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Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
I'm Stephanie Rohr, the artist and designer behind StephXstitch and the author of "Feminist Cross-Stitch"
Tell us a bit about the book?
"Feminist Cross-Stitch" follows in the footsteps of many traditional cross-stitch books. It includes a comprehensive how-two section with beginner-friendly instructions, illustrations, and tips. The majority of the book is the 40 projects which include photos of the finished pieces, and of course, cross-stitch pattern charts for each one. It ranges from simple one-color designs to a full, detailed Rosie the Riveter portrait, so stitchers of all levels will find something to make. The book includes famous quotes from powerful women, intersectional symbols, and sentiments that range from inspiring to snarky.
What was the inspiration behind it?
I had been a cross-stitch designer professionally for 6 years when the 2016 U.S. presidential election happened. I consider myself a feminist and had already dabbled in a few feminist-themed designs. But after the election I went into overdrive. I also noticed that my customers responded very positively and seemed to want more designs in that vein. Later in that year I was approached by a publisher to contribute some patterns to a collaborative book. I proposed my own book instead, and the rest is history!
Which is your favourite project?
I am very partial to the Rosie the Riveter pattern, since it was the biggest challenge for me personally, both design-wise and stitching-wise.
What is your craft space like?
I live in a small one-bedroom apartment in Chicago, so I have more of a craft "corner" than a full-on craft room. My supplies are confined to one large shelf. I design and write on my laptop at my table, which functions as a desk/dining table. I also sometimes escape to a local coffee shop. My actual stitching happens on my couch or in a chair where I set up my craft stand and my iPad with my pattern on it. I keep lots of inspiration on my walls in the form of my favorite pieces, as well as vintage needlework art.
Have you always been creative?
I think so! In addition to being a fiber artist and designer I have always been a musician and performer. I play piano and sing, and I work in theatre, both acting and directing. I have always loved writing as well.
When did you first start crafting?
My mom taught me to cross-stitch when I was young; probably around age 6. She was a cross-stitcher and I always wanted to do it to. She bought me a child-friendly kit that used yarn and a large plastic needle. I remember it only had about four colors and the image was a butterfly. I loved it! I soon moved on to more traditional cross-stitch kits.
Who are your crafty heroes?
I have to go with the original, Julie Jackson and her book "Subversive Cross-Stitch". She has been a great mentor to me. I have also met some other amazing fiber artists in Chicago, like Shannon Downey of Badass Cross Stitch, who focuses on feminist embroidery and activism, and Emma McKee, who is known as The Stitch Gawd, and creates cross-stitched clothing pieces for the rap/hip-hop community.
Where do you find inspiration?
For visual inspiration I love to look at vintage cross-stitch pieces and books. As far as the sayings in my work it's usually just something that speaks to me and makes me laugh, or an emotional reaction I have to something going on the world. This is why my work runs the gamut from absurd and silly to meaningful and personal.
What's next for you?
I have been doing book and events and classes to get the word out about "Feminist Cross-Stitch". Other than that it's business as usual. Designing new patterns, stitching new pieces, and getting ready for a summer of outdoor festivals, craft fairs, and art shows in Chicago. And of course, brainstorming for my next book idea...
Make a statement—and smash the patriarchy, one stitch at a time—with these 40 feminist-themed cross-stitching patterns! Crafty activists will love this snarky book with its 40 irreverent, vintage-inspired cross-stitch patterns. Whether you want to proudly announce to the world that you're a nasty woman or remind others that a woman's place is in the revolution, you’ll find edgy slogans, sharp one-liners, and cheeky images that make fabulous wall art or wonderful handmade gifts. An illustrated basics section will get you started, with information on materials, tools, techniques, and framing your finished pieces.