My Grandmother was born in the Ukraine and I grew up with a multitude of items which reflected her heritage. Items such as crocheted covered clothes hangers, knitted slippers and knitted mittens. Some of my most treasured keepsakes are small cross stitched pillows that she made by the dozens, or so it seemed. I never lived near her, so she never had the chance to pass on this craft to me. Feeling somewhat sorry for this missed opportunity I opened the seams on one of the pillows (to get a look at how she worked), and following the pattern did a few of my own. The patterns are traditional Ukrainian motifs and copying them somehow connected me to her past. I am planning an exhibition with some fellow artists for next year that will have my own interpretation of these pillows and their ethnic cross stitch patterns.
I have come across cross stitch as another form of art. An artist in France is cross stitching fencing as a form of street art. It is like a soft form of graffiti. If you look at some of the photos on the Ufunk webpage link http://www.ufunk.net/en/artistes/urban-x-stitch/, you can see how the image is transferred from the paper pattern onto the fence. The colours are bright and eye-catching. What a wonderful way to use art and craft to brighten up dismal environments.
Photograph from http://www.ufunk.net/en/artistes/urban-x-stitch/