The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge – Emily Roose

Contemporary embroidery art via Mr X Stitch

Emily Roose is a graphic designer from Massachusetts. She contacted me about her latest series, “Slow Breaking News” and I asked her to tell me all about it:

Emily Roose - A Miner Miracle cross stitch

For my Masters in Graphic Design thesis project at New England School of Art and Design, I designed and created 6 breaking news stories into cross-stitch pieces over the course of 4 months. I wanted to highlight the absurdity of the ways these sensationalized breaking stories are reported in the media by putting them in a very very slow medium.

Emily Roose - Nude Scans Arouse Outrage cross stitch

“Each piece took about 25-30 hours to design and stitch. I used source imagery from TV broadcasts and news websites. Since I only roughly sketched out the designs of each before I started stitching, much of the designs are improvised, and much of that stitching time was spent contemplating form and color, and taking out a lot of stitches when it didn’t look right. I came to think of cross stitching as a very slow mode of drawing.


Emily Roose - Crash Landing on the Hudson cross stitch

I got a lot of inspiration from sites like Mr X Stitch, Subversive Cross Stitch, and Feeling Stitchy, and lots of technical help from friends who stitch. I highly enjoyed the challenge of representing people and things with a very limited pixel grid.

Emily Roose - Boy Trapped on Deadly Balloon cross stitch

“What I also enjoyed, unexpectedly perhaps, was the physical pleasure of cross stitching.  It just feels so good to hold fabric (I don’t use a loop when I stitch) and pull a needle and thread through. It’s hard to explain why but I’m sure readers of this site will understand! I’m currently working on a couple new cross-stitching projects, I think I’m hooked for life!”

Emily Roose - Aflockalypse cross stitch

This is a smart series of stitcheries. The slow production process challenges the drama of the content, raising the question of whether these issues would be newsworthy if the reportage took a week to produce. There’s something about the medium of cross stitch and the simplicity of these designs that further emphasises the contrast and dispels the hype. Nicely done!

Emily Roose - Sticky Pedals Plague Toyota cross stitch

You can find out more about Emily at her website.


The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge is brought to you in association with PUSH: Stitchery, the contemporary embroidered art book curated by Jamie Chalmers. Featuring 30 textile-based artists from around the world, it’s a must have for needlework fans.

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