The Austin Chronicle

We Have an Issue: The Revolution Will Be Embroidered

In this week’s cover story, Jessi Cape explores the resistance potential in cross stitch

By Kimberley Jones, April 9, 2021, Columns

For a lot of us, keeping hands busy and brains set to Zen has been a pandemic priority. Food Editor Jessi Cape's chosen form of stress mitigation? Picking up embroidery again, a skill her grandmother taught her when she was a child. But it was an impulsive moment of pattern deviation that unlocked the subversive potential of cross-stitch for her. Listening to the presidential debates last fall, Jessi was working on a straightforward cactus pattern when an exasperated Biden, fed up with Trump's interruptions, finally snapped at him, "Will you just shut up, man?" Inspired, she cross-stitched the line into her design – "I went rogue," she put it – and suddenly a pretty cactus had become something more prickly.

In this week's cover story, Jessi dives into the world of "craftivism," exploring how embroidery can be an act of resistance. I think it's an inspiring story. You'll find it here.

Also in this issue, we get a jump on Austin FC's debut season. The first match isn't until April 17, but we wanted to give our readers a lot of runway, especially if you're like me and entirely new to the sport. Austin FC reporter Eric Goodman has put together a handy explainer detailing what you need to know about Major League Soccer, and Austin's newest franchise in particular. He also interviews AFC forward Kekuta Manneh, whose Austin FC debut marks a coming-home for the Gambian native, an alum of the Lonestar Soccer Club and Austin Aztex. Other highlights of our Austin FC preview package: a projected depth chart, betting odds, players to watch, places to drink while you're watching said players, and Chronicle beer guru Eric Puga's piece connecting soccer and beer culture. Dive in here.

Special elections don't always grab the attention of voters, but the May 1 ballot is a hot-button one for sure, including propositions to reinstate the public camping ban and to move to a strong mayor model of local governance. Last weekend, News Editor Mike Clark-Madison moderated three virtual debates covering the eight propositions in question. Find the videos online at And be sure to pick up next week's issue for our endorsements.

Online This Week

Last Chance to Vote! Cast your ballot now at in The Austin Chronicle "Best of Austin" Readers Poll; voting ends Monday, April 12, at midnight.

Ask a Pro: Cover story got you inspired? Find out about the brand-new Austin School of Fiber Arts.

Living Pins Reunite: Carrie Clark (Sixteen Deluxe) and Pam Peltz (Ursa Major) revive their psych duo Living Pins after 25 years with a debut EP, streaming in full now on our Daily Music pages with an attendant Q&A with Club Listings Editor Greg Stitt.

Keeping Kiddos Busy: Community Listings Editor Kat McNevins details 11 ongoing children's events and activities, virtual and IRL.

TUFF Enough: You can still catch the tail end of the Texas Union Film Festival's free streaming showcase of rising UT filmmakers' work.

Copyright © 2021 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.