When I was five years old my mother patiently taught me how to cross-stitch. It was slow going and I remember having to back-track plenty of stitches along the way. I made this, as my first lesson.
I was a pretty shy kid, and rarely participated in my kindergarten class’ show and tell sessions, but I was so proud of this rainbow and mustered the nerve to bring it in. I remember it pretty clearly. When it was my turn I fished it from my pocket and told the class, probably mostly inaudibly, about how cross-stitch is like coloring but you draw with a needle and string by making little “x”es. When it was time for questions, a kid raised his hand and I pointed to him. He told the class, “only girls sew.” Some of the kids chuckled. I returned to my seat and the rainbow went right back into the pocket.
It makes my cheeks burn just thinking about that all these years later. Wish I’d been a braver kid. Oh well.
Maybe mom was a little disappointed I never wanted to do any more. I don’t know. She was a textile artist and spun thread and wove it. When we were kids and that equipment slowly moved into the garage she shifted over to cross-stitch. Here’s a map of our home state of Michigan she made that hung on our walls growing up, and still hangs in my dad’s house. It’s one of those objects that someone we miss has invested a little spark of themselves into. And I appreciate it for that.
In any case, I’ve always marveled at the thread-work of folks out there—Bettina Matzkuhn and Edie Punt, and more recently Rachel Brackenridge. Over the years I’ve thought about trying to make a cross-stitch style for ArcGIS Pro, so maps can be gridded charmingly as cross-crossed brightly colored thread. A handful of folks have even asked about it. I put it off because I wanted to do right by it, for surprisingly personal reasons. But my experience with the Lego Map style gave me confidence that a cross-stitch style was doable.
And here it is!
Here’s a look at some Sampler samples…
So be braver than I was. Make some cross-stitch stuff and be proud of it!
P.S. If you like that hoop stretcher graphic, you can have it. Just add it to your layout on top of your map. Or, if you are exceptionally proud of your stitched map, then you can frame it, with this frame overlay graphic.