Julie Jackson, author, cross stitcher and creator of the Subversive Cross Stitch website and book is an inspiration to many crafty introverted types. She began her business as a form of anger management therapy, works at home and admittedly avoids unnecessary phone calls and social commitments. Cross stitching is very therapeutic, and her patterns are simple, quick and funny. Stitching out your anger is cathartic and less dangerous than other methods. Her designs are refreshingly vulgar yet still, include cutesy bunnies and hearts. It’s a brilliant combination, and an admirable way to rebel against the “everything is sunshine and butterflies” trend. Martha Stuart fans might not approve, but Julie would probably have a good comeback for them. “Move the [expletive] over, Martha Stewart—here comes charmingly disgruntled Julie Jackson and her hardcore handicrafts” (Washington Post, 01/11/04)
If you’ve never cross stitched before, Julie may inspire you and she offers detailed animated instructions for newbies and many other helpful links including resources for creating your cross stitch designs.
Some Charities Julie supports:
50% of her F*!@# cancer kits go to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation which is a generous gesture and a worthy cause. Nancy G.Brinker started the foundation after promising her dying sister she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer.
Julie also supports Crafting for Critters, with proceeds going to numerous animal rescue groups. Some of these groups include PAWS (The Performing Animal Welfare Society, a place where abused, abandoned or retired performing animals and victims can live in peace and contentment), Best Friends Animal Society and Animal Protection and Rescue League.
Creating your own cross stitch designs:
April Hamilton at Bitter Stitching was inspired by Julie and started a similar business, announcing “I sublimate my rage through needlework.” Her designs are more on a misandrist slant, but some of them are still funny, and her prices are reasonable.
Julie invites everyone to get in on the fun and strongly encourages people to strike out on their own. She began a Flickr group where individuals can display pictures of their finished products, share craft ideas and inspire each other. If you’re interested in designing your own cross stitch patterns, PCStitch is a fun and easy program to use. It has all kinds of funky fonts to choose from, and you can decide on colors and sizes ahead of time. There is an import feature which allows you to create patterns with photographs, clip art and more. The program can be found on eBay from anywhere from five to twenty dollars.
Another subversive embroidery site worthy of mention is Nicole’s Lochers from Paris, selling beautiful, saucy embroidered blouses with dirty sayings stitched onto them.