Podcast: Irreverent Stitchery, with Bridget Franckowiak

18 Nov 2011

Oh, no, honey
Image by Bridget Franckowiak

In this podcast, I talk with cross-stitcher Bridget Franckowiak about "irreverent stitchery" – the growing community of embroiderers and cross-stitchers who turn these crafts on their heads. They stitch to make pop culture references, celebrate internet memes, make social commentary, or work out personal issues in an artistic way. And their work is very compelling.

Bridget is also an editor at Mr. X Stitch, a stitchery blog she curates with Jamie Chalmers. Together, they feature stitchery across a wide spectrum of humor, subversiveness, political statement, personal history and much more. The website has become an epicenter of this community of irreverent stitchers.

So why have the stitching arts, among all other crafts, become the medium of choice for these kinds of expressions? What is it about embroidery and cross stitch that lend themselves so well to irreverence - not to mention, serious cultural exploration? Bridget and I attempt to answer these questions.

Be warned, please: You can't talk about this kind of stitchery without using some adult language and discussing some adult themes. This show contains a bit of both.

Hell - work in progress
Image by Bridget Franckowiak

Find Bridget online:

• Bridget has a big archive of her cross stitch work over on Flickr. Be warned! There's strong language and very mature themes over there.

• Don't miss Mr. X Stitch, which Bridget edits with UK cross-stitch artist Jamie Chalmers. They also do a podcast together, called Stitching n Junk.

Check out the artists Bridget mentioned in the podcast:

Julie Jackson, founder of Subversive Cross Stitch
Penny Nickels
Todd Hensley
Alaina Varrone
Marshall Thompson
Jennifer Sutcliffe
Alexandra Walters
Luke Haynes
Joetta Maue
Bascom Hogue
Connie Barwick, your About.com guide
Noelle Mason

And finally, a guide to the pop culture references in this show:

• From the video game Portal, the phrase The cake is a lie

• From songwriter Jonathon Coulton, the song First of May

• The podcast You Look Nice Today

Dr. Horrible



Fun! I am obsessed with a cover version of Hell, done by Streetlight Manifesto, and now it's stuck in my head. Here, I will share: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GU8QQDgO40I

I LOVED the show! It is worth every penny! The interview was great and I want to try this kind of stitching too!

Fabulous, loved this one - hadn't heard of the Me X-stitch blog before, what a delight. I've been increasingly using stitch in my work, so it's been added to my RSS feed already.

This podcast moved all my "must stitch this" ideas up the list on my hopes for 2012! So much food for thought in there, too. Will have to give it another listen.

I am just loving podcast 2.0! This episode is extra good :-)

Thank you so much, Mary! That Bridget is so hilarious and insightful!

LOVE! Might have to take up stitching :) Thanks so much for the interviews!