Whilst I have a burning desire to rename cross-stitch ‘angry stitch’ or ‘disappointed stitch‘, Sarah Fordham is actually doing quite a lot more to revitalise the craft with her label Sarah Fordham Art. Stepping away from traditional (ok – bland) cross stitch samplers, her designs bedecking badges, rings & earrings share some pretty fabulous insults alongside some cute faces too. FYI: Sarah does custom orders & recently shared on her Facebook page a ’30 Rock’ sampler quoting ‘There ain’t no party like a Liz Lemon party ’cause a Liz Lemon party is mandatory’. I think we can all agree that this alone is reason to check out her stuff.
Hi Sarah! Can you introduce yourself and your work please?
Yup, I make cross-stitch jewellery and accessories.
How long have you been stitching for?
Probably about the best part of ten years, since university. I taught myself then. I think my Mum tried teaching me when I was younger but I didn’t have the patience. And yeah, I’ve become very obsessed with cross-stitch.
It’s fun! I bought your book X-STitch!
And I started doing a cross-stitch project the other day. It’s really easy to follow, really great. How did the book come about?
My publishers found my Etsy shop and asked me if I fancied making a book, so I said yes! It was something I’d been dreaming of doing and wondering how to do it at the same time. They obviously wanted it to be a project book though that wasn’t my plan initially. I managed to get some charts in there that people can follow. I’d really like to do another one actually, it would be really nice if it was just patterns that people can use. Lots of patterns are a bit dated.
I saw that you were ‘live stitching’ in ‘Liberty’ last week. Tell me, how was it?
It was brilliant and again that was to do with Etsy. Liberty had an event called ‘Get Creative’ so for a few weeks they were doing lots of creative events in store. And so the Etsy gang – there were three of us – were doing workshops during the day. I had a couple of cross-stitch badge workshops which were really good, and then I had to go in the window for an hour. People were outside asking if I was a robot! I just had to stitch a letter in the window. It was great, really good.
I read your Etsy interview which said that you also worked in a chocolate shop – do you still do that?
I’m actually now working for ‘Cath Kidston’, it’s a pretty new thing. But a really good bunch of people and we have an amazing shop up in Manchester.
When you get home in the evenings, is it just like, cross-stitch: GO!?
Yup, stitch like mad!
You mentioned coming down from Manchester – it looks like there’s a really good craft scene up there.
Yeah, I think there is. I don’t think there’s as many fairs like Renegade or something, but then to be honest I don’t know of anywhere in the country that does such big events outside the capital. But we do have a really nice creative community I’d say. Again, it’s sort of lacking in the regular craft events.
Are there any other crafters, blogs or magazines that you particularly follow?
Do you have any other hobbies? Or do you want to branch out into something else?
I don’t really have the time but I really want to get back into tapestry, maybe larger arty pieces. There are lots of things I’d like to try doing but it’s just finding the time. Crochet always looks amazing but I haven’t got the patience at the moment to do that.
So I really like your insult badges and I’ve got a really brilliant insult you could use: ‘cock womble’
That’s brilliant! I’m going to do that now for you.
Great, thanks, I’m really trying to make that happen, just like ‘fetch’ in ‘Mean Girls’…
(laughs) I’ll have to make a note of that.
I really really love these pieces, I think I’ll have to get myself a little ‘V’ badge (I did). Thanks so much!