I recently interviewed Bridget and Jamie separately but really thought it would be awesome for them to discuss their website and their friendship together. They are two of my favorite stitchers that are great on their own but work so well together- just like chocolate and peanut butter, gin and tonic, ice cream and sprinkles. Let's find out more about this dynamic duo.
How did you guys meet?
Bridget: It all started with my first Dr. Horrible Stitch - Jamie liked it so much he featured it on his blog, which I started following after I found out about it. Then one day he sent me a message on craftster.org saying that he'd listened to my podcast, Emergency Pants, and he wanted to know more about it. It was brand new at the time, and I think he was the first person I didn't know who listened. It was cool and a little embarrassing at the same time. After that we ended up becoming really good friends pretty quickly. I really do feel like he's a long lost brother - especially when he calls me Beef.
Jamie: Yeah that sounds about right. First there was the stitch pattern, then there was the podcast, then there was a bit of swapping of crap foods from our respective homelands and the rest is history. It’s a bit mind boggling to think that we’ve not even known each other for a year yet, it feels like forever. In a good way. We talk most days. And on a lot of those days we make sense.
Tell me about the progression of Mr.XStitch.com
Mr X Stitch started off as a blog about the graffiti cross stitch patterns I was making and hoping to sell thousands of. So I wrote a bit about the patterns and also about random bits of nonsense that I thought was funny, like how I arrange my socks on the airer, or that I like cucumber sandwiches. And then I did some posts about graffiti, and then started looking for other people doing funky stitched things.
As time passed, I decided to read up on how people made successful blogs – things like finding a niche and sticking with it – and began to tweak the blog, focusing more on the stitching and less on the “funny Jamie” stuff.
The first post thread was the Cutting (& Stitching) Edge posts every Thursday, featuring stitching that is either particularly artistic or very contemporary.
Then came the Craftster Pick of the Week – I’d already featured stuff being done on the needlecraft boards at Craftster so it was a good thing to switch that to a weekly post.
I think it was around this time that Bridget got involved.
Once she was on board it all went a bit nuts. We started bouncing ideas off one another and came up with Beefranck’s Emporium, which is a themed post on whatever stitcheries tickle Bridget’s fancy at the time.
Then, after a bit of twitter kerfuffle in response to Ruby42’s lesbian embroidery stitch, we decided to launch NSFW Saturdays, including the safety pictures to avoid anyone else getting their knickers in a twist. To counterpose that we now have Too Cute Tuesdays, which is stuff that’s too cute for me. And then to fill in the gaps, we came up with Stitchgasms, which are stitcheries that cause us to get excited.
The great thing about working with Bridget is that she’s always finding new things for us to post about, and is instrumental in the ongoing success of the site. Her enthusiasm is endless and we’ve got a really good system that if we both agree on something, then it rocks. We both know what we like and fortunately that’s quite similar. Everything we feature on the site is underpinned by a high level of quality; we won’t feature any old crap, but we’re not afraid to showcase stuff that would upset your grandma.
Who are some of your favorite artists you have featured?
Bridget: All of them are really amazing, so these are just some examples, really. I think the first artist I ever I forwarded to Jamie with the message "You HAVE to write about this person!" was Bascom Hogue. His work just blows me away. Mimiloveforever is really incredible and has a great sense of humor. VSC is kind of like my cross stitch soul sister - her work just clicks with me. Also, I've been really enjoying Krupp on flickr. She has nailed the nerdy cross stitch genre, stitching robots and quotes from Terry Pratchett and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Seeing new things from her always gives me a little thrill.
Jamie: I’ve always loved Marloes Duyker’s machine stitching and appliqué work, which is just awesome. William Schaff’s stitching is breathtaking. And I really like Meagan Ileana’s style of embroidery. And I have to acknowledge people like Ruby42, Shaebay and AlienTed for consistently delivering greatness. I should say, though, that doing the site has opened my eyes up to all kinds of work from a wide range of artists, and has developed the way I want to take my own stitching.
What does the future hold for the website?
Jamie: Crumbs! Who knows?
I realised a little while ago that Mr X Stitch is a ball that is rolling that we can’t stop now. It’s amazing how the site has taken off and I still can’t quite believe it sometimes. It’s great that we’ve set up the Phat Quarter on Flickr as well, which has got over 350 members and has already hosted its first swap, courtesy of Penny Nickels.
We’ve got the first birthday of the site at the end of August and we’ve got a couple of new post threads lined up to start in Year Two, including Domestitchery, featuring stitching in interior design. So that’s pretty exciting.
We’re also revitalising the Mr X Stitch pattern business with a stable of exciting stitch talent doing patterns with us.
And then we’ve got a top secret project in the works – but I’ve said too much already!
Bridget: Awesome. Lots and lots of awesome.
When they make the Mr. XStitch movie, who will play you?
Jamie: Bruce Willis. We’re in negotiations already.
Bridget: Huh. Would I even be in the Mr X Stitch movie? Maybe I could be represented by a voice coming through computer speakers, or the ding of an email notification. :) The first person who came to my head is Melissa McCarthy who played Sookie on Gilmore Girls. She looks more like me than any of the too-skinny actresses out there. She's already played a character who is a bit excitable and overly enthusiastic about things, so she wouldn't have a hard time preparing for the role. And sorry, Jamie, but Bruce Willis will be playing my husband, Jim. Maybe Jason Statham can play you?
Thank you guys for 3 weeks of awesome interviews and thank you for promoting needlework. You have introduced us to so many new and upcoming artist. In good old "Pam" terms. You guys rock!