Introducing Mr X Stitch:
Jamie Chalmers created Mr. X Stitch in August 2008. Mr. X Stitch recently brought designer Kittyzilla on board as well.
His graffiti inspired patterns combine a traditonal needlework style with a the very modern artform of street art.
Visit the Mr. X stitch Etsy shop
(after you read the rest of this interview of course).
The Mr. X Stitch Blog:
As Jamie explains, the Mr X Stitch blog
is "much more than just a hub for the patterns. It is an amazing resource of contemporary embroidery and needlecraft, where you can see the cutting (and stitching) edge of what’s happening in the world of stitchery. We are constantly finding new textile artists and embroiderers who inspire and push the boundaries of the genre."
A word of warning - Mr. X Stitch definitely puts the X in X Stitch sometimes on his blog. If you are easily offended, avoid any posts with photos of cute fuzzy animals and NSFW (Not Safe for Work) warnings because explicit embroidery may follow.
How Jamie Got Started Stitching - Avoiding Boredom:
Like many of us, Jamie is a self taught stitcher. He explains, "It all started with a trip to Canada. I wanted something to do on the plane and ended up with an art nouveau cross stitch piece. It look me a while to finish, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Subsequent searches for content of stitches that truly inspired me proved somewhat fruitless, so I decided to make some of my own. I’ve always been interested in graffiti and pop culture, so the idea for graffiti cross stitch patterns did not take long to develop."
Dominant Themes of Patterns:
Mr X Stitch's main pattern theme is graffiti. He is inspired by pieces of street art.He explains, "Graffiti is an urban art form that is often misunderstood, but it translates onto stitch really well."
Jamie describes working with Kittyzilla, "I am thrilled to have brought Kittyzilla on board, who is a supremely talented artist and we are currently working on a series of embroideries featuring internet memes – cultural references that have originated from within the internet – including subjects like Rick Rolling, Raptor Jesus and Hamster Dance."
Jamie adds, "Don’t worry if you don’t know what they are, I didn’t either! But trust me, they are awesome."
A Design with Special Memories:
Even Mr. X Stitch gets the warm fuzzies about special designs. "I’ll always have a fondness for Panika, the first graffiti cross stitch pattern I made. It rocks."
Sources of Inspiration:
"Inspiration is everywhere, and the internet is such a terrific resource for finding new ideas. There are so many amazing embroidery and needlecraft artists out there, that we are constantly being challenged and enlightened about what is possible. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, something new comes along and changes the way you think about the genre."
Mr. X Stitch Patterns are Distinctive Because:
As he says, "Mr X Stitch patterns are a fresh take on a much loved genre – we look for new and interesting concepts and then apply a healthy coating of funk to them. We are a bit different to the majority of pattern designers, but that’s just how we roll."
Purchase a Mr X Stitch Pattern:
"At present we simply offer a pattern, including color guide, and because of the way we do things, they are available in PDF format for easy printing at home. We are exploring options of making the patterns available in 'the real world' and hope to launch some kits at some point in the near future."
Learn more at Mr. X Stitch's Etsy shop
: Patterns may contain adult language.
Stitching Level Required:
Designs are suitable for beginners and beyond. As Mr. X Stitch says, "Anyone should be able to follow our patterns. All you need is a laid back philosophy and you’ll be well away."
When asked what services Mr. X Stitch offered, Jamie replied, "A warm smile and a wry grin. People who buy a pattern also receive the Mr X Stitch guide to cross stitch, and are welcome to ask us questions about getting to grips with this wonderful craft."
Modern Cross Stitch
Jamie explains his mission as part of the Modern Cross Stitch Movement:
"We are committed to pushing the boundaries of embroidered arts and contemporary cross stitch. Cross stitch is only limited to your imagination and we are starting to unlock the immense potential of this craft form. People should check out the website and if they have any ideas for other patterns, they can drop us a line!"
Hangin' in the Phat Quarter
Mr. X Stitch often hangs out in the flickr group The Phat Quarter
. As Mr. X Stitch's associate Beefrank says, It is a group "dedicated to all types of awesome embroidery and needlework. We want cross stitching, embroidery, needle felting, quilting, plushies/softies/soft sculptures, and more. If you use a needle to make it, we want to see it. Subversive, weird, or wacky? We want it. Super cute stuff? Yes, please! Traditional things, too."