The Mr X Stitch guide to cross stitch.

Chalmers, Jamie
Chalmers, Jamie The Mr X Stitch guide to cross stitch. Tunbridge Wells, Search Press, 2017 ISBN: 978 1 78221 424 3 142 pages  

Quirky. Fun. A bit out there. These words encapsulate Jamie’s cross stitch ethos. Interspersed between charts for several projects, some of which will appeal to boys in particular and younger stitchers in general, there are sections on tools (gizmos), materials and colour. Do you know there is glow in the dark thread available, made by Kreinik? Jamie sees cross stitch as far more than a hobby – as therapy, as generating peace of mind, as art, as creativism. There are useful tips for setting up stitching for when you travel. Pearls of wisdom precede each set of projects. Although Jamie has a wonderful sense of humour, both in his writing and in his patterns, there are also some projects which give more than a nod to traditional cross stitch. Whitby Abbey at sunset is glorious. Each set of projects ends with one by what, or who, Jamie calls ‘outliers’, otherwise known as a guest contributor. The chapter, ‘Thinking outside the hoop’ suggests innovative surfaces for cross stitch. His premise is ‘if it’s got holes in it…’ Jamie’s colour palette is varied – sometimes quite sombre, sometimes very colourful. I particularly like his squirrel design and his cross stitch colour wheel.  I enjoyed both of these books. They both present embroidery which is fun to do, in an inviting, fun way. Mr. X Stitch is a stitching celebrity in the U.K. Laura Wasilowski is perhaps less well known but both authors are passionate about the very different, delightful work which they create.  

Erica Marsden