Mains & Merveilles Point de Croix is a French needlework magazine that I subscribe to. I often forget what needlework magazines I subscribe to, actually, because needlework magazines are notoriously (and understandably) far-spaced when it comes to yearly output. But the other day, I was reminded of my subscription to this particular magazine when it arrived in the mail. It is a cross stitch magazine.
I’ve written about this magazine company here on Needle ‘n Thread in the past, when telling you about the Mains & Merveilles iron-on transfer collections that are very pretty (and used to be available at Hedgehog Handworks, but are no longer available there…)
Well, the company that put out those very nice iron-on transfer collections (Les Éditions de Saxe) also produces some Very Nice embroidery magazines: Embroidery, Creative Embroidery, and Cross Stitch (my translations of the titles). I only have a subscription right now to the Point de Croix line, having subscribed a little over a year ago because they were running a series I wanted to watch develop. Eventually, I’ll pick up the other two subscriptions and probably let this one drop – when the others fit into the budget!
The needlework magazines from Les Éditions de Saxe have a distinctive European flair to them, and they are quality magazines – very pretty to look at, printed on good paper, filled with informative and interesting articles, and featuring a large paper pull out pattern section for all their featured projects. And the projects are generally beautiful. The magazines are printed entirely in French. If you don’t read French, though, the content is still worthwhile – the patterns are beautiful, the instructions usually include step-by-step photos, and the pictures overall are simply worth looking at! I’d say the magazines rival Inspirations, as far as quality goes, though they don’t have as much in them as each individual Inspirations magazine, and the projects differ a bit in flavor.
Getting back to the latest edition of Mains & Merveilles Point de Croix, three articles struck me in this latest issue (#74).
The first was a project article for these pretty paisley table and household linens that just look fun to embroider!
The paisleys are worked in various pinks and reds, entirely in surface embroidery stitches.
Of course, the color scheme can always be changed to match your own home! I think they’re cute, and perfect for a casual, fun setting.
The next article that caught my eye was focused mostly on whitework and drawn thread techniques. As one of their regular features (“Passion Broderie”), this article shows the work of Jocelyne Dubois, who always has embroidery at her fingertips!
The whitework photos that accompany the article are gorgeous – the pieces are so impressive! What a talented embroiderer!
Her edgings are intricate and perfect. And while I don’t normally pour over this particular magazine and attempt to read it, I found myself engrossed in this article (accompanied by my French-English dictionary from college days!) I was thrilled to open the magazine and find this article!
But, you know, while these two features excited me more than usual, the publishers had one more thing in store for me when I finished the whitework article. Flipping the page, I came across this layout:
There was a whole feature article on a currently running ecclesiastical embroidery exhibition that honors the work of the Visitation nuns in Europe, dating from the 17th century to the present day. And this being one of my favorite topics – historical ecclesiastical embroidery – I was really excited about this article! Better yet… I’ve got to go to France! NOW. The exhibition lasts until November 28, 2009, at the Museum of the Visitation (convent?) in Moulins, France. I’m … I’m so stuck in Kansas, it isn’t even funny! Anyway, I’m stuck – but if you happen to be in the area of Moulins, France, through November 28th, I bet this will be an exhibit that will knock your embroidery-loving socks off! Even if you aren’t inclined towards the religious aspects of church embroidery, it cannot be denied that it is among the most beautiful embroidery work on the planet. The Visitation nuns were known for their exquisite work – the collection will certainly be worth seeing.
(If you happen to go, may I live vicariously through you?)
So I was really pleased with this last edition of Mains & Merveilles Point de Croix from Les Éditions de Saxe. While I normally just flip through the photos once and note the things that may interest me later (or my nieces or friends), this time, I spent quite a bit of time pouring over the articles and trying to get over my rusty French. It was fun – and it was the first time I really appreciated my subscription to this magazine!
Do you subscribe to any needlework magazines? If so, which ones? What’s your favorite? Are you generally thrilled to get them, or do they just strike your fancy once in a while? That seems to be the case for me often, with all my magazine subscriptions (Inspirations, Pieceworks, Sampler & Antique Needlework, and M&M;). Sometimes, they just don’t grab me, but then suddenly – wow! They bamboozle me with magnificent content, and that’s when I most appreciate the subscription. What about you? What’s your experience with needlework magazine subscriptions?