Meet a family of cross stitchers!

By AlisonManey, Tue, 2018-07-10 19:28

This story originally appeared in The World of Cross Stitching issue 263.

We love seeing our readers’ stitching, so when Angi Davidson got in touch to share her impressive collection of samplers, we were delighted. And it soon became clear that Angi comes from a talented family of stitchers – each with their own style, but bound together by their hobby. 

As a stitcher for over 30 years, it’s no surprise that Angi’s walls are covered in her work. “I have stitched hundreds of designs, but my first love is samplers,” Angi explains. “I love them because I love history. It’s incredible that girls as young as seven or eight produced this work, much of it done in candlelight,” Angi says. “I love the mistakes they made around the borders – it makes them real.”  

In the late 1980s, Angi got to know a famous face in the cross stitching world, and another fan of the traditional sampler, Jane Greenoff. They met and hit it off, with Jane asking if Angi would like to stitch some samples for her book. Jane also encouraged Angi to start designing, which led to magazine commissions and a book, Samplers and Motifs in Cross Stitch, published in 1989.

Meanwhile, across the North Sea, Angi’s brother, Kevin Hawkes, is also busy working on his latest piece. “Kevin has lived in Norway for nearly 40 years and he has been stitching and painting all that time,” Angi says proudly. “He has a friend who also stitches, and they have appeared on Norwegian television as ‘The two old men who love sewing’!” 

It was Kevin’s wife, Liv, who taught him to stitch. She’d started a bell pull but had only done an inch or so before deciding cross stitch wasn’t for her, so Kevin finished it while he was off work with broken ribs. 

One summer, soon after, Kevin and Angi’s mother was visiting and saw his work. Despite being an accomplished needlewoman, she had never done cross stitch before and decided to give it a try. “She ended up doing many pictures. I saw her work and decided I would have a go, and I haven’t looked back since.” Angi says.  

Angi and her brother share an affection for large and detailed designs. “Kevin is a keen ornithologist and has done some brilliant pictures of birds, as well as some Old Masters, which can be pretty big!” Angi laughs. 

One of Kevin’s notable finishes is a design called The Carpet Market, and his current WIP is The Sistine Chapel Ceiling in Cross Stitch. Designed by Joanna Lopianowski-Roberts, this design took 2,872 hours for Joanna herself to stitch – but Kevin isn’t deterred. “He hasn’t finished yet,” says Angi, “but he keeps dipping in and out whilst stitching other things.” 

Cross Stitch Sistine Chapel

With so many designs under their belts, we can’t wait to see what Angi and Kevin accomplish next!

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