Title: Red/Blue Mass Effect Paragon & Renegade Cross Stitch
Date Completed: March 2019
Design: Lord Libidan
Video Game: Mass Effect
I have always loved 3D glasses and ever since my 3D Pokemon choice cross stitch I’ve wanted to do more, but unlike that one, I wanted to look into the idea of putting two seperate images on top of each other, so that when viewed with red alone, or bllue alone you would see two seperate images. However, after playing around with a Fallout idea failed, I left the idea in my ideas book and didn’t think about it again.
Until I saw someone else’s cross stitch. It was a Stormtrooper crossed with a skull, and whilst I loved the idea, the actual way about making the red/blue image work is what impressed me the most.
By combining one thread of each color (and in his case also black) he was about to give each color its own placement, and make each image work perfectly. I stole his idea but with only two colors, and I think it came out well. So here is the Mass Effect paragon and renegade images on top of each other. Check it out with red/blue glasses to see the full effect!
Title: Pikachu Running Animated Cross Stitch
Date Completed: February & March 2019
Design: Lord Libidan
Video Game/Pop Culture: Pokemon
As you may know, I’ve been designing patterns for the Xstitch maazine for sometime, however I have always felt like I wasn’t the best designer there. I mean, there is no chance I am, its full of awesome cross stitch talent, but there is one specific cross stitch, Tom Katsumi’s sewtrope, that I fell in love with. It was an accomplished piece of cross stitch, but that wasn’t the thing that made it great. It was alive. Thanks to an online animated GIF maker, he was able to reproduce its effects, and it truly looks like the cat is running. Well, I knew I had to do something in the style.
I had originally planned out a whole screen, with a sky, grass and pikahu unfurling from a pokeball into a run, however when I actually looked at how many cross stitches it would need (42) and the size, I quickly rethought my plan. I toned it down into 6 frames (and 6 completed cross stitches) with a very small pikachu running. However, then I came across this animated GIF and knew I had to copy it. So I scaled up in size of cross stitch, but thankfully, down in frames, to just 4.
It took a while to stitch them up, and it was actually a pain to line them up for the GIF, but once made, I slowed it down a touch, and hopefully made a cross stitched Pikachu look like he’s running.
Backstitch is often the thing at the end of a cross stitch, and whilst you know it can make a big difference, you’ve not really thought any further than that, right? Well, it turns out that whilst backstitch is super simple, there a lot you can do to improve it. The smallest of changes in your backstitch can have a massive impact, and its as simple as changing the thread thicknesses.
In my recent Star Trek Voyager LCARS cross stitch I took backstitch to the extreme, and thanks to a few zoomed in shots of it at my Portal 2 Gun cross stitch, I can show you a few tips.
Thickness of different threads
On the example below you can see a series of different backstitches, and whilst stitching everything as 2 stands would have been fine, I decided to stitch the grid with a single stitch. Why? Because it makes the ship stand out more. The subtle change here hasn’t taken anything away from the cross stitch, but its clear that when looking at this section, the ship is the most important bit. Obviously you could go the other way around here, stitching the ship with 3 or 4 strands of thread.
Thickness of the same thread
Yeh, its a thickness thing, but this time we’re speaking about the same thread. In the example below I’ve taken wires coming out of my portal gun and instead of using the 2 stands it called for, at the tips, split it into one. The effect it has is super small, but anyone looking at the cross stitch quickly can see that they start off as two seperate wires, which come together, then split off again. Something small like this has added another layer of detail to a simple cross stitch.
Going back to Voyager here, I’ve taken to combining both thicknesses of threads, and layers. When you look at this image, the first thing that comes out is the outline of the ship, then the decks, and then the details. This was achieved not only by laying the stitches in the opposite order (details first), but also by making the thread thickness larger as I when up. The over all effect has now changed so that the image as a whole is a ship, then the details, and not a super detailed hot mess.
I’m not saying any of the above examples are perfect, however layering is an effective way to change the focus of your cross stitch, and might just be worth practicing.
Title: 3D Printed Cross Stitch Ring
Date Completed: December 2018
Design: Lord Libidan
Canvas: 3D printed ring
Size: US 8 (UK P)
For my last cross stitch of 2018, I knew I wanted to do something small, but as it happens, I was FINALLY able to complete a project I’d been working on for the last 5 years.
I’d always loved the idea of 3D printing, and I think many of my 3D cross stitches, such as my Transforming cross stitch were routed in, however I recently got the ability to print accurately on a 3D printer in high detail. I used this excuse to pull a simple ring design, and then edited it to work with a line of cross stitch, in 14 count.
In order to do this I had to pull a small interior ring to hold the back of the threads (so they don’t stick into your finger), and align the holes in a specific orientation to ensure the needle would fit through. You can see these changes in the below image a bit clearer.
However the hard work didn’t finish there. I had originally made two ring ideas, one with a 18 count, and one with 14. Whilst I was able to stitch both, the 18 count one simply didn’t work (the holes were too big). This however, wasn’t something I count fix. The size of the holes needed to be large enough that the smallest needles I could find (size 10 sharps) would fit through using a sewing thread (not embroidery).
However, all that work done, it was a simple case of stitching it up, and wearing it. I might actually offer a limited run of these on my Etsy if anyone is interested…
It really shouldn’t come as any surprise to anyone following my stitches that in the most recent Xstitch magazine, when allowed to “do anything” I chose something 3D. After all, a lot of people reading this know about me thanks to my 3D transforming cross stitch, and so for my companion piece this quarter, I thought I’d do something a little different. I thought I’d do a round up of the best 3D cross stitch out there (other than my own that is).
The best for play
I like to make 3D cross stitch for two main reasons; its complexity and its tactileness. As a result whenever I look at others 3D cross stitch, I think of actually using it. BlackMageHeart has taken this to another step all together though, with her minature Harvest Moon playset, created for a friend’s kid. It not only includes the barn (a staple for many 3D cross stitches) but the farmer, animals, and various crops at different stages of completion. To top the whole thing off its set within a frame with a cross stitched field. A fantastic playset regardless of being in stitches.
The most complicated
That second reason I like 3D cross stitch so much? It’s complexity. I’m far from the first to make a complex 3D stitch, and in fact, the most well known of 3D cross stitchers, The Nutmeg Company, beat me to the post by a whole year with their stunningly detailed 18 count Windsor Castle cross stitch for the Queen’s jubilee in 2002. Sadly despite its fantastic design, we don’t have any better pictures, but it comes complete with the entire grounds, to scale, with fun details like corgis running around the outside!
So what about something a little more exotic? I’ve been cross stitching for more than a decade now, and in that time I’ve always tried to push boundries, but when I think of impossible cross stitch, I always think of globes. Not only does a circle barely work in cross stitch, but making a globe is surely impossible, and how on Earth you’d cross stitch the sides to make up anything is beyond me. However, RobinsDesign has been doing the impossible all along. In fact, I recently had a go myself using her techniques to make my 3D Harry Potter Snitch cross stitch so I can give testiment to how hard it is, but RobinsDesigns carry off the impossible with such ease, making fantastic looking planets. They also do a series of amazing dolls and animals too!
I personally belive that plastic canvas can make anything, however somethings fit better than others. The most obvious though, is minecraft. With simple lines and easy movements minecraft is a perfect 3D cross stitch companion. There are boat load of 3D minecraft cross stitches out there as a result, but this recent stitch by BenBrookerB from reddit is amazing. Not only does it capture the design aesthetic perfecty, but the little steve has magnets hidden in him, meaning he can pick up tools just the game!
If you’re interested in stitching with plastic canvas to make 3D cross stitch, you might want to check out our post on the different types of plastic canvas and when to use them.
Title: Micro Cassette Keychains
Date Completed: June & August 2018
Design: Lord Libidan
Pop Culture: 80s Tape Cassettes
I’ve written about how I create designs for the Xstitch Mag before, however in the most recent issue, the theme was ‘Mixtape’. This in essence meant I could stitch anything I wanted. I actually created a series of Gameboys based on a Gameboy Color Micro Console Cross Stitch, however I knew the editorial team liked litteral things, so I thought I would also submit a litteral mixtape.
This was the mock up of the designs to test viability, and I randomly picked one of 9 different styles. At this stage it was taken up for the cover for the Xstitch Mag! I designed a further 3 styles so there were 12 in total and stitched them up.
For my companion piece for my article in this quarters XStitch Magazine I wanted to something a little different. Normally I write a blog about something related to the post which expands on its topic, but in this quarters article I talk about how cross stitch is what you make it, and something like a pattern is just a guide, allowing you, the stitcher to create something truly unique. As a result I wanted to go over my personal favorite glow-in-the-dark, metallic and french knot cross stitches to show you that sometimes just choosing a different thread can have a MASSIVE impact on your work.
I’ve had a few people ask me about how to use these threads, but fear not you can find out how to make using speciality threads easy in a previous blog I wrote.
The Best Metallic Cross Stitch
I’m a big fan of The Crafting Geek, however this collaboration with Spykles is one of her best. Not content with a great little pixel art Wonder Woman, The Crafting Geek incorporated metallic florrishes throughout the piece, on Wonder Woman’s sword, shield and headband. Small changes that just make it pop.
The Best Glow-In-The-Dark Cross Stitch
Glow in the dark thread is an odd thread. Not only is it a serious pain to use, but its always white. So you need to make sure whatever you’re doing, the color is white in the day. Most people, myself included, take this as a white element, with a hidden message. But StitchFight takes this to a whole new level. A seriously cool Iron Man cross stitch by day suddenly turns extra cool in the night.
The Best French Knot Cross Stitch
I want to be clear here; my french knots are terrible. However, I think my poor attempts make anyone that uses french knots infinitely more impressive. This example by Peakcock & Fig is a fantastic example of how french knots can add something special to a normal cross stitch. The plain black tree trunk is actually quite plain, but a series of pink and white french knots on the top need no explination. All of a sudden a plain cross stitch has been completely changed, and now invokes Japanese cherry tree blossoms.
Title: Mad Max Car
Date Completed: November 2018
Design: Lord Libidan & Petrick Animation
Video Game: Mad Max
Back in 2015 I fell in love with the Max Max game, and the movie Mad Max fury road. Not only were they both excellent in their own right, but the style betwen both games made it feel like they were from the same universe. That’s why when I found some super awesome animated Mad Max pixel art on behance by Petrick Animation I knew I had to stitch it. However, the pixel art caused some issues. Firstly, I had to remove the animation, and due to its size had to reduce the pixel count, and colors.
I created the pattern pixel by pixel over a month, and even purchased some awesome bright orange aida from Permin, but it sat there for more than 3 years while I stitched other things. However when recently going though my aida to find something for my Half Life 2 Gravity Gun cross stitch I found the old orange aida and knew it was time to stitch it up finally.
Title: Half Life Gravity Gun
Date Completed: November 2018
Design: Lord Libidan & Petrick Animation
Video Game: Half Life 2
After finishing my most recent Portal Gun cross stitch I knew I had to do another. I decided that the two most well known guns out there had to be the Portal gun and the Half Life 2 gravity gun.
The Portal gun patter wasn’t solely my own, so for the gravity gun I needed to copy the style and sizing of the Portal gun, so working from prop images I recreated the gravity gun. I also decided to change the background slightly. With the Portal gun, the background was a grey, however as I wanted to stitch it on 18 count I had to use a slightly bluey grey. This didn’t impact the design much as the background for most of the Portal games is grey, and the blue from the light tube worked with the background. However for the gravity gun I thought I would do the same, but on purpose, so I decided to use a slightly orangy ‘stone’ aida instead.
Title: Minature Traditional Pirate Samplers
Date Completed: May 2018
Design: Lord Libidan
Pop Culture: Pirates
Now that the new issue of Xstitch Mag is out I can finally show off a few of my recent pieces. The theme this quarter was ‘Heroes & Villans’, and I just just finished watching Black Flag, a pirate drama, and knew I had to do something with the idea.
As it turns out, Pirates were actually pretty nice people for the main part, and whilst they did steal, they were free men and freed slaves whenever they could. I wanted to look at the way that the East India Trading Company and pirates are often seen in contrary roles to how they actually were. To stitch them I decided on a period styled set of samplers, on ecru with limited pallettes. When looking through some reference material I saw the cutest little dolls house frames and the idea came to stitch them into doll house size. As a result I stitched on 32 count, which is by far the smallest count I’ve worked on so far.
You can pick up the pattern for both of these samplers in the newst issue of the Xstitch Mag, and if you’re interested I also have a companion piece for the mag on how close we are to a robot cross stitch artist.