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Everyday artist of the week

A stitch in time

Sally Taft is the digital content producer for Get Creative. She’s a crafter too, having spent 20 years as a keen cross stitcher.

It’s a satisfying, creative release from normal life

My work, formally as a journalist, now as content producer for Get Creative, is very busy. But in the evenings I’ll sit down with my cross stitch for a couple of hours, with the TV on in the background, and I have always found it quite therapeutic. It’s a satisfying, creative release from normal life.

I’ve been doing cross stitch since I was about 19, and saw a piece that a friend’s mum had done, of a beautiful Victorian doll’s house. She gave me the pattern…and I kind of got hooked!

I’ve got hundreds of pieces that I have done. One, based on the painting The Lady Of Shalott, took about 5 years, and it’s now hanging in the lounge.

I’ve tried other crafts. I got a sewing machine a couple of years ago and I have started quilting now, having done a course locally. But with the cross stitch I am self-taught, it’s quite easy once you get going. The kits can be expensive but you build up a stock of materials. Cross stitch magazines are useful and you can get patterns off the internet for free.

I got my mum and cousin into cross stitch and we go to big needlework shows together. We swap patterns so it’s been nice to share the love!

My cross stitch isn’t something I tend to talk about, but when friends see a piece framed they’ll say ‘Wow, that’s amazing!’

I fantasise about giving up the day job and maybe opening a craft shop, but cross stitch isn’t something I’d ever make money from. I do it purely for pleasure.

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