A Mini Rant About Cross Stitch (Or more specifically, design styles)

When I first started cross stitching (would be just a little over 20 years ago, now), I was drawn to it because there were a lot of nature-themed ones around. There is a more personal reason why – my mother, who stitched those printed table-clothes, etc, bought a couple of cross stitch magazines to try it out. I wasn’t interested in the table-cloths because I found them a bit boring, and I didn’t like doing needlework because there was nothing at all to prevent me making a mess of what I stitched. I was disappointed with most of the projects I did for school because I found it difficult placing stitches and keeping them neat and in the place I wanted to – I did not have this problem with aida. When I looked through the first couple of magazines I found that it was something I wanted to try because there were a number of wildlife and nature designs in them. I am a zoologist and in those days I was into collecting field guides and such, and these designs really impressed me! Of course, it took a while to get good at it and my of those I tried never got completed because I didn’t have the patience.

One thing I have noticed recently is this snobbery towards ‘mainstream’, ‘traditional’ and ‘cottage-style’ designs. I must say that I don’t get this attitude. Why do people, just because they design ‘modern’ ‘contemporary’ and ‘artsy’ patterns think that they can look down on the work of others and judge it as being inferior? I will say that it is a matter of personal taste, age and family circumstances that cause me to over look designs and not make them, but I don’t consider them to be a ‘bad’ design. I don’t have the right to make that judgement and I don’t know the hard work that went into creating these designs. I don’t stitch ‘cute’ teddy-bear designs because I don’t have children, but a grandmother, an aunt or an expectant mother might want to in order to celebrate the arrival of a new baby. I’m not into stitching realistic people, but I can appreciate the skill that goes into making them.

I prefer to stitch animals, wildlife, wild flowers, tress, landscapes and fantasy designs. These are what I love, but this doesn’t detract from those designs which aren’t in these categories. The designs I like are probably those that are considered ‘cottagey’ but I don’t care, it’s what I like. I don’t care, either, if pink, purples, etc are used in them because these occur in nature, so why sniff at them? Why scorn designs that may appeal to girls because they have those colours in them? It’s stupid!

There are gaps in designs – I’d like to have more access to space and science designs, I want realistic dinosaur and prehistoric animal designs, I want to see wildlife that aren’t normally put into patterns done so, I want to see more fandom-based designs. (Why is there an entire market that might appeal to female fans of Star Wars, Star Trek, etc, ignored by Disney, Paramount, etc, by not making them? Many women openly show their interest in science fiction, fantasy and comic books, so they’re missing out!)

Despite this, I don’t pour scorn on what is already done, even if it doesn’t appeal to me – I just want the choice expanded.