About Subversive Cross Stitch

Subversive Cross Stitch began in the spring of 2003 as a form of anger management therapy when I was dealing with a bully of a boss. At my wit’s end and in dire need of some art therapy, I stopped by a craft store on the way home from work one day and picked up an ornate sampler—I hadn’t done any cross stitch since I was a kid. Once I finished the intricate border of pink flowers, I decided to stitch the word “Fuck” right in the center. It felt so great, and the idea was born!

Since I got such a kick out of it, I stitched a few more pieces this way and started sharing the idea with friends through a simple website. Then, suddenly, my site was discovered and started getting a lot of press. So I quickly decided to offer this crafty form of therapy to others through kits. 

My latest book came out in February 2015: Subversive Cross Stitch: 50 F*cking Clever Designs for Your Sassy Side (powerHouse books). Here's a blog post about what's in it. It has been the #1 book in the cross stitch category on Amazon for most of its first four years. My first book was published in 2006 with Chronicle Books: Subversive Cross Stitch: 33 Designs for Your Surly Side, and reprinted in a Dutch version in 2009.

I'm currently collaborating with Fred on some Subversive products and also doing some freelance brainstorming for them (dream come true!). My kits, first book, greeting cards and calendars have been in Urban Outfitters, Fab.com, Target’s Red Hot Shop and several major online stores as well as independent retailers around the world. One of my favorite companies, blue Q, developed magnet sets, coasters, matches and gum featuring my designs. I also collaborated with Noted on a line of Subversive Cross Stitch kits in German, French and British English in 2010. These kits were sold in the UK and throughout Europe. I created three designs that Urban Outfitters turned into needlepoint pillows in 2013. There are also a series of downloadable PDF patterns I created for The DIY Network, available on their site. There are probably more things I'm forgetting...it's just crazy!

I’m still just a one-person company, extraordinarily lucky to have been in the right place at the right time and to have such amazing customers who keep me going. 

Here is some of the press Subversive Cross Stitch has received. We’ve also been in other places, including Blueprint, The Face, Boston Herald, FHM, Flare, The Guardian, The Baltimore Sun, The London Paper, and on my favorite television show ever, The Graham Norton Show.

I'm also the creator of Kitty Wigs!



"...rude and snarky cross-stitch patterns to amaze and delight." Boing Boing

"What makes Subversive Cross Stitch so amusing is that Jackson doesn’t shun the traditional bunnies, birds, hearts and flowers our grandmothers used to stitch. And nestled amid a garland of pink lilies, the word ‘fuck’ has never looked more polite and genteel." Bust magazine

"Needlepoint just got a shot in the arm… The American Needlepoint Guild would SO not approve." ReadyMade magazine

"Move the [expletive] over, Martha Stewart—here comes charmingly disgruntled Julie Jackson and her hard-core handicrafts. Featuring mottos such as ‘Get Lost!’ and ‘Kiss My Grits’, her Subversive Cross Stitch wall hangings are a reminder of the punk rock that raised us so our parents didn’t have to." The Washington Post

"As Jackson’s projects demonstrate, it’s not so much the artistic medium that matters; it’s the messed-up things that you do with it." Nylon magazine

"Getting your hands on a hobby can be relaxing, but finding one that will make you and your guests laugh (or recoil in horror) is even more therapeutic." Quick DFW

"There is a kingdom called Ironyland, and Julie Jackson is their queen." Venus magazine

"On the international cross-stitch scene you can't go past Julie Jackson of Subversive Cross Stitch, one of the first to lead cross-stitch astray. She's designed a plethora of patterns, published a book and has something of a cult following." Stuff NZ

"She is not redesigning all the elaborate borders and motifs familiar in cross stitch, instead she suggests using those kits and re-contextualizing everything. This last part is what offers a true artistic element to the book, and presents a method for re-interpreting the pre-packaged, mass-produced craft supplies among us." Supernaturale