Stitch Stories 2: Jamie Chalmers aka Mr. X Stitch
DMC Ecommerce Marketing Director, Sara Elan, first met Jamie Chalmers, also known as Mr. X Stitch, at the CHSI Stitches Trade Show in Birmingham, UK. However, it was over the sharing of a sandwich at Kirstie Allsop’s Handmade Fair this past September when the two became friends. Sara marveled at how he’d captivate the crowds with his enviable mix of talent and charisma. So when our Stitch Story initiative came about, Sara contacted Jamie immediately and asked if he’d share his tale.
Read his thoughts below and get a free pattern designed by Jamie!
Jamie Chalmers' Stitch Story
I’m largely self-taught, although I’ve had plenty of people help me refine my skills over time. I remember being about 11 and doing an embroidery project on the Bayeaux tapestry, which I enjoyed stitching at the time. It was clearly a portent of things to come (in 25 years or so).
In recent times, the thing that got me hooked about cross stitch is the way that it makes you feel in your soul. It’s hard to define, but you know it when it happens. The combination of creativity with the meditative process of stitching, taps into the great expanse of calm that underpins the concept of mindfulness. That and the fact that you end up with a nice gift for a friend or loved one—well, what’s not to love?
I’ve been fortunate to teach cross stitch to hundreds of people over the years and it remains a constant pleasure. I’ve taught people from the age of eight to eighty and while it doesn’t always stick with everyone, it’s amazing to see people connect with that inner peace, and get into their own groove with stitching. Everyone has their own pace and while some people fight against it, if they let themselves tap into their own rhythms, it’s a really profound thing. Now I realize I’m just talking about cross stitch, but although on the face of it, it’s only a needlecraft, it goes much deeper than that.
While anyone can learn a skill via the internet these days, the personal connection between a teacher and a student is important, and can overcome much of the natural resistance that arises when pushing at personal boundaries.
I genuinely believe that if everyone did a bit of stitching, the world would be a better place. If you’re reading these words and you know how to stitch, you should know how good it is, and I would encourage you to do what you can to share that experience with other people. It’s an honor to teach stitching, and it’ll teach you more about the craft than you’ll realize. So go out there and teach some people, why dontcha?
Love & Threads,
The DMC Team