This Might Make You Cross(Stitcher Magazine)

CrossStitcher Magazine Analysis

XStitch - A Modern Cross Stitch Magazine

In our last post we analysed the diversity themes presented by the main design on the cover of CrossStitcher Magazine, specifically the issues from 2010 to 2014, when the magazine was published by Future. At the start of 2015 CrossStitcher was taken over by Dennis Publishing, with a new Editorial team, and it seemed appropriate to analyse the covers of these issues separately to the preceding ones.

To recap, from 2010 to the end of 2014, there were 60 issues of CrossStitcher and in those issues, we identified fifteen different themes in the main designs on the covers. The most popular three themes were ChristmasNature and Florals.

We continue our analysis by looking at the 48 covers presented by CrossStitcher Magazine between January 2015 and December 2018. At the end of this post we will combine the totals from our two posts to present an analysis of 108 magazine covers, covering a nine year timespan.

It’s important to note that we respect CrossStitcher and know that a lot of people get a lot of pleasure from it. It has been supporting the craft of cross stitch for many years and does a fine job. This is an exercise in understanding the variety of themes offered to the enthusiastic stitcher and an observation of how the designs might appeal to a diverse demographic audience, by a mainstream publication. It is also worth noting that Jamie Chalmers, the founder of this website, and of XStitch Magazine, had a regular column in this magazine, until 2017, but had no influence over the design decisions.

CrossStitcher Magazine covers for January to April 2015
CrossStitcher covers for January to April 2015

Each of these issues presents a new theme, although we classify April as Cute as it is unclear what the main theme is.

  • Children – 1
  • Travel – 1
  • Nature – 1
  • Cute – 1
CrossStitcher Magazine covers for May to August 2015
CrossStitcher covers for May to August 2015

The May cover is classified as Landscapes, June is Florals and the August issue is Transport.

  • Children – 2
  • Travel – 1
  • Nature – 1
  • Cute – 1
  • Landscapes – 1
  • Florals – 1
  • Transport – 1
CrossStitcher Magazine covers for September to December 2015
CrossStitcher Magazine covers for September to December 2015

Christmas is the new theme, being featured in three of the four covers in this quartet, and we note the theme of Patriotism in September.

  • Children – 2
  • Travel – 1
  • Nature – 1
  • Cute – 1
  • Landscapes – 1
  • Florals – 1
  • Transport – 1
  • Patriotism – 1
  • Christmas – 3
CrossStitcher Magazine covers for January to April 2016
CrossStitcher Magazine covers for January to April 2016

Love is introduced in February and Food in April.

  • Children – 2
  • Travel – 2
  • Nature – 1
  • Cute – 2
  • Landscapes – 1
  • Florals – 1
  • Transport – 1
  • Patriotism – 1
  • Christmas – 3
  • Love – 1
  • Food – 1
CrossStitcher Magazine covers for May to August 2016
CrossStitcher covers for May to August 2016

No new themes are presented in this quartet and June combines Patriotism and Transport.

  • Children – 2
  • Travel – 3
  • Nature – 1
  • Cute – 2
  • Landscapes – 2
  • Florals – 1
  • Transport – 2
  • Patriotism – 3
  • Christmas – 3
  • Love – 1
  • Food – 1
CrossStitcher Magazine covers for September to December 2016
CrossStitcher covers for September to December 2016

Samplers are presented in October.

  • Children – 3
  • Travel – 3
  • Nature – 1
  • Cute – 2
  • Landscapes – 2
  • Florals – 1
  • Transport – 2
  • Patriotism – 3
  • Christmas – 4
  • Love – 1
  • Food – 2
  • Samplers – 1
CrossStitcher Magazine covers for January to April 2017
CrossStitcher Magazine covers for January to April 2017

No new themes are presented in this quartet – April is classified as Cute.

  • Children – 3
  • Travel – 3
  • Nature – 2
  • Cute – 3
  • Landscapes – 2
  • Florals – 1
  • Transport – 2
  • Patriotism – 3
  • Christmas – 5
  • Love – 2
  • Food – 2
  • Samplers – 1
CrossStitcher Magazine covers for May to August 2017
CrossStitcher Magazine covers for May to August 2017

The theme of Patterns appears in May and August.

  • Children – 3
  • Travel – 5
  • Nature – 2
  • Cute – 3
  • Landscapes – 2
  • Florals – 1
  • Transport – 2
  • Patriotism – 3
  • Christmas – 5
  • Love – 2
  • Food – 2
  • Samplers – 1
  • Pattern – 2
CrossStitcher Magazine covers for September to December 2017
CrossStitcher Magazine covers for September to December 2017

No new themes are presented in this quartet.

  • Children – 3
  • Travel – 5
  • Nature – 3
  • Cute – 3
  • Landscapes – 2
  • Florals – 1
  • Transport – 2
  • Patriotism – 3
  • Christmas – 7
  • Love – 2
  • Food – 2
  • Samplers – 2
  • Pattern – 2
CrossStitcher Magazine covers for January to April 2018
CrossStitcher Magazine covers for January to April 2018

No new themes are presented in this quartet.

  • Children – 3
  • Travel – 6
  • Nature – 3
  • Cute – 3
  • Landscapes – 2
  • Florals – 1
  • Transport – 2
  • Patriotism – 3
  • Christmas – 8
  • Love – 2
  • Food – 2
  • Samplers – 3
  • Pattern – 3
CrossStitcher Magazine covers for May to August 2018
CrossStitcher Magazine covers for May to August 2018

The June issue is classified as Slogans and the August issue as Portraits.

See Also
Grand Finale

  • Children – 3
  • Travel – 7
  • Nature – 4
  • Cute – 3
  • Landscapes – 2
  • Florals – 1
  • Transport – 2
  • Patriotism – 3
  • Christmas – 8
  • Love – 2
  • Food – 2
  • Samplers – 3
  • Pattern – 3
  • Slogans – 1
  • Portraits – 1
CrossStitcher Magazine covers for September to December 2018
CrossStitcher Magazine covers for September to December 2018

No new themes are presented in this quartet.

  • Children – 3
  • Travel – 8
  • Nature – 4
  • Cute – 3
  • Landscapes – 2
  • Florals – 1
  • Transport – 2
  • Patriotism – 3
  • Christmas – 10
  • Love – 2
  • Food – 2
  • Samplers – 4
  • Pattern – 3
  • Slogans – 1
  • Portraits – 1
Here are the most common themes of CrossStitcher Magazine in the 48 issues between January 2015 and December 2018.

In total there were fifteen different themes, and presented in order of popularity and proportion of the whole, they are:

  • Christmas – 10 – 20%
  • Travel – 8 – 16%
  • Nature – 4 – 8%
  • Samplers – 4 – 8%
  • Children – 3 – 6%
  • Cute – 3 – 6%
  • Patriotism – 3 – 6%
  • Pattern – 3 – 6%
  • Landscapes – 2 – 4%
  • Transport – 2 – 4%
  • Love – 2 – 4%
  • Food – 2 – 4%
  • Florals – 1 – 2%
  • Slogans – 1 – 2%
  • Portraits – 1 – 2%

Christmas, Travel and Nature are the three most common themes, and as with previous analyses of earlier issues of CrossStitcher, as well as Cross Stitch Crazy and World of Cross Stitching, it is clear that the themes offered to the mainstream cross stitch market have a narrow focus and do not reflect the true diversity of the stitching audience.

We can take a step further with the CrossStitcher Magazine analysis by combining the themes from our two posts, providing a thematic look at the main designs presented on 108 covers of the UK’s longest running cross stitch magazine.

  • Christmas – 23 – 20%
  • Nature – 15 – 13%
  • Florals – 8 – 7%
  • Travel – 8 – 7%
  • Cute Animals – 6 – 5%
  • Love – 6 – 5%
  • Patriotism – 6 – 5%
  • Pattern – 6 – 5%
  • Food – 5 – 4%
  • Nostalgia – 5 – 4%
  • Transport – 5 – 4%
  • Landscapes – 4 – 4%
  • Samplers – 4 – 4%
  • Children – 3 – 3%
  • Cute – 3 – 3%
  • Anthropomorphism – 2 – 2%
  • Slogans – 2 – 2%
  • Domesticity – 1 – 1%
  • Holidays – 1 – 1%
  • Portraits – 1 – 1%

106 issues of CrossStitcher Magazine provided 20 different themes for the main design on their covers. Of those 106 covers, 20% of them had Christmas designs, 13% had nature themed designs, and themes like Cute Animals, Love and Flowers also ranked very highly. Throughout the nine years that we were able to analyse, the repetition of theme and limited design approach has left little choice for the modern cross stitcher.

We recognise that our analysis is limited to the main cover issue, but we will conduct detailed reviews of current issues of these magazines to explore their contents and understand the true diversity of available design. However, if you were to judge a book by its cover, it’s fair to say that CrossStitcher Magazine provides little inspiration for the forward thinking modern stitcher, choosing to cater to a nostalgic audience.

This is why we create XStitch Magazine.

Our themed issues celebrate the diverse dynamics of an international cohort of designers. We deliberately provide an eclectic mix of designs to ensure that people of all ages, backgrounds and attitudes will find something they want to stitch. We believe that the medium of cross stitch is a vibrant craft that can reflect all aspects of life, and we will continue to challenge the mainstream mindset on modern cross stitch.

Will you join us? Subscribe now to get each new quarterly issue delivered to your inbox and collect our five print editions while stocks last!

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