Recognition in cross stitch is a hard topic to talk about. For many, recognition is something that rarely comes, for others, it seems like they’re drowning in compliments and for others, it’s still seen as a little bit taboo.
When I first started my cross stitch journey, cross stitch for men simply wasn’t a thing, it was taboo. Whilst I tried to open up the world too men in cross stitch it took a long time to get accepted in the mainstream. Even now, I regularly see posts on cross stitch facebook groups asking do men really cross stitch?. Thankfully, men stitching is now not only fully accepted, but people seek out male stitchers as they bring something new to the craft. But for many men, young people, and even those who aren’t aware of cross stitch communities online, don’t get as much recognition as they should.
So if this is you, or someone you know, how about looking in some of these places?
The first place to look for recognition is an online community. To some extent, on the internet, you’re faceless, and so you can proudly show off your work without anyone knowing it’s you. Alternatively, if you’re happy to be named, you can join the literal hundreds of thousands of cross stitchers who call the internet their home.
We devoted a whole blog post to the best online cross stitch forums however that isn’t the only place. In fact, Instagram’s #crossstitchersofinstagram is one of the largest communities out there. Get sharing, and you will see just how open people are to you.
I recently moved from the city, to the country, and without a doubt, the country loves fairs. In ever one, there is ALWAYS a craft section, with cross stitch normally having its own category. The great thing about this is you also get to hide your face. I personally like camping out by my cross stitch to hear people’s comments as they walk by. But for a more official reason, they also give out awards!
Awards & Galleries
I know what you’re going to say; awards and galleries seem like they’re an impossible dream? Well, the answer will probably suprise you; you can enter a dozen awards right now, and there is no reason not to.
This isn’t about me, but I’m a good example of an award winner; I’ve won about 20 awards now, and I’ve even got a couple of glass awards on my mantlepiece, however, I won most of these in the first 3 years I was stitching. In fact, most of them were won for stitching that wasn’t my own design; I used a pattern.
You see, most people think that awards are only for the best of the best and that access is blocked off for the mere mortals of the cross stitch world. That simply isn’t the case. The most recent award I won (the National Needlecraft Awards) is open to anyone, of any level. I was up against massive companies, but at the same time, simple hobby stitchers. I won one, I lost 2, but there was a trend that emerged; hobbyist were winning just as much as the big players in cross stitch.
But that doesn’t mean you have to go massive either. Try starting with online competitions like the DeviantART group StitchingPirates who have one every month!
I’ll wrap up by saying that the cross stitch community all over the world is an accepting place; we’ve all been a new stitcher, we’ve all kept our hobby secret at some point, and I’ve never seen someone be nasty about someone else’s cross stitch; ever.