About Subversive Cross Stitch
Subversive Cross Stitch began in the spring of 2003 as a form of anger management therapy when I was dealing with a cruel bully of a boss. At my wit’s end and in dire need of some art therapy, I stopped by a craft store on the way home from work one day and picked up an ornate sampler—I hadn’t done any cross stitch since I was a kid. Once I finished the intricate border of pink flowers, I decided to stitch the word “Fuck” right in the center. It felt so great, and the idea was born!
Since I got such a kick out of it, I stitched a few more pieces this way and started sharing the idea with friends through a simple website. Then, suddenly, my site was discovered and started getting a lot of press. So I quickly decided to offer this crafty form of therapy to others through kits.
In 2006, I did a book of patterns with Chronicle called Subversive Cross Stitch: 33 Designs for Your Surly Side, which was reprinted in a Dutch version in 2009. My kits, book, greeting cards and calendars have been in Urban Outfitters, Target’s Red Hot Shop and several major online stores as well as independent retailers around the world. One of my favorite companies, blue Q, developed magnet sets, coasters, matches and gum featuring my designs. I also collaborated with Noted on a line of Subversive Cross Stitch kits in German, French and British English in 2010. These kits are currently being sold in the UK and throughout Europe.
I’m still just a one-person company, working out of my home with occasional help during the holidays. I feel extraordinarily lucky to have been in the right place at the right time and to have such amazing customers who keep me going. I’d also like to thank Bust magazine for inspiring me to do something creative in the DIY world. I love that magazine and have been a subscriber since they began—it’s still the only one I read cover to cover the same day it arrives.
Here is some of the press Subversive Cross Stitch has received. We’ve also been in other places, including Blueprint, HOW, The Face, Boston Herald, FHM, Lucky, Flare, The Guardian, The Baltimore Sun, The London Paper, and on my favorite television show ever, The Graham Norton Show.
"What makes Subversive Cross Stitch so amusing is that Jackson doesn’t shun the traditional bunnies, birds, hearts and flowers our grandmothers used to stitch. And nestled amid a garland of pink lilies, the word ‘fuck’ has never looked more polite and genteel." Bust magazine
"Needlepoint just got a shot in the arm… The American Needlepoint Guild would SO not approve." ReadyMade magazine
"Move the [expletive] over, Martha Stewart—here comes charmingly disgruntled Julie Jackson and her hard-core handicrafts. Featuring mottos such as ‘Get Lost!’ and ‘Kiss My Grits’, her Subversive Cross Stitch wall hangings are a reminder of the punk rock that raised us so our parents didn’t have to." The Washington Post
"As Jackson’s projects demonstrate, it’s not so much the artistic medium that matters; it’s the messed-up things that you do with it." Nylon magazine
"Getting your hands on a hobby can be relaxing, but finding one that will make you and your guests laugh (or recoil in horror) is even more therapeutic." Quick DFW
"There is a kingdom called Ironyland, and Julie Jackson is their queen." Venus magazine
"On the international cross-stitch scene you can't go past Julie Jackson of Subversive Cross Stitch, one of the first to lead cross-stitch astray. She's designed a plethora of patterns, published a book and has something of a cult following." Stuff NZ
"She is not redesigning all the elaborate borders and motifs familiar in cross stitch, instead she suggests using those kits and re-contextualizing everything. This last part is what offers a true artistic element to the book, and presents a method for re-interpreting the pre-packaged, mass-produced craft supplies among us." Supernaturale
"...rude and snarky cross-stitch patterns to amaze and delight." Boing Boing
About Julie Jackson
Welcome! I'm Julie Jackson: discoverer of new forms of dorkiness, avoider of unnecessary phone calls and social commitments, most popular girl in the office (I work alone).
Subversive Cross Stitch began in the spring of 2003 as a form of anger management therapy when I was dealing with a bullying boss. Since I got such a kick out of it, I thought I'd share the idea and offer this crafty form of therapy to others through kits. Then things got crazy.
I'm really just the smart-ass you probably think I am. I'm not much of a joiner, so you won't see me doing book signings or hanging out at craft fairs. Not that there's anything wrong with that--it's just not my scene. Plus, I value my anonymity and have no interest in being on reality TV. Besides, it's really not about me, it's about YOU and where you take this idea and how you make it your own. That said, I'll throw in a couple of odd photos to quell the rumors that, like JT Leroy, I really don't exist. I do. Just ask my cats. They oughta know, those needy little bastards.
I'm the gal who lived in Rome for a semester and never once saw the Sistine Chapel because there were too many Fiorucci stores in my path (pathetic, I know). I'm the gal who goes out of her way to save small animals and give bottles of champagne to homeless people (my husband refers to this as my Imelda Marcos complex). I'm the gal who talked my way into an internship with Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood while I was stuck in Pittsburgh at grad school (weekdays were spent with Heidegger and Husserl; weekends in the Purple Panda suit at public appearances with Bob Dog and Mr. McFeely).
I'm the youngest in a family of seven kids and all of our names begin with the letter "J" (even my parents). My delightful husband of 20 years and I have two cats, two dogs and no kids (thank God). I’m the first one to remind you that self-induced hilarity is absolutely vital and if you think your GPA will matter for the rest of your life, you need a reality check (and a cocktail, sister!).
I've written two books (both published by Chronicle Books): Subversive Cross Stitch: 33 Designs for Your Surly Side (which was also released in Dutch) and Glamourpuss: The Enchanting World of Kitty Wigs (also released in Japanese and Korean) My other venture is Kitty Wigs. I’ve also had the honor of being a regular columnist for Craft magazine: "Subversive Finds by Julie Jackson" and an occasional copywriter/brainstormer for the kooky folks at Blue Q.
Who are you? How did you hear about Subversive? Drop me a line and say hello - isn't that what this dang ol' internets is for?