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Is counted cross stitch dead in America?

November 28, 2013

I wanted to post a query here, but I noticed that the last entry was Oct 20th. Is there any real interest in counted cross stitch? My daughter who is 48 implied "how old fashioned!" People are now too busy on iPad or iPhone or Internet with an interest span of a few minutes. So like a library of old books of interest to a particular reader, cross stitch material, patterns, and other supplies should be filed away and left dormant forever. My wife had won blue ribbons at the Topsfield Fair in Massachusetts in the early 1990's, and these hang on our walls and look very good. So that is what is left. As the older generation dies away, all that skill will be lost.

Comments (43)

  • LullabyF360

    I hate to report that cross-stitching seems to be a dying art. I am 23 & started cross-stitching a little less than a year ago. I am always experimenting with new forms of art (painting, oil pastels, watercolor, charcoals, needle work, etc). It is very calming & relaxing. Personally, I only know of two other people who currently cross-stitch on a regular basis. A friend of mine & a cousin. The mother-in-law to my cousin used to cross-stitch but drifted away from it for quilting. I wish I could find more people in my area who cross-stitched. I wouldn't mind starting a stitching circle.

    I know this is a some what old post, but I could not help but to respond to it. Also, I usually don't venture to the Home Forums on this site. I'm mostly found in the gardening section :)

  • kathi_mdgd

    Lullaby,I responded to one of your other posts above.Crossstitch is alive and well,just not over here.I left you a link to go to on the other post.

  • donnar57

    It's certainly a lot harder to find a lot of different charts in places that used to carry a bunch, like Michael's. We had a whole store, in the 90s, that catered to cross-stitchers, but it's dead and gone now, out of business.

    I think it's like any other craft -- it will return when things cycle around. Different crafts come in style, then go. I noticed that more people are knitting and crocheting these days. So just wait.


  • LullabyF360

    Kathi, thanks for the info! Now I suppose it is my turn to distribute a little helpful tip :)

    Donna, the only place in my area to find cross-stitch patterns is Hobby Lobby & Walmart..if you are lucky. Buying patterns online gets expensive quick. I've seen kits for sale upwards of $125 or more. The way I have been cross-stitching is I will dig through the internet, looking for pictures of completed cross-stitches that is detailed enough so I can zoom in on my iPad & work that way. It is more tedious than going by symbols on paper, but I am one to push myself when it comes to any category in art. It makes me feel more accomplished of my talents & more proud of the peice in general.

    Anywho, if there is a picture I would just love to x-stitch, I have been using www.pic2pat.com. It is the most detailed pattern maker I have found. It's free! No sign ups either. Most other sites or softwares make the final result look blurry or too pixalated. I can't have that when I want to work on a portrait! However, despite my praise for this website, there is one draw back that some people will not like: the most detailed pattern is achieved by turning the settings all the way up. In turn, this makes the peice very large. Below is an example of this. A 11x14 frame for scale. I forget exactly how big the pattern is. The size is not going to bother me. I enjoy working on things of this size. On a side note, I decided to have a little fun & stained the aida cloth with coffee grounds.

    Another thing I found to be kind of inconvenient is the lack of a legend to show exactly where the pages peice together. The pages are numbered but can be confusing when trying to puzzle everything together.

  • kathi_mdgd

    Lullby,thanks for that link for pic to pat.I've heard of it before,just havn't gone over there.I need to do that though,as I have a picture of the roller skates I had in the 50's and I want to do it in cross stitch.

    Did you by any chance go over to 123stitch.com and check out that site?? We do give aways,help each other out in finding charts,send each other charts for a free,or for postage and some for sale.

    Lots of enablers there as well,they'll help you spend your money before you even get it!! Just kidding.Check it out though.

    PS we don't have a brick and mortar store near me either,and joann's only has a very limited supply,especially of charts.

  • PRO

    I am a dedicated cross stitcher and have been since I was seven years old. There used to be several cross stitch stores in my area. Today there is just one.

    In looking for patterns-I do not like to buy kits as I already have more floss than I will ever use and I like to choose my own fabric. So, if you want just a graph, you can go to Hoffmandis.com. Hoffman's is a wholesale distributor for cross stitch graphs. You can choose your graphs and they will send it to the closest craft store in your area.

    I got this tip when my favorite store closed and the owner told me about it.


  • peggy555

    Yes, it's hard to find counted cross stitch items in the stores, etc. May I suggest Ebay? I've bought a lot of magazines to complete my collections from Ebay with excellent results. I have noticed the decline in cross stitchers in my area. I put a huge stack of books in a garage sale at my sisters and had no one interested in them. (They were very cheap too). I will probably just donate to the St. Vincent DePaul store, as I've seen some patterns there too.

  • ladyrose65

    I too also cross stitch, I am working on Dimensions kit 'Oriental Splendor' and I do the $1.00 kits in between. I don't know anyone that does it. I hope it makes a comeback and also 1000+ puzzles.

  • acraftylady

    There are many people that still do cross stitch. The ladies on the forum over at 123stitch post their finishes all the time. There are many get togethers and retreats for it also if you read the boards over there. Mary

  • Tiffany, purpleinopp Z8b Opp, AL

    I'm still stitching, though haven't seen a pattern I'm interested in for a very long time. I make my own, one pictured below. I also don't buy kits since I have just about every color DMC makes. I can't stand pastel colors, most cross stitches seem to be pastel. There's a stack of cross stitch magazines and pattern books a foot tall in my bedroom...

  • josephene_gw

    Ladies and Gents cross stitching is not dead, at least in my home.
    I have more want to stitch projects than I will ever do.
    Wish we could get together, of course we would never get any stitching
    Done, just find more projects to work up.

  • annkh_nd

    I've done a lot of cross stitch and hardanger.

    I've spent many happy hours in this store:

    Here is a link that might be useful: Nordic Needle

  • Tiffany, purpleinopp Z8b Opp, AL

    This pattern is from 1987 but I stitched it a few years ago. It's called "Amish Life," and is the left panel of a triptych.

    This post was edited by purpleinopp on Sat, Nov 29, 14 at 10:30

  • Tiffany, purpleinopp Z8b Opp, AL

    Made this for my brother. An American scene.

  • scott_madison Zone 5a- Madison, WI

    No! I love doing counted cross stich. My first project as a neophyte was way back in 1991. I wanted a Victorian style Christmas stocking. Never having done cross stitch, I purchased all the material in the hopes of finding someone to do it for me. To make a long story short, nobody wanted to take on the task. So, I dove in and decided to do it myself. As you can see, it turned out beautifully. It is lined with burgundy taffeta and backed with green velvet. My current project is a pattern I found in Just Cross Stitch magazine called "Red Birds". A pair of cardinals nestled amongst magnolias and camellias. I'm hoping finish it up this winter. And after that.... Well, who knows!

  • scott_madison Zone 5a- Madison, WI

    And here's the 'Red Bird' pattern. Since I can't figure out how to post two photos at once... LOL! I am about half done with the project.... I should pick up speed now that the Holidays are over.

  • Tiffany, purpleinopp Z8b Opp, AL

    I created & am working on this now.

  • msmeow

    Purpleinopp, those are pretty designs! I like the bold colors.

    I am working on a large project called The Pageant Kings. I started it a couple of years ago then got annoyed with blending filament and put it away. I got it back out a couple of weeks ago and have been stitching like crazy! :) It's supposed to be stitched on blue Jobelan (which I bought at great expense) but the fabric is so soft the thread lines get distorted making it nearly impossible to stitch over 2 threads accurately, so I'm using 32 count cream aida instead. The picture is the three kings and the star over Bethlehem. When it's done it will have couching and satin stitch in different threads and beads, as well as the cross stitch.


  • dirt_cred

    Does anyone use Herrschners? They have quite a few charts and all the supplies you could want.

    I think cross stitch is like anything else - it comes and goes. Young people do seem to like things that don't take as much time these days but I know plenty who knit and crochet and they eat time as much as xstitch, does. The results are more practical, though - often wearable.

    I think I'm going to need to get me a good magnifier before I can take it up again. It's hard on old eyes!

    Here is a link that might be useful: Herrschners website

  • wifetojoeiii

    I am planning to cross stitch a new Christmas tree skirt this year!

  • josephene_gw

    Scott where did you find the Red Bird chart?
    Would like to find a copy.
    Working on a pair of cardinals right now. Love to stitch birds, flowers
    Love Tiffanys designs.
    ABC has lots if eye candy.
    Herrschners isn't great, a little slow shipping they now have fabric by
    The yard.

  • Eva Morgan

    I just started recently but I have lots of patterns and I am posting them on Shutterstock. All of my pictures are based on a cross stitch pattern. If you like any of them let me know (Facebook message or emccs@gmx.com) and I will post on Facebook or e-mail you the pattern. Here's my link to Shutterstock: http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-3197966p1.html

  • khricket

    Though cross stitch isnt as common as it was (even as Michaels Canada is taking out their cross stitch section), I don't think it's a dying art at all. I think it may just be changing. floss tube on youtube is growing as a community,and my local needlework store is always busy... always bringing in new charts. A lot of people are now switching to PDF charts, so theres no need to go to stores like michaels for their projects, who have limited charts and floss to choose from (here they are slowly getting rid of DMC specialty thread, too). I personally don't know anyone who cross stitches, except the people at the needlework store, but I still think it's going strong :)

  • dirt_cred

    I think it's a good point that there may be more small specialty stores, too, affecting Michaels' et al

  • hoopybunny

    Sorry I'm so late to this discussion. Cross stitch is far from old fashioned. Here's a picture of my peacocks.

    and here's a picture of my next pattern

    not old fashioned at all. But I'm also addicted to it!

  • sujiwan_gw 6b MD/PA

    I'm glad I collected patterns over the years, then! There is an excellent store in the Baltimore area called "The Stitching Post" that is dedicated to cross stitching. They have everything.

  • hoopybunny

    I found a place that you give them a picture and they convert it into a cross stitch pattern. The peacock pattern above is from a picture of a stained glass peacock so I had it converted to a cross stitch. Can't wait to start it!

  • scott_madison Zone 5a- Madison, WI

    HI hoopbunny...

    What is this place that converts photos to a cross stitch pattern? Do they have a website?

  • dawn062151

    I'm still addicted to cross stitching after more than 20 years. Currently have at least four projects going including two HAEDs, plus a box full waiting for me. My closest needlework shops are over an hour away and only one is any good. I tend to order most everything online unless i need motivation or a brick and mortar fix.

  • sujiwan_gw 6b MD/PA

    OT- On the Embroidery forum, I noticed a bunch of posts about starting a separate forum for hand embroiderers since it seemed as though the majority of posts were referencing machine embroidery. Why couldn't hand embroidery be included with cross stitching right here in this forum? Cross stitching is one form of embroidery, isn't it? The title of the forum could be altered slightly to attract those hand workers. I have cross stitch patterns that include hardanger and embroidery stitches. Just thought I pipe up about it!

  • jdcavinee

    I am looking for the precious moments pattern for the firefighter. The pattern book with occupations is out of print. I really only need the one pattern not the whole book. Any one willing to share just the firefighter pattern? I really want to make this for my grandson who just recently started his firefighting career. Thanks...JDC

  • hoopybunny

    @ Scott Madison......stitchyourphoto.com

  • Patsy Carpenter

    Hi all, I have recently gotten back into x stitching & find it is so relaxing, My 7 year old granddaughter wants to learn so maybe it isn't going to be a lost art?

    Yes all the brick & mortar shops are gone except fro the ones mentioned.

    I am rural & have to drive to one so I order online. Mosltly from Cobwebcorner.com

    The owner buys from closed shops, estate sales etc. Most charts are new & some only have a little wear. She is very reliable I have ordered for years from Carla. She has an extensive collection.

    Have any of you heard about Flosstube? Also I go to Youtube & type in Cross stitch & there are many many channels to view.

    I'm an experienced stitcher & I have learned a lot about frames , gridding,fabrics, etc

    Glad to find your forum,

    Happy stitchin'


  • zerlyn

    I don't know about the dying part. However, if you go to cross stitch FB groups (they are plenty to choose from), it is still quite active.

  • Patsy Carpenter

    Hi Zerlyn,

    I am not on any social medias --so miss out on those groups you mentioned.

    Youtube is my only way to see what others are doing-- I am thankful for that.

    Makes me not feel so bad for having so many projects going at once, although I don't think I am coordinated enough to do a revolving system for finishing like so many.

  • zerlyn

    Hi Patsy, I understand that. Let me share my perspective. I no longer view my friends activity on FB. I am interested in the cross stitch groups that I have joined, and just follow what others has posted, on their progress and whats not. There is a group that buy/sell charts, and it is so active, it's like piranha swimming, they are gone so fast.

  • graciejane250

    Zerlyn, could you tell me how to find the Facebook page where they sell cross stitch books etc? Thanks

  • acraftylady

    Search stash unload on facebook. There are a few others I can't remember the name. Mary

  • zerlyn
    Agree. Stash unload group is the biggest and most active so far. Lots of designs. I bought some from there. It's very hard to stay away.
  • Gen z


    Does anyone have a color chart for Columbia-Minerva 'Autumn Leaves' (Blue version) It is a Jacobean design. I have been looking for it for a long time. I have the Red version collor chart, if anyone is interested. I can copy it for You.

  • Suzanne Day

    Cross stitch is not dead, just changing. People want new types of designs, as there's already enough of the old stuff around. Here's a cross stitch pattern I designed myself, I sell them at Lucky Star Stitches. I think lots of people are finding it easier just to buy PDFs online, without having to visit multiple shops in person for a greater range of patterns to pick from.

  • JC

    I love cross stitching, I just wish I could still find the kits in my local stores. Its fine buying them online and I've had good luck, but I like seeing them in person first. Five years ago our longtime local craft store closed, so I took my girls to go buy a bunch of projects for cheap. They really took to the cross stitch and latch hook kits and still do them every now and then. All three of us have an ongoing project at any given time. Between school and sports, I think it's a great way to relax a bit. My youngest was only 5 when I bought her the latch hook project. She was an early reader, but it's a great activity for young kids to practice motor skills as well as follow a "map" of the different symbols that represent colors.

  • Kaye Moyer

    I have 2 lots of patterns available currently on eBay at fair prices.

    eBay store is moyer1868 if anyone is interested or search cross stitch or counted cross stitch patterns.

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