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Cross Stitch Crazy is a monthly, UK-based magazine. Written in a very friendly style, the bulk of each issue consists of a range of cross stitch charts. Charts are always clear and easy to follow, with the centre of the design and each 10x10 box highlighted for ease of use. Each chart also comes with details of special stitches (such as backstitch or French knots), information about design size (in standard measurements and stitch count) and a colour key which lists suggested threads numbers for DMC, Madeira and Anchor brand users.
Charts are usually grouped into project sections, with several charts following one theme. There are often photographs of finished projects accompanying each section, as well as a short passage on the theme and thoughts from the designer, or one of the stitchers who has made up the design.
Cross Stitch Crazy also includes a wide variety of regular features, including news on upcoming kits, help in finding old designs, and answers to technical questions.
There is a vibrant Cross Stitch Crazy community which is fostered through a readers' letters section. Here readers submit photos of projects that mean a lot to them, and the story behind their work. There are also details of cross stitch clubs and groups around the country which casual readers may find useful.
At the back of every issue is a 'how to' section which gives clear, illustrated instructions for those new to the hobby. I found these pages very useful myself when I started cross stitching.
Add in competitions, give-aways and regular free gifts and Cross Stitch Crazy is an excellent purchase for anyone wanting to pursue this relaxing and rewarding hobby.
So Im new to cross stitch, you dont see this regularly but im only 23 and cross stitch is my main hobbie. I started buying little beginners kits, and recently my partner bought me a cross stitch which cost £27.99 and it is so big, ive not even got 1/10 of it done yet. Anyway I needed some inspiration so I headed to Tesco and picked up Cross stitch crazy about 2 months ago, it was about £4.99, but I dont know if this was because its getting nearer and nearer christmas and the issues become bigger.
I love this magazine as it regularly gives away charts and free kits to keep you busy, I have recieved magazines with lots of charts in, at the minute they are mostly christmas charts. You however do not recieve the thread and aida with these charts, but you do sometimes get the full kits, with the latest issue I recieved this month I got a free kit with the chart, aida, thread and a needle, this kit was of a cat in a wreath.
I was that impressed with cross stitch crazy, I decided to sign up to the subscription, I paid a £8 up front fee and I now pay £8 every six months which is a saving of over £7, which I think is brilliant for a subscription magazine. When you sign up to the magazine you also recieve a free gift, however I got told i was not entitled to one, which I am still in the process of sorting this out!!
All the magazines run a feature where someone writes in and reuqests a celebrity be made into a chart, I have seen ones of Keira Knightly, Johnny Depp, Katy Perry and Rihanna. All the charts in the magazine have long lists of the threads which are needed to be able to complete the designs, they are mostly all compiled using the cross stitch company DMC, and if you need more thread you are able to order them online from the DMC website. In some kits you also recieve special card for making christmas cards, and other celebration cards such as easter, birthdays, halloween and valentines day.
You can get the help you need from the magazine as it has help pages to show you how to stitch the different stitches that are needed, like half stitch, full stitches, french knots etc. These are really helpful for beginners who are looking for help and feeling a bit perplexed with their stitching like I was at the start.
Overall this magazine is great for people who need a bit of help, some inspirational ideas in order to stitch, for people who want to collect some kits to stitch in their free time. It is definitely worth the money although it is only released once every 2/3 months which is a bit of a let down. I have had some great ideas from this magazine in the past and will definitely be reviewing my subscription in March!!
Cross Stitch Crazy is a monthly magazine. It costs £3.75.
The magazine features a number of different cross stitch charts each month. They vary in size, from big pictures right down to little tiny motifs that are suitable for gift tags and keyrings. I like to make a lot of cross stitch cards and smaller pictures and I prefer this magazine as it seems to have a lot of smaller sized charts.
The magazine trys to cater for every taste and there is always a wide variety of charts in many different themes and styles. This months magazine (October issue) is Christmas themed. That may seem early to non-cross stitchers, but bear in mind that it can take months to finish a bigger stitching piece or to make lots of Cross stitched cards. However, most months the magazine doesn't follow a particular theme.
To demonstrate the variety, these are just some of the charts featured in the last few months of the magazine:
* a cute panda scene
* Halloween designs
* Jam covers
* The VERY cute Somebunny rabbit
* Autumn cushion design
* Birthday alphabet
* The Rose flower fairy
* Donny Osmond photo
The charts are use both colours and symbols to help you see which colour you should be using. There is also a colour key that lists the threads they recommend using. I very rarely use the colours recommended, instead I use whatever I have. I have never found this to be a problem and I sometimes completely change the colours to suit whoever I am making the sewing for.
Towards the back of every issue there is a double page spread for new stitchers. It explains the very basics of how to begin cross stitching as well as the euipment you will need. It has illustrations to help explain how the stitches are formed. I knew how to stitch before I started buying this magazine, however I can see it would be very helpful for someone new to the hobby.
Every magazine also contains a letters page where readers write in, usually including photos of items they have stitched. I like to read about what other people have made, especially when it's a chart I have from a previous issue of the magazine as it often inspires me to make it.
Like most cross stitch magazines, Cross stitch Crazy comes with a free gift every month. This months gift is a Christmas chart book with 126 Christmas designs suitable for cards and gift tags. I really like the free chart books and I use them a lot when making cards.
Other free gifts have included:
* thread packs
* Bentley Bear charts
* Set of bookmark charts
* 'Designs for your home' chart book
* Spring bird cross stitch kit
* Pink flowery frame
I have always found the gifts to be of a good quality. I enjoy getting the gifts, but I would not buy the magazine just for them if I was not interested in the charts as well. I see them as a nice bonus.
To conclude, I would recommend this magazine to any ability cross stitcher. There is a wide variety of charts every issue so there will almost certainly be something to suit all tastes.