Isn’t it lovely when you find someone who has the same strange interests as you… As you all know, my passions are sewing and rock music so I got very excited when I was looking around Instagram a few months ago and found Liselot – aka Careless Stitcher. It was love at first sight as she combines cross stitch brilliance with all things rock. So, let me introduce you…
Liselot lives in a small town in the Netherlands and has only been cross stitching for about two years. She started sewing to make her own band patches when she couldn’t find any for sale she liked. (A bit like my own Alice Cooper / Hollywood Vampires project I wrote about here).
Having started with embroidery she soon found cross stitch courtesy of her local charity shop. She found a kit of a girl holding a dog and made it into a tribute to the band Abbath by changing the child’s face. Then she began to find more made up pictures and changing the faces on them too.
She describes her style as “that is indeed also an option” or “grandma’s wicked cult”, both of which I love.
She says her style is like a chef on the television, ‘They say ‘if you don’t have that ingredient you can replace it with this or this or even that’. I like that way of thinking when it comes to embroidery, a pattern or finished preloved piece is always a bit of a suggestion in my opinion. You could make that – or you could alter it into something you might like even more and make it something unique that completely matches your style!”
Liselot says she would like to visit the charity shop where she finds goodies more often but she can’t be trusted to, “To prevent my house from being too crowded with stuff, I only allow myself to hop in once a week! The beautiful part of this craft is that it’s completely indestructible, pieces can be older than I am but still be in an amazing condition! And since it’s ‘only used once’, and washable it’s great for reuse!”
I love this way of thinking. It always makes me so sad when I see an embroidery or cross stitch for sale in a charity shop for about £3. I hate thinking that someone spent so long making it only for it to be sent to a charity shop where it might only be bought for the frame. Liselot frees these items and gives them a new place to be safe and loved.
And the ladies in the charity shop enjoy pointing out pieces she might like when she comes in. I imagine it’s a highlight of their day to have someone so enthusiastic coming in. She is lucky enough to have three charity shops close to her house.
My personal favourite of Liselot’s is a Sleeping Beauty and Lemmy mash up. Lemmy’s face on Sleeping Beauty’s body. How does she come up with those ideas? “The sleeping beauty was one of those embroidery for children kits. Easy, small and with the most intense coloured yarn. When I found it in the charity shop I was wondering if I was able to turn it into something ace. I don’t like to throw stuff away (the acrylic yarn was pre-cut and I was scared that it would be thrown away if I donated it back) so I decided I would need to use those colours. The original was wearing a crown, and I didn’t want mine to wear that so had to come up with some kind of solution. And since Lemmy wears his iconic hat, decisions were made!”
Her own favourite piece so far is the crying Gene Simmons. I think it was the first bit of her work I saw, it is so striking you can’t help but love it. I have shared it in my Instagram stories about 20 times.
“I have things in my mind that I really would love to make, but with reusing stitched pieces you’re limited on what you’ll find and what’s possible with the original design. And I don’t want to just shop online for specific finished pieces, I like it more if they just appear in a shop one day and it limits my options! Sometimes there is a lot of space to play with and you never know how many stitches you can unpick without messing too much with the original. I really love this kinda collaboration-with-a-stanger-idea!”
And can we please all express our love for this amazing chair she found in, or course, the charity shop. “It’s really the most amazing piece of craftsmanship ever! I almost had tears in my eyes when I saw it. It’s a massive throne with lovely carved details in the wood, the seating area is fully cross stitched, and it is in mint condition. It’s also really comfy! I’m going to leave it as it is, it would break my heart if I accidentally ruined it. I’m going to look for a similar smaller one to alter for the cat though!”
Liselot has a small shop on Etsy where she sells a limited number of patterns. She originally intended to sell finished pieces but quickly realised she wanted to keep them herself. But keep an eye on the shop as she has exciting plans ahead.
Liselot is really keen to pass on her pre-loved idea to others, “I would absolutely love if this column inspires someone to hop to their charity shop or online marketplace or find a pattern to alter and make into something different! It’s so much fun! Or before getting all your embroidery equipment brand new just have a little look to see if you can find something second hand!”
Sounds good to me, if you need me I’ll be in the charity shop!