[2008-03-04] Subversive cross-stitch sampler

Small cross-stitch sampler in traditional style with decidedly nontraditional text: GO FUCK YOUR SELF.

It was at least six years ago, right when the modern DIY movement spearheaded by ReadyMade and MAKE magazines was just starting to kick off, that it occurred to me to make a vulgar cross-stitch sampler. My family is not too many generations removed from the countryside, and folksy cross-stitch samplers adorn many walls in the homes of my close relations--bible verses, "Bless This Mess," "Lord, grant me patience, but hurry," etc. It's always easy to achieve an ironic effect by dissonance between the form and the content of a message, but its especially sweet when the form is as thoroughly stereotyped as is the cross-stitch sampler. Lacking any sort of knowledge of needlework, however, I never attempted it myself. A former girlfriend once tried to make one for me, but she was highly distractable and none too patient with repetitive tasks and so it languished.

This last Christmas, however, my best and oldest friend Melody received a copy of Julie Jackson's book Subversive Cross Stitch, which is a collection of cross-stitch patterns that capitalize on the sweet ironic potential of cross stitch just as I'd always imagined. The book contains a number of patterns, and Melody let me choose the one I wanted as a Christmas present. The one I chose is probably the most offensive in the book, as it was my judgement that the more vulgar the content, the funnier the gag. Many thanks to Melody for making one of my dream objects come true.

last modified 2008-03-04