August 31, 2017

Review + Giveaway: Mr X Stitch Guide to Cross Stitch

Book Review of The MrXStitch Guide to Cross Stitch, post by floresita for Feeling Stitchy

I've been a fan of Jamie Chalmer's site MrXStitch since I first discovered it, years ago, so I was really excited to receive The Mr. X Stitch Guide to Cross Stitch for review from the publisher - what a treat!

Just so you know, the book link above is an Amazon Affiliate link - clicking through the link and buying is one way to support our volunteer reviews - we use funds in our Amazon account for new giveaways and reviews.

In a nutshell - Jamie's book is perfect for those of you who would like to see cross-stitch through a unique lens - Jamie's book is all about modern, unexpected, and unusual cross stitching. If you're widening your sphere of interest from very feminine or cutesy stuff, this could be a good place to start - this book also has interviews of numerous stitchers to get you inspired to see embroidery and cross stitch in a new way. I think it could also make a great gift for a beginner to embroidery, and particularly a male beginner to embroidery who might enjoy a male perspective on stitching on trains, for example. :)

One of my favorite features of this book was seeing Jamie's decidedly not-female hands getting his embroidery materials together and stitching:

MrXStitch Guide to Cross Stitch, review by floresita for Feeling Stitchy

I'm not sure why I got such a kick out of that, but I think it might also help a reluctant male stitcher to see that embroidering isn't merely a girly act - it's about creativity and art form, neither of which need to be manly or feminine, but can take something from both of those tropes.

What's in the book?

MrXStitch Guide to Cross Stitch, review by floresita for Feeling Stitchy

This book is divided into 6 large sections (with nicely photographed section titles) which include patterns, tips, and interviews as follows:
Tools and Materials
Glow in the Dark
More Than a Hobby (embroidery as therapy, craftivism, and art form)
Pattern Design (create your own cross-stitch patterns)
Thinking Outside the Hoop (includes projects stitched on leather, plastic, and metal)

With 23 cross stitch projects and 4 cross stitch alphabet fonts, there is quite a bit of variety to be found here. There are also 5 interviews with embroidery "outliers" Zoe Gilbertson, Kate Blandford, Severija Inčirauskaitė Kriaunevičienė, Lord Libidan, and Les Deuz'Bro.

I really enjoyed the Pattern Design section and how it walks you through all the considerations you might make in terms of stitch count and the number of colors used:

MrXStitch Guide to Cross Stitch, review by floresita for Feeling Stitchy

Most impressive is that every example along the way was stitched, so you can compare and contrast. I found it fascinating to see that you don't need a ton of colors and stitches to get the basic idea down, and it's a great argument for approaching one's custom pattern as simply as possible. Plus, the project is a pineapple, and who doesn't like pineapples?

My favorite pattern of all was of course the squirrel pattern. Alas, poor squirrel, I know I'll never finish thee, but it won't stop me from loving thee from afar. :)

MrXStitch Guide to Cross Stitch, review by floresita for Feeling Stitchy

Giveaway time!

The MrXStitch Guide to Cross Stitch
The publisher has generously offered a free copy of The Mr. X Stitch Guide to Cross Stitch to one of our lucky readers in the US and Canada! To our international readers, just stay tuned - we have some upcoming giveaways that include you, too!

To win a free copy of this book, please leave a comment on this post, and answer the following question - what is the weirdest place you've ever stitched in? As you read above, Jamie is fond of stitching on trains. I'll leave the comments open through next Thursday, Sept. 7, 9 PM US CST, then close the comments and choose 1 random winner.

Edit: 9/11/17 - We have our winner! Thanks all for entering!

Hi, I'm floresita, editor of Feeling Stitchy. I'm an avid stitcher, knitter, and crafter. You can see more of my stitching on Instagram and my blog. My vintage transfer collection is on Vintage Transfer Finds.

Feel free to email me with any ideas for the blog!

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