We're a New York Times Pick!

Posted by Julie or Chris Jackson on

Subversive Cross Stitch, which makes the kit, is one of the more established modern cross-stitch companies, offering hundreds of PDF patterns as well as other kits. The designs tend toward the snarky and oftentimes sweary, so if you’ve been looking forward to stabbing something over and over to express a strongly held feeling, this is the online shop for you.

It’s not every day (or ever, really) that I get a Google alert and lose all sense of time and space. This was a complete surprise: the author, Kase Wickman, bought the kit, stitched it all herself (and very well, check out all the photos), and included her review in The Best Fiber Craft Kits for Adults. I was like… um, WHAT? My heart seriously fluttered. Stunned. Speechless.

Photo: Michael Hession

Here’s the thing: when I did my very first book years ago, the New York Times wanted to come to Texas to interview me and one other artist in Austin. I knew it was a big opportunity, but I have a strong aversion to the spotlight (in high school, I built the sets for musicals but I’d NEVER dream of being onstage in front of an audience). I quit ballet and tap as a little girl as soon as we had to have a recital. Same with the piano. Also why you’ll never see me at a craft show or teaching classes. Check and CHECK! but more than that, I set out to make Subversive Cross Stitch about YOU and what it would inspire you to create. To me that’s the fun part, inviting others to play.

So, I talked myself into planning to meet with them for an interview. But then they wanted to take photos of me (cringe) AND my “studio” (more like messy-broom-closet-of-chaos-full-of-shedding-cats) to see where I “create”. PHOTOS!? I said I was just in no way up to that, so the interview never happened. My publisher actually said, “It’s the New York FUCKING Times!” (a phrase we toss around to this day, about anything). I’m a staunch defender of my anonymity.

Photo: Michael Hession

Anyway. I am SO impressed that the author “spent more than 100 hours knitting, crocheting, embroidering, and cross-stitching my way through the test patterns. I took note of pattern issues and speed bumps, and of projects that I couldn’t wait to jump back into.” Not to mention, her stitching is beautiful! Check out the photos in the article. I felt like she understood what we’re about 100% when she wrote, “if you’ve been looking forward to stabbing something over and over to express a strongly held feeling, this is the online shop for you.”

And her critiques were so perfectly on point—it never occurred to me to print these big patterns on one large sheet. I always consider that the PDF versions have to be printed on a regular printer, so I print them on four pages and tape them together, old-timey-like. How elegant would it be to have one big sheet of paper in the kits? Sweet!

Plus, now I know I can trust Wirecutter reviews if this is how they operate—they really dug in without telling us anything. I wonder how long it’ll feel like my brain is underwater.

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