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Perceptions Are Everything! Or are they?

How important are perceptions? Who are you trying to impress? Who are you trying keep on your good side? Who are you trying to stay on the good side of? Additionally, what are your perceptions of cross stitch? How have they changed? Do you know what your family and friends perceptions of cross stitch are?

Perceptions by Hanrie Greeb – Published 2 March 2016

Perceptions are important, whether they be positive or negative ones. What I think it depends on is:

  • what I am trying to achieve
  • who am I needing support from
  • who I am needing to impress

Cross Stitch Perceptions

  • What are your perceptions of cross stitch?
  • What perceptions are you aware of from non-stitchers?
  • Who’s support stitchers need to ensure the longevity of cross stitch?
  • Who’s perceptions of cross stitch are you trying to convert?
  • What would happen if you were successful or unsuccessful in converting them?

For me, bringing new people into the crafting community and having more people to share my interest with is exciting and something I hope happens. But it’s not the end of my world if the interest isn’t there because there’s always the internet and what is old is new again is old again – i.e. it’ll come back into fashion again soon!

Additionally, it’s the opinions of the people who are already part of the crafting community and my loved ones who matter to me the most and I hope they feel the same way. Inclusion is important.

Furthermore, my perceptions of cross stitch is that it’s an awesome hobby to have. Unfortunately it becomes taxing on my posture, eye sight, hands and weight when I’ve been sitting down for too long.

Image from 11 Best Posture-Correcting Devices article

Turning a hobby into a profession

Additionally, I would love to turn my love for cross-stitch into a profession. However, the other perception and reality is that it may not be as lucrative as I would like it to be – especially if I want to maintain my current lifestyle! For people who don’t stitch, they don’t really know or understand just how much time and effort that goes into a piece. And they would not be willing to pay thousands of dollars if the true value was placed on the piece.

Meanwhile, physical and digital stores rely on there being enough stitchers out there who are interested in their products to purchase them. Additionally, the market can be fickle and with the potential for people to create their own patterns using a variety of methods, it makes life difficult for the stores to be able to have the right products in stock and to be able to adjust to changes in the market. Two examples of this is the Victoria House Needlecraft store in Mittagong and the Fox Collection.

Over 10 years ago when I first visited the Victoria House Needlecraft store in Mittagong, the variety of patterns, kits and supplies available was amazing and I have easily spent hours and hundreds of dollars in the store. As time has passed and the business has changed a few times, the availability of products has changed due to consumer interests, what products the suppliers have provided the store and whether consumers are able to buy directly from the suppliers. For example, we can buy directly from Heaven and Earth Designs and a few years ago, we may not have been able to do so.

Meanwhile, the Fox Collection has widened their scope significantly since the first time I was introduced to their catalogue over 10 years ago. I remember the catalogue predominantly featured all things cross stitch related with a few pages a the end for jigsaw puzzles and some scrapbooking supplies. Now, half of the catalogue features pages for scapbooking, diamond dots, decoupage, crochet, knitting colouring-in, paint-by-numbers, quilting and related accessories. Admittedly, the Fox Collection is part of the Innovations brand which enables them to expand their scope and product base to meet the needs of more customers and the changing trends.

Grandma Stitch – The non-stitcher’s view of cross stitch

Meanwhile, when I first got back into cross stitch and I told people what I did in my spare time, I would be met with an ‘oh’ and a slightly puzzled and disappointed look. Or an ‘oh, my grandma does/did that’. I would then proceed to tell people what projects I’m working and show them pictures if I had my phone with me. Which would then completely change their idea of cross stitch and would be a lot more surprised and enthusiastic when they realised that the patterns have progressed from their memories of the traditional samplers they may have seen at their grandparents house.

Time and patience

Other comments and feedback I’ve received about cross stitch is ‘I don’t have the time or patience for cross stitch’. Yet some have the time and patience for watching movies, binge watching television shows, browsing the Net and playing video games to name a few. Now, don’t get me wrong, I loooooove all of those things and I cross stitch while I’m binge watching tv shows and movies. I’m also lucky that no one has filmed me yelling at the tv when I’m playing XCOM: Enemy Unknown because my soldiers can’t shoot straight, the aliens are picking on me or my soldiers have freaked or they’re mind controlled and are trying to shoot each other instead.

To me, the hidden question is whether or not these people want to give cross stitch a go, but are afraid of what others will think of them or they are afraid that they may enjoy it?

Final Thoughts – cross stitch can be cool

I would love for many more non-stitchers to see clips like the one below and the subversive cross stitch sites to see that cross stitch can be of any image or saying you want it to be. And it can be stitched onto anything you want and worn out in public!

The worlds of hip-hop and cross stitch connect in a cool way.

Additionally, I’m one of those nutters who will more likely than not, forego my health for my craft and become a hunched over old lady with hands swollen from arthritis and stitching too much.

Related posts and sites:


I am an avid cross stitcher. I was first introduced to cross stitch when I was primary school age. Paused for while during my teens and then took it up again in my early/mid 20's and I haven't looked back. To mitigate the amount of time I'm sitting down stitching, I'm a regular member of the gym and I'm a runner. To keep me motivated, I participate in short to medium length fun runs. Which at times feel torturous, but I feel really good at the end of them! With these activities in mind, this blog is about the combination of my experiences with running and cross stitch and encouraging people to think differently about cross stitch - it's not just Grandma's who do this anymore!