Many facets of our world become the subject of popular designs for Cross Stitch time and time again. Needless to say, its people themselves as well as the many walks of life they take that are chief amongst the top sellers. What's most fascinating though is how portrait-style cross stitch patterns in particular always comprise a good chunk of the stock in any good needlecraft shop - ours included.

But what is it about a person that would make us want to bring it to life with needle and thread? We're all familiar with websites and programs that let you design patterns based on photographs of you, your friends, family and celebrities (we dread to know how many times Rob Pattinson has been cloned via cross stitch...), but perhaps the appeal is less about the actual subject and more the nature of their composure.

Take our new range of miniature cross stitch patterns from Heritage Crafts; a group of portraits of some truly elegant looking ladies that look splendid even in their smaller size. What makes them come alive on the cloth is the secret behind all good portraiture. Face and expression take centre stage, and a person's eyes, posture and overall body language create a far more complete picture than an elaborate backdrop could ever provide. You can further compel the character with clothes, costumes and customs that denote what culture, place and time they come from.

Furthermore, the nature of cross stitch itself brings its own unique qualities to the perspective. The cotton fabric and weave provide the same handmade, photo-realistic look of any good oil painting, yet the potential for much finer detail means you can better recreate your subject to the last shade of grey than any charcoal sketcher on a busy city street could.

What do you think makes the portrait-style cross stitch design so engrossing? Comment on this blog and tell us. Better yet, if you have a self-portrait cros stitch pattern you've completed at some point, share it with us or our Google+ community, or via our Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.


Post By Graham Ashton