Wednesday, 29 October 2014

More inspiration from Mr X Stitch

Today we have some thought-provoking inspiration from Jamie 'Mr X Stitch' Chalmers, who is an amazing textile artist and passionate advocate of creative needlework. Our theme this month is 'X' and who better to motivate us than the Kingpin of Contemporary Embroidery!


People often ask me why I’m Mr X Stitch and not Mr Cross Stitch. Some people don’t seem to understand the value of X, its mystery and its power. But to me the X is critical.
We live in an age where people want us to follow the norm. The powers that be want us to be good little citizens, doing as we’re told, so that they can continue tweaking the way of the world to suit the rich and to disable the rest. To me, the X represents the counter-culture. It represents those moments where we choose to stand against the rules and do things our way. The X is man versus the system. The X is an expression of humanity, and it’s becoming more vital than ever.


I don’t think that the X is a bad thing, but by going against the norm, it’s certainly provocative. People think that because I’ve challenged the traditional stereotypes of embroidery, both through my own practice and through the work curated on my site, that I’m just interested in shock value and swearing. But there’s much more than that. Mr X is a tool for change, and there’s no denying that I can use the novelty factor to have an impact,  but for me the critical element to all of this is individual expression.


There’s a massive debate about art vs craft that has been going on for years, and it often seems to centre around which forms of product are art and which aren’t. For instance, it is generally agreed that oil painting and sculpture is art, but that cross stitch is craft. But this distinction misses the point and serves to perpetuate a class paradigm that means that Damien Hirst can charge £100000 for someone painting circles on a wall, but that people balk at paying £50 for a cross stitch that took ten hours.
My view on this debate is this:

·          If you buy a kit and follow the kit without a moment’s thought, it’s a nice hobby.

·         The minute you start paying attention to the work and adapting your process to improve the outcome, it’s a craft.

·         The minute you start adapting the content to include your own self-expression, you’re an artist.

End of story.



People ask me why I’m Mr X Stitch and not Mr Cross Stitch. It’s because I want to inspire people to do their own thing, I want everyone to find the artist within them and be more creative. Creativity is a necessary survival mechanism in a world of passive consumption of bland corporatized nonsense.  The X is the way forward. So go forth and do your own thing – let’s change the world!


How's that for motivation?! Thank you so much Mr X Stitch! You can find more work by Mr X Stitch and a whole host of info, groups and awesome stitchings on the Mr X Stitch website

We hope you are inspired to create and we would love to see your finished project that fits the theme 'X', using any medium,  in our link party that opens on 15th November. You can read the guidelines and more about le challenge here

One random winner will win a $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop and your choice of 25 close ended zips from Rickety Rose Crafts!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

And the winner is...


Thank you for all your fabulous 'mix' entries, you were all very creative in your interpretations and we really had a great mix of finished projects!

Random.org was put to work and chose:


which was CoveredByThread. Congratulations! I have sent you a message :)


Remember that the next theme is X on 15th November and there are two giveaway prizes - a $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop and your choice of 25 close ended zips from Rickety Rose Crafts!

We also have a really creative and interesting guest post lined up, as well as our regular inspiration posts, so stay tuned. 

I need to get to work on my project but am bursting with ideas for this one, how about you?




Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Next up...


We are really excited about this theme! REALLY!

What's more there's an extra giveaway prize this month so we hope you'll join in and get creative with your interpretations.

The theme this month is X

The letter X, the shape X, a cross... you know what we're talking about!

Join us on 15th November with your finished projects and link up for a random chance to win a $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop to spend on anything you like and a rainbow bundle of zips from Rickety Rose Crafts - you get to chose any 25 colours and sizes of the closed-end zips!






Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Le Challenge #16 - Mix

We are excited to see what you've come up with for the Mix theme!

Here's what we've been up to:


Lucy mixed her hobbies at Charm About You


Nat has been mixing fabrics for a new cushion at Made in Home

Check back tomorrow to find out the new theme and if you are new to Le Challenge find more information here - please read the guidelines!

For a chance to win a $25 Fat Quarter Shop gift certificate make sure you link up your finished projects based on the theme 'Mix'. Please remember to include the button or a link to Le Challenge in your blog post or Flickr description and use the hashtag #lechallenge if you're linking up from Instagram.


Saturday, 4 October 2014

Mix {fabric inspiration}


This is one of those themes that the more you think about it you realise there's so many possibilities but if you're a little stuck here's some fabric inspiration for the theme 'mix'.


My first thought (and I know others thought the same!) was mixtapes, those wonderful mixes people made on cassettes way back when.



The kitchen is a great place to mix, maybe make something to help you around the kitchen or something decorative like this cute Mixing it Up pattern.


There must be a way of creating a remix, perhaps using something over again? An old WIP turned into something new? It's an excuse for me to show the remix print ;)


Of course it's simple to create a project using a mix of different fabric styles or designers, like Lee Heinrich's Blogger's Choice Bundle.


You could mix colours or textures, like in this color wheel fabric.


Or a nice mix of fonts with these Sewing Studio Words and Black Chalkboard Words.



I hope that's shown you the scope of the possibilities!

Join us on 15th October to link up your finished 'mix' makes and a random chance to win a $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop. If you're new you can read all about le challenge here.


How are your projects coming along?



Wednesday, 17 September 2014

And the winner is...

Thanks for all your entries and spreading the word about le challenge! 

The winner is.... 



So that will be Lou who made the Clamshell Cushion. Congrats Lou! Will get in touch with you so that you can receive your voucher from the Fat Quarter Shop and your bundle of 10 vintage sheet fat quarters from Mary's shop. 

And don't forget to link up your 'MIX' projects on October 15. 

Monday, 15 September 2014

Next up...


We try to make the themes for le challenge interesting and not too specific, we love that you are all so inventive and creative with your makes and your interpretations of the themes!

This month is another very open theme with lots of possibilities, are you ready?....


The theme is MIX.


You could mix your mediums, mix some colours, mix it up and try something new. Honestly the more you think about the more you're head will be bursting with ideas!


Join us on 15th October with your finished projects and link up for a random chance to win a $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop.