Notorious Needle started in 2018 as a resource of tutorials and recommended supplies for cross stitch beginners to learn the craft. Today, the motivating aim of the Notorious Needle is to encourage people, especially women, to ditch what they are “supposed” to create and stitch whatever they want while empowering them to start conversations about the hard stuff like religion, politics, sex and money. The site has tutorials available so that every cross stitch beginner can create their own handmade wall art.
Sarah Leal, founder and designer of Notorious Needle, is known for her rude and 3D cross stitch patterns. She learned to cross stitch from her mother at the age of 10 and has created 100s of pieces. While suffering with situational depression from a tough divorce, Sarah found comfort in cross stitch – with a twist. In 2017, she created her first, all-original, not “nice” pattern. By stitching what was taboo, the freedom of art as self-expression helped her heal, along with loving friends and family. Now she works to pay it forward and help others discover the liberation and laughter that can be found in making snarky, sassy stitches.