Move over, Granny. Embroidery is no longer the territory of prim and proper ladies armed with cutesy samplers. Instead, modern women have harnessed it as a form of artistic expression and self-care wrapped into one. Needles have become weapons in the hands of a new generation of women who are infusing “women’s work”—quilting, knitting, embroidering and cross-stitching—with a new meaning, and demanding respect for it.

Kassie Scribner, from Salt Lake, is the owner of Lady Scrib Design & Embroidery and says she learned to cross stitch from her grandmother when she was 10 and revisited it as an adult. “I’m able to calm down and I have this thing that has this really fluid motion. Then at the end I have something I’ve made,” she says. 

But she finds that the craft is often dismissed. “People will say, ‘Oh my grandma did this.’ Or, ‘I could do this myself,’” Scribner says. “And I think ‘Oh year you definitely could stitch. I could also draw someone who looks like they could be in a comic book, but it’s not going to look good.’ People devalue this art because they think it’s accessible. And it is accessible, but they don’t see how much time goes into each piece.”

These samplers aren’t folksy—they’re feminist. Pithy comments about the patriarchy, pop culture references and politics are all in the (sometimes profane) mix.

Go Ahead—Stab Something Ready to take a shot at your own stitching? Scribner teaches embroidery workshops for beginner-level students. Find out more at Lady Scrib Design & Embroidery and on her Instagram @lady_scrib.


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