By Julie Jackson
Half art, half craft, and all snark. For those aching to just tell it like it is, Subversive Cross-Stitch offers the inspiration and guidance to transform what might have remained an internal monologue into an open statement to the world. Jackson’s shtick is taking the traditional medium of cross stitch and injecting a whole new vocabulary into the canvas. Personal favorites are “Kiss my grits,” “Too bad, so sad,” and the ever-pithy “Bite me.” Jackson provides a grid and alphabet, as well as basic technique information making this book great for beginners and those who are ready to stitch out on their own, emblazoning signature lines. Extremely clear and large, color diagrams will make learning this craft and following Subversive Cross Stitch patterns very enjoyable. Jackson responds to emptiness in the craft world, where cross stitch is only used for very boring and pious samplers, and then uses that to her advantage. She is not redesigning all the elaborate borders and motifs familiar in cross stitch, instead she suggests using those kits and re-contextualizing everything. This last part is what offers a true artistic element to the book, and presents a method for re-interpreting the pre-packaged, mass-produced craft supplies among us.