Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Needle Arts Snobbery

This is something that seems to come up from time to time in the world of needle arts.  Now, I know I may be throwing out a few blanket statements with this post, so don't think I mean this for every single person in the needle arts world.  I don't.  Most of us have manners and can appreciate the time and effort and talent it takes to make something with needle and thread or yarn, even if it's a type of stitching that is not our forte.  But then....there are others...

Embroiderers who look down their nose at cross stitchers.  "It's no different than painting by number."  ~  "That's just a craft, not an art." ~ "It's just X's, not real stitches."

And then there are the cross stitchers...

"I like all stitching.  Well...except for those stamped pieces."  (Said with a look of disdain.) ~ "I would never stitch on Aida."  (And nothing wrong with that, but a little more stitching and a little less attitude would be nice.)

And then it seems as if many from all forms of stitching look down on plastic canvas work.  
"Oh, I remember doing that.  
When I was 10."

Over the years I've seen and heard some things in groups that just astound me at the disrespect of other's work, effort, and yes - TALENT.  One person shared a finished piece - a large nude that obviously took a long time and someone comes in to take offense and say she doesn't like having to see nudes and it should be removed - and this wasn't an admin, it was a new member no less.  Somewhere else there was a discussion of making the backs of pieces neat and one person piped up to say that when they received a stitched piece as a gift, they literally take it apart - no matter if it was framed or finished into a pillow/ornament/etc - to see if the back was, "neat enough to meet my standards." 

Oh. My. Gosh.

I just don't believe that snobbery should have any place in this wonderful, cozy little world of the needle arts.  If anyone should be getting along, it's us.  Even if our tastes are different in what we like to stitch and how we like to stitch it, there is room for all of us and there should be respect given in all directions.  No one form of needlework is better than another.  And yes, they are all art forms, not merely a childish hobby.  Both cross stitch and plastic canvas can be and are just as filled with as many specialty stitches as embroidery is.  And the vast majority of beautiful embroidered pieces couldn't be done if the stitcher wasn't working on something stamped.  And for that matter, there are many gorgeous cross stitch works that start as stamped pieces.  Linen is wonderful, but Aida will always have a sure and secure place in the world of cross stitch.  As a matter of fact, if you do charity stitching, there are some charities that require you to use 14ct Aida - period.  The back of one person's piece may be a perfect replica of the front and the next person's a hot mess - but it's all ok and good and we're all at different places on many different learning curves here.  So let's always give others the wiggle room they need on those learning curves without discouraging them or making them feel like their work some how isn't as good as someone else's or as another form of needle art.  

Needlework in all it's forms is a beautiful thing and there is room - and should also be respect - for all of them in our stitching world.


  1. Hear hear. Well said. The person who rips apart their gifts pisses me off. What do they do if it's not up to their standards? Restitch it or toss it? That's ridiculous. I've never seen anything like this in the groups I've been in but I've heard of it happening. Usually when I'm not there lol

  2. I must confess to be a bit of an evenweave snob! But that's only because people make such a silly fuss about it being difficult to stitch on. It definitely has its place in the stitching world and if a design is going to cover the entire fabric there is no reason not to use it.

    I like a neat back myself but unless you can see lumps and bumps under the fabric or visible threads carried across then it doesn't matter if your back doesn't have every end neatly sewn in.

    If you don't like something then move on and look at something else!

  3. Agreed. And I think it's perfectly fine to have certain things we don't like to stitch with or methods we don't want to use for our own stitching. But it's when I see others looking down their noses at stitchers who do use those methods or materials, that's when I get my dander up ~ hence this post, lol.

  4. I completely agree with you on each of your points. Stitching is one of the best hobbies I can think of (for me) and everyone who loves stitching can stitch whatever they want, how they want, on whatever fabric they want with whatever threads they want. And it's good like that.