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The Mr. X Stitch Guide to Cross Stitch
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Table of Contents

Foreword by Julie Jackson 6
Introduction 8

Tools & materials 10
Making a start 18
How to cross stitch 20
Framing your work 28
The back 32

Colour 36
A moment of context 46
Outlier: Zoe Gilbertson 54

Glow in the Dark 56
Stitching and travelling 63
Outlier: Kate Blandford 72

More Than a Hobby 74
Peace of mind 76
Embroidery as therapy 79
Craftivism 83
Embroidery as an art form 86
Outlier: Severija
Incirauskaite-Kriauneviciene 90

Pattern Design 92
Computer design 94
Fabric count 99
Colour 100

Epic pineapple 102
Outlier: Lord Libidan 116

Thinking Outside
the Hoop 118
If it's got holes in it... 120
Stitching on plastic 122
Stitching on metal 127
We're all adults 131
Outlier: Les Deuz'Bro 132

Final thoughts 134
Alphabet fonts 136
Acknowledgements 140
Index 141

Projects
Back in Black 32
Fleur de Couleur 40
From Ampersand to Bargello 42
Something Meaningful 47
Sqrl! 50
Empire State 58
Winter is Coming 64
Home Sweet Home Network 68
VodkAtomic 70
I Got Yer Mindfulness Right Here 76
I am an Addict 80
#StitchforSyria 83
Mona 87
Introducing the Pineapple! 95
Portrait of a Pineapple 104
Pop Art Pineapple 108
Whitby Abbey at Sunset 112
Bling 120
Silver Devil 124
C-Tron 125
Yellow Blade 126
Look! 127
What The?! 128

About the Author

Jamie Chalmers took up cross stitching fifteen years ago and he's never looked back.

Since establishing the Mr X Stitch website in 2008, he has been showcasing new talent in the world of textiles and stitch and has curated a number of stitch-based exhibitions in the UK and Ireland. Jamie is an accomplished and internationally exhibited artist in his own right, and the curator of PUSH Stitchery, part of a series of books published by Lark showcasing the work of contemporary embroidery artists from around the world. He writes articles for textile publications across the world, including Fiber Art magazine and Surface Design Journal and is the founder of the game-changing XStitch cross stitch design magazine.

Jamie Chalmers is an active leader in the online stitch community and what he has dubbed `the new embroidery movement' and is active on various social networking platforms. He is a regular feature at the Knitting and Stitching Shows and The Handmade Fair, appearing alongside craft celebrities like Kirsty Allsopp, Poppy Chancellor, Patrick Grant and Annie Sloan. He loves introducing new people to the benefits of embroidery from a creative and wellbeing standpoint and is proud to be an ambassador for this ubiquitous craft.

Reviews

Think you know everything about cross stitch, or perhaps you have always wanted to have a go but think it might not be for you? Here is a book that cheerfully debunks lots of stitching myths and shows you that there is more to cross stitch than you might think...

I do love a book that challenges stereotypes and shakes up the rules that inevitably accumulate around any hobby. Mr X Stitch does not look like most people's idea of what a cross stitcher should look like which is refreshing in itself, and you can expect no charts of teddies, pets or gardens. Instead you get a humorous and common sense look at getting kitted out, learning the basics and stitching on more than just even weave fabrics. Topics often omitted or glossed over briefly get some fairly detailed coverage too, such as washing, pressing, framing, sorting out the back of the work and a whole page of useful tips. There are some charts to get you started including words, a geometric squirrel, rainbow flower, creative use of glow in the dark threads and even a Game of Thrones inspired piece. The book also looks at how other people have used cross stitch in creative ways including stitching on metal, abstracts, decorating biker gear, 3D work and even large scale work on fences. If you fancy having a go at your own charts there is a section on doing this with a computer, including an excellent beginner introduction to using software featuring a simple design. This is put through the paces in various sizes and a limited palette showing how to work with different fabric counts, getting the best look for your work and even how to do a pop art version. I wish I had seen something like that when I got my first cross stitch design program as it takes a lot of the trial and error out of getting to grips with using one. The book concludes with looking at plastic canvas, aluminium foil and other things with holes in that can be stitched, as well as a few pages of handy alphabets to aid your designing. There is even more in here than everything I have described so whatever your level if you want a good contemporary look at cross stitch this is the book for you.

* Rachel A Hyde *

Issue 13

Needlework is having a real resurgence at the minute. Famed for being one of instagram's biggest supporters of hand stitching Jamie Chalmers, AKA Mr X Stitch has brough out his very own Guide to Cross Stitch, which is packed with original patterns and hints and tips to inspire and guide you every step of the way. We're especially smitten with the squirrel on the cover, which would mqake a perfect project for autumn evenings.

* Sew now *

A fun, entertaining, inspiring and instructive book by Jamie Chalmers, alias Mr. X Stitch, connoisseur of contemporary embroidery. Even if you think you know
what cross-stitch is, is this book worth the effort. To the hand of simple step-by-step step instructions the writer's limits the possibilities with cross stitches and encourages them at their own borders to shift. On the order come: the basis of cross stitches, information about materials, tools, techniques, colors
mix and finish. Also design it yourself and it use of the computer thereby, come amply offer. The book also contains work from a number of contemporary
artists working with work cross stitch.

This review has been translated from Dutch

* Textiel Plus *

Cross stitch has shaken off its lame image in recent years, largely thanks to pioneers like Jamie Chalmers, better known as Mr X Stitch. In this book he captures the energy of the contemporary cross stitch revival, with examples of modern designs and 20 projects, backed up with instructions on the basics of cross stitching - from materials and tools to techniques, using computer programs and colour blending. Once you've mastered the basics, he shows how artists have refined the basic cross stitch to make works that are both striking (cross-stitched fences by Les Deuz'Bro) and original (stitched metal works by Severija Incirauskaite- Kriauneviciene).

* Embroidery *

This is an awesome book, a useful reference tool, full of fascinating hints, tips and tutorials. I also found it an absorbing read and found myself sitting with a coffee, poring over the pages. The many unusual and interesting charts and suggestions for using materials such as GitD thread had me reaching for my purse and heading out to my local craft store. I would heartily recommend the purchase of this book , either as a special treat for yourself or a thoughtful gift for a friend.

* Jennie Meadows *

I'm and experienced cross stitcher and thoroughly enjoyed this book. First time I've seen a book like this written by a man but the author shows a real enthusiasm for his subject. I liked the continuity from what essential equipment to have through to projects of varying complexity. It is written with wit and humour and holds the attention. The interviews within were very thought provoking. Somethings like the glow in the dark thread I'd not even heard of. This also made me think outside the box from just making pretty pictures to frame or hanging in the hoop to using on clothing or metallic objects. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone, especially if looking for something a bit out of the ordinary.

* Kim Bond *

This is a fantastic book! I have been a longtime Mr X Stitch fan, and have attended a couple of his workshops, so getting my grubby mitts on a copy of this was a no brainer and I was not dissappointed.

In his fun and chatty style, Jamie talks through the basics, as well as introducing more complex designs, and includes interviews/features on some really interesting, cutting edge stitch designers. The in depth analysis of how stitch/thread count affects the finished item (I adore that pineapple), and his advice about colour choices make this a must have book in my opinion. Cute, but never cutesy designs and great content.

More please, Mr X Stitch!

* Natasha Field *

I've been a cross stitcher since my teens and I didn't think any books about cross stitch would be more than basic how-to's and patterns.. I was happily surprised when I received The Mr X Stitch Guide to Cross Stitch, it's full of useful information from the basic how-to to tips and tricks, framing, pattern design and colour theory plus ideas for thinking out out of the box, taking it further and artist interviews AND patterns! This is the best guide out there about cross stitch and even as an experienced cross stitcher, this book is going to stay on my bookshelf and become a well thumbed guide.

* Becca Birtles *

This is quite a modern style of cross stitch to what I'm used to but very inspiring to try something out of my comfort zone. I've met the author at an event before which is why I wanted this book and there are lots of his designs to try. It's a good book to get if you want to try something a bit different to traditional cross stitch designs. Now, which one to try first...

* Maria Ticehurst *

Very good book. Excellent designs very innovative. Look especially Whitby abbey at sunset. But all designs are great. I'm a new person to cross stitch. Will definitely try out designs and show fellow cross stitchers the book.

* Linda Susan Bryan *

This book is such a refreshing change to anything that on a book shelf in today's market. Well laid out in easy to follow sections ( for anyone new to cross stitch or a old hand at such a lovely hobby)
I love the squirrel the flower and Whitby abbey with its 99 colours so refreshing to the usual flowers and teddys .
If you want to refresh your interest in cross stitch this is the book for you. Will be a keeper on my book shelves.

* Jane Perry *

I have never done cross stitch before so thought that I would like to review this book and contrary to my expectations, this book is quite exciting- an adjective I hadn't previously associated with cross stitch. No roses and hearts here, more interesting contemporary projects offered. They include skylines, bargello with a difference, 3D objects, pop art and typography. The latter is what attracted me. It has very clear instructions for a novice like me, enabling me to create a suitably salutary notice for my home. In addition to clear stitching instructions, it has interesting sections on framing, computer design, the use of colour, embroidery on unusual mediums including plastic and metal, amongst others.

A great book which has succeeded in capturing my imagination and will be used to create many an item in the future.

-- Janet V (contributor)

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