50 Fresh as F*ck Designs. Julie Jackson, Sasquatch Books (Seattle, WA), 2021 ISBN: 978-1-63217-388-1, $16.95
Subversive Cross Stitch came out several years ago with a book that combined the sweet motifs of simple cross stitch with snarky and tongue-in-cheek sayings. It launched a bit of a revolution in how folks looked at both cross stitch and needlepoint. Today, you’ll find painted canvases with all kinds of things you would not have seen a decade ago. These include sarcastic sayings, not-safe-for-work designs, and canvases celebrating marijuana.
The author of Subversive Cross Stitch came out with a second book last year.
The designs are grouped into thematic chapters including ones on self-help, a world gone mad, and work. Each design has a two-page spread. The left page has a picture of the stitched design in a frame, while the right page has a full-color chart. I love that each of the stitched designs is pictured against vintage wallpaper, giving the whole book a fresh look. Unlike the original book, these designs use a variety of fabrics and several types of floss. This makes them, to my mind, more appealing to needleppointers. They will give you a good idea of how great these designs can look on open colored canvas.
The book begins with an introductory chapter about materials and techniques. I particularly like the last three pages of this which talk about and show you how a design can be customized (four-letter word warning for these pieces). Only eight of the 50 designs have four-letter words, making any stitcher able to find great projects here.
At the bottom of each chart, you’ll find a color key, along with a stitch count and size on 14-count fabric. Rarely are the colors given essential to the design, making it easy to change them. Because only full cross stitches and backstitch are used in the charts, they can be used for needlepoint with little difficulty.
The book ends with charts for three alphabets, all uppercase, and a set of seven charted borders, You could use these to make your own designs or to change one of the existing charts.
In short, it’s a fun book to add to your collection.