We feel that familiarity is the true key to becoming a great cross stitch designer. Whether you hand-draw and paint your patterns or create them digitally, having a style that instantly clicks when people start to stitch them out on Aida is, in our opinion, a logical route to success. It certainly seems to have been the case for Margaret Sherry; a British illustrator and designer well known for her animal-inspired cross stitch kits and their own, recognizable cartoony style.
Her designs have appeared in countless cross stitch magazines over the years, and mpw have at long last arrived on Past Impressions in a new line of cross stitch kits from Bothy Threads; best known for their Gorjuss kits and unique samplers. The charm of these various patterns is Margaret's unique ability to take a simple concept, such as a cat playing around in a kitchen, and turn it into something with a huge amount of character and endless adorable charm.
The huge cute factor of her work, not to mention it's quick-stitch accessibility, have made Margaret Sherry's cross stitch kits and designs somewhat of a popular fan favourite around the needlecraft community. A lot of her work is now quite the rare commodity; for example, 'The Best of Margaret Sherry', an 148 page of her projects published by Cross Stitcher magazine in 2011, has people setting aside their needlecraft supply budgets just to meet its high Ebay price!
Until recently Margaret sold her kits through her own online business, which sadly closed down last year. As expected this has made her patterns more popular and collectible than ever, with the ones on display here being just a few of the favourites you're likely to find floating around.
Cats are a common recurring theme in Margaret Sherry's work, and we'd argue that no cross stitch designer can do them better. Every fluffy feline in this Kitty Knit Cross Stitch Kit is full of personality, capturing that calming (or by the look of the cat near the left, slightly frustrating...) atmosphere of a good old knitting meet-up. It's colourful, cute and an essential cross stitch pattern for any avid crafter.
A recurring design style to be seen in many of Margaret Sherry's cross stitch kits is the juxtaposition of her trademark furry characters with an everyday phrase - though in this case, sometimes with a tiny bit of editing! The Sugar & Spice Cross Stitch Kit brilliantly shows off Margaret's use of colours, who has said that she likes to start with light shades before building to an intense crescendo!
All these works highlight exactly what we love to enjoy sewing in a cross stitch kit. Simple animal designs that change over time to reflect both the seasons and particular preferences of cross stitchers themselves, whilst each Margaret Sherry cross stitch kit is great fun to complete, it can be just as much fun seeing what designs she comes up with next!