifestyles have gone by the wayside and have been replaced by working parents, on-the-go families, and kids who are involved in way too many activities. I think today’s instant gratification society has been detrimental to crafts that take a long time to get to fruitation. There's too much "me want-it-now!".

8) Who are we? Tell your story, fill in the blanks. I come from a family of somewhat ‘crafty’ people. Both my father and grandfather were woodworkers. My grandmother crocheted, knitted, and did ceramics. My mother crocheted and sewed. Hence, I have done all of those things and more over the course of my life. My first cross stitched piece was a birth sampler I designed and stitched for myself. So obviously, it was counted and not stamped. I was in my early teens. I had seen some motifs in an old magazine my mother had – Woman’s Day or Family Circle, something like that. I had found an old piece of knit basketweave-type fabric and a tangled up mess of embroidery floss in my mother’s sewing box. I untangled the floss and set forth on my journey to create a masterpiece. I still have that piece tucket away. Over the years, I've stitched various projects: ornaments, scissor fobs, flat folds, needlebooks, bookmarks, pillows, framed pieces, afghans, and pin cubes. The online stitching community has done a lot to expand my horizons into fabrics other than aida, fibers other than DMC, and shown me how to use embellishments such as beads, buttons, and cording. In return, I've shared my knowledge and taught online classes to stitchers.

9) How can we be Oprah for cross stitch? What can we do to make a difference? To spread the word? To funk up the little X? Good question. I think I do my part in sharing what I know with others, in addition to showing off what I make (lol).


Vicki (Lucy) said...

Hi Meari, I've done the questionnaire on my blog, as it's a long one, and I wanted family and friends to understand my "addiction" a little better too. Love reading your blog. Always entertaining. Thank you.Vicki

Wanda said...

Meari, a lot of my thoughts for stitching are so similar to yours that it is scary. :) But I do a lot of other crafts - mainly quilting, garments sewing and punch needle. I also make both fabric postcards and greeting cards from cardstock. I find it hard to fit it all in, but the one constant that I keep coming back to is cross stitch.
I have noticed some changes in trends - toward brighter colours and more abstract designs, fewer BAPs and more small designs. I hope this will appeal more to the younger stitchers, because we need them to become involved if the craft is to survive.

Donna said...

Very good questions. I need to give them some thought and I will put them on my blog later this weekend.

mbroider said...

I appreciate how you brought out - life's responsbility comes first, stitching is always secondary. Hope my family thinks so of me:)