The creative talent behind Death by Cross Stitch is Julia Line. We asked her to write a guest blog for us to explain how this kit came to be.
Take equal measures of Seaforth Highlander (paternal grandfather); Geordie chambermaid (paternal grandmother); Dutch coiffeur (maternal grandpa) and feisty, red-haired court dressmaker (maternal grandma).
Add: A love of colour/running dogs; some very hard knocks; a generous pinch or two of humour; and plenty of sunshine.
Mix well and leave to rise for half a century and you might, if you’re very lucky, come up with a Long Dog Sampler. But if all that’s too slow for you just go online and order the chart from SewandSo.
My name is Julia Line and I’m the needle behind Long Dog Samplers. I grew up in post-war London – all bomb sites, austerity and make-do-and-mend. My embroidery teeth were cut on transfer printed tray cloths bedecked with lazy daisy stitch and doilies edged with crochet lace. All very boring, predictable and unexciting however it wasn’t until nearly forty years later that I finally decided to shake things up a bit and got around to doing something about it.
Antique samplers are undeniably very beautiful and reflect perfectly the prevailing sentiments and fashions of the period in which they were stitched. But as I’m not a virginal maiden from the 1800’s with a desire to extol “virtue” on drab cloth with a limited pallet of colours any attempt to emulate that particular style would be anathema to me.
I want colour that’s in your face one moment and subtly blended the next; I want more motifs to the inch; I want to mix my metaphors and use new words. But, above all else, I want to encourage others to take their needles and my ideas and run with them, as fast and as far as their imaginations will take them. I want to take samplers screaming and kicking into the 21st century, the digital age where we do things perhaps not better but certainly differently.
Long Dog Samplers celebrated it’s 20th anniversary in June 2016 and to mark the occasion I needed to come up with something very special indeed. It had to be big, bold, bright, beautiful and utterly irresistible.
The project took me over a week of early mornings and midnight oil to design and a further two months non-stop stitching to come to fruition on good old 18# school girl, brilliant white Aida. So after all that 24/7 intensive effort what else could I possibly call it but “Death by Cross Stitch”? I’ll leave you to decide whether or not my mission was accomplished and be warned – Long Dog Samplers are an addictive experience on the edge of reality, once you’ve stitched one you’ll surely crave for more.
Top Tip: I would recommend that you join the Facebook group “Death by Cross Stitch“. It’s a friendly community with over 1,000 members. You’ll get advice, encouragement, support and, best of all, you’ll get to see photos of all the weird, wonderful and sometimes completely outrageous interpretations members have created with the design.
This chart is so big that it runs to 16-pages of chart, measures 363 x 447 stitches!
While you pick your jaw up off the floor after reading that, let me show you Long Dog samplers new chart, Castle In The Air. This chart is 209 x 285 stitches and is pretty spectacular.