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Skulls and hearts meet the embroidered arts in Ed Hardy cross-stitch book


If you're like me, you may have thought that the Ed Hardy licensing empire had already conquered every conceivable category of merchandise (what with the air fresheners, energy drinks, etc.).

Imagine my surprise when my esteemed editor dropped the above book on my desk late last week like she was disposing of a dead possum carcass. No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you -- that really is a book full of cross-stitch patterns based on the tattoo designs of Don Ed Hardy.

What I find most intriguing about "Love Kills Slowly Cross-Stitch: 30 Cross-Stitch Patterns from Ed Hardy" (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2010), which hits retail on Tuesday (with a suggested retail price of $14.99), isn't that the tattoo artist's crown-wearing tigers, heart-piercing daggers and banner-bearing skulls have moved into the quaint world of the embroidered arts.

No, what I'm really curious about is the target demographic for such an item, which the book itself seems to allude to from the very first (and wholly unnecessary) sentence: "This ain't your grandma's cross-stitch book."

Though technically, I suppose, this could be your grandma's cross-stitch book -- if she's the sort that harbors a burning desire to craft a throw pillow depicting a heart-eating skull and cross bones flanked by a banner that proclaims: "Love Dies Hard," or you think Gran might relish toiling through her twilight years embroidering a baby's bib with a snarling panther in a spotted newsboy cap.

If so, this could be a gift that could end up benefiting you. Because the book includes patterns for an entire Ed Hardy alphabet, grandmother can easily stitch the words "world's greatest grandchild" along with a pitchfork-wielding devil design on the tea towel she gives you next holiday season.

-- Adam Tschorn

Photo: "Love Kills Slowly Cross-Stitch: 30 Cross-Stitch Patterns from Ed Hardy," hits stores on Nov. 30. Credit: Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times

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Terrible, TERRIBLE idea...

It beats 'Precious Moments', in my view. Or any of the other overly-sentimental, or faux-naive, designs I've seen.

You know, not everyone who does cross-stitch is a grandmother. In fact, today I (PhD, no kids) am teaching cross-stitch to teens (including one boy). You should get out of the office more.

This book is now on my "I want that list" It will go perfect with with "Subversive Cross Stitch" and my "Zombie Cross Stitch"

Hi there,
I have a contemporary embroidery and needlecraft blog that caters to the exact demographic that this book is aimed at. We feature two posts a day about all kinds of new stitchery, and definitely challenge the commonly held view on the subject. Feel free to check us out!

Best wishes,
Jamie aka Mr X Stitch

There is actually a large crowd of stitchers who create all kinds of awesome embroidered art that might enjoy this book, or, they might see it as a big company sapping the awesome from their awesomeness.

"the quaint world of the embroidered arts"

Right. Another cliched grandma reference. Aren't journalists supposed to research things? The crafting resurgence among the under-40 demographic isn't exactly a hidden phenomenon.


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