Manga Cross-Stitch > Make Your Own Graphic Art Needlework

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UK edition

“This new publication is a departure for cross stitch books; not only in its theme, but its presentation too.”

New Stitches magazine

“Big pictures, easy instruction and a thorough appreciation of the subject come together with style. It fulfils its objectives completely, and leaves the reader able to go off and create their own designs… It empowers. Terrific!”

Mr. X Stitch

“This book is clear, beautifully done, and incredibly useful, what more could you want from a craft book?”

Janet Perry, needlepoint and bargello author

The idea for Manga Cross-Stitch came from the realisation that the pixels I was pushing around on my Mac in Photoshop were just like the squares on a counted thread embroidery chart. I wanted to make a book that would bring together the energy and graphic originality of Japanese animation and comics – anime and manga – and the skills and traditions of counted thread needlework.

Stitchers often get stereotyped as middle-aged ladies in cardigans, anime and manga fans as geeky teenage misfits. Both stereotypes are equally inaccurate – because both groups are just people who love beautiful things and want to create and enjoy beauty in their own way.

The book is packed with pictures, hints and tips on how to create manga in stitches – everything from stitching facial expressions to designing embroidered ‘pages’, complete with lettering and sound effects. There are whole-stitch-only designs, tiny images for those who like a fast, easy result, and huge ones with fractionals and backstitch for those who like something more challenging.

Many stitchers make their own charts based on their favourite anime and manga, but to avoid infringing other creators’ rights we couldn’t just use their work for the book. All the charts were based on original designs by me or by Steve Kyte. Working closely with Steve helped me create better, more accurate charts, and his art makes amazing needlecraft.

Finding the gifted crafters who produced most of the stitched examples seen inside the book was an unexpected bonus. The individual skill of the crafter is what transforms a mass-produced design into art. Each sample stitcher brought something unique to the work. The original Manga Stitching Group was drawn from the members of the forum. Now stitchers all over the world are joining in, and judging from the number of four- and five-star reviews on Amazon, they like the way Manga Cross-Stitch works!

UK edition pub Ilex Press 2009, ISBN 1905814518

US edition Andrews McMeel ISBN 0740779657

Buy the UK edition from Amazon

Buy the US edition from Amazon

7 thoughts on “Manga Cross-Stitch > Make Your Own Graphic Art Needlework

  1. Pingback: Craft Project #3: Manga Cross Stitch | Lorna's Blog

  2. Hi Helen! I bought this amazing book when it just came out. I started working on the hiragana sampler but then university came along and i’m only now getting round to finishing it. Unfortunately i’ve misplaced my copy of the book 😦 could you tell me the color codes (DMC) for the red and light yellow? I really want to finish it! Thanks a lot!

    • Hello Charlotte, and thanks for getting in touch. I love to hear about people making needlework and I hope you’ll send me a picture of the sampler when it’s complete!

      The lighter gold thread (used on the black frame for the image) is DMC 3820 Antique Gold – the gold thread used in the lettering is DMC 680 Old Gold. The red is DMC 817 Coral VY DK, a beautiful soft tone that gives the whole image a warm, natural feel. A sampler as simple as this one can be a very formal, even austere work, so I wanted to give it warmth through colour.

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