WATCH: Cross-Stitch Meets Hip-Hop

 WORDS Mary Garner VIDEO via Great Big Story on VIMEO

“I make custom one-of-a-kind cross-stitch jackets for Chicago’s creative class,” says Chicago-based cross-stitch artist Emma McKee.

Emma, known as hip-hop’s “Stitch Gawd”, has made 135 pieces in the last four years. She spends about 50 to 60 hours on a single jacket. While she’s designed for artists like SZA, Chance The Rapper, Mos Def and Kendrick Lamar, the majority of the people she creates for aren’t famous.

“Cross-stitch is an antiquated form of stitching, traditionally done by your grandma,” says Emma in the above clip. “I fell backwards into it, I made a present for my mom a couple of years ago so I taught myself how to cross-stitch. It came very naturally to me and so I decided to do more. I felt compelled to do it but I didn’t know what to do it for. Then the obvious connection was, well I’ll do it for the things that inspire me and the things that I loved were art and poetry and music.”

For more information about Emma’s work, visit