“Original pixel art”: age-old cross-stitch craftsmanship finds an edgy audience | Lifestyles

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KIM COOK Associate Press Editor

Call it subversive tailoring. Alternative embroidery. Today’s home samplers include everything from Kanye West’s tweets to tattoo designs.

Jamie Chalmers, a bearded and burly man who lives in Bedford, England, calls himself a “manbroider”. He maintains a blog and has written a book, “Push Stitchery: 30 Artists Explore the Boundaries of Stitched Art” (Push Stitchery / Lark Crafts, 2011).

“About 12 years ago I bought a cross stitch pattern as something to do on a long plane trip. I was motivated by the juxtaposition of being a big man doing a tiny little stitch. of cross, but once I really enjoyed it, “he said. “I started Mr. X Stitch as a way to showcase contemporary embroidery from around the world, challenging the common paradigm that sewing is only for little old ladies.

“One of the reasons people love to learn from me is that I’m tall, bald, straight, and tattooed, and if I love embroidery, then anyone can love it,” he said. -he declares. (www.mrxstitch.com)

Pop culture translated into cross stitch can be bold, irreverent, and fun.

Imagine a sampler sewn with lyrics from Stephen Sondheim or Snoop Dogg; scenes from “Poltergeist” or Harry Potter; portraits of Lena Dunham or Grumpy Cat; cross stitch burgers, asparagus, cupcakes or kimchi. You got the idea.

Singapore-based artist Teresa Lim sews scenes from her travels: a bridge in Prague, a park in Tokyo, a field of German sheep.

“Embroidering a spot instead of taking a photo makes a difference. When you take a photo, you don’t notice the small details. But when you draw or embroider, your eye catches so much more detail,” she said. . “After I finish a piece, I feel like I really know the place. “(Www.teeteeheehee.com)

Jacqueline and Christopher Gable from St. Catherines, Ont., Run a blog called Wee Little Stitches. They found a niche by making the casts of movies and TV series like “Star Wars”, “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Big Bang Theory” in pixels for cross stitch.

Why pixels? “The cool thing about pixels is that they translate exactly as cross stitch patterns; in fact, you could say that the cross stitch is the original pixel art,” laughs Jacqueline.

“I think my favorite is the ‘Golden Girls’ motif. I have such fond memories of watching the show with my grandmother,” she said. (www.etsy.com/shop/weelittlestitches).

Emily Peacock embroiders alphabets and phrases like “Think Happy Thoughts”, using colorful, groovy typefaces with a cheerful vibe. The artist, based in Buckinghamshire, England, said his background in graphic design and his fascination with uplifting typefaces and themes inspired his ideas.

“I love the vibrancy of folk art and the simplicity of mid-century design. I have an idea, I sketch it, then turn up the volume so that the effect is eye-catching and immediate. I love them. designs that demand your attention as you walk into a room, ”she said. “I play around with color a lot and I can feel a sort of ‘yes’ moment when the color balance is right. Then I know I can start sewing.” (www.etsy.com/shop/emilypeacocktapestry).

Want the entire “Game of Thrones” Westeros map in cross stitch? It’s Jen Eggleston’s bestseller Etsy.com store. Eggleston, from Vancouver, BC, also sang on “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and “Mad Men”. She recently completed an ambitious design that shows the spacecraft’s self-destruct sequence in “Alien”. (www.etsy.com/shop/randomlygenerated).

There are many downloadable templates like these online for minimal cost. Designers provide color and measurement guidelines. Online tutorials show how to design your own chart.

If you just enjoy the cross stitch pattern without picking up the needle and thread, consider the Stitches collection from Danish company Menu. There is a nice pot, a candlestick and a white porcelain vase with a gray dot border. Here, too, the Gry Fager vine and leaf cross stitch pattern is printed in soft gray on a crisp white trim. (www.allmodern.com).

Hungarian artist Zsanett Szirmay uses cross stitch to create multimedia art. Using a laser, she transfers Eastern European folk art embroidery designs onto strips of fabric, which can then be “played” in an old punch card music box. She calls it “the weaving of sound”. (www.soundweaving.hu).


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