Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thought for the Day

I should have titled this "Thought for the Day: In Which I Insult Cross Stitch Designers," but that's getting a bit long, don't you think?   The article looks at handmade dolls and how the hands became cruder over time, postulating that the craftsmen making the dolls had a totally different and less artistic attitude towards their handiwork.  When I look at the designs available to needlepointers today, the level of artistic ability applied to those designs is breathtaking. I don't always LIKE the designs but most needlepoint designers are very very skilled.  The insult comes in when I look at cross stitch designs (and I admit that I am no expert on the work of XS designers since I don't stitch in this way) which seem to mostly have primitive themes and styles except for the hyper detail of designers like Heaven and Earth Designs or Told in a Garden.  It makes me wonder if the design quality has gone down because of the rampant copying and sharing of charts?  Or maybe I just don't "get" cross stitch--which is entirely possible!

But I wonder what factors influence the level of skill and design ability goes into creating the designs we love?  Did the doll hands change because of the impact of industrialization or is something else at work or is it a variety of things?

Feel free to call me an idiot in the comments below, or you can email me at chillyhollowathotmaildotcom and straighten me out that way.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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© Copyright November 11, 2014 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.


  1. Jane - have you checked out Chatelaine designs which are fabulous, Michael Powell's unique style of designs which really come alive when you add the backstitch, Cynthia Zittel's Drawn Thread designs....there are some really talented cross stitch designers out there - it's not all cutsey, kitsch or basic!

    1. Thanks, Diamond! There are some very skilled XS designers out there who do the more realistic designs I prefer. I just find the repo sampler themes and the cute stuff not to my taste. But who says XS folks have to design for MY tastes? I'm sure what they do is geared toward their market and I'm not in, particularly since I can't follow a chart or count reliably.

  2. I think that there are so many more cross stitch designers currently designing, that there is a much more broad spectrum of designs. However I, too, wonder if so many designs need alphabets in them.

    1. B, I think all the alphabets are because of the influence of the repo samplers. They are very very popular in my area. There is even a sampler guild.