Rorschach Ink Blot Test Cross Stitches by Lord Libidan

Rorschach Ink Blot Test Cross Stitches by Lord Libidan

Rorschach Ink Blot Test Cross Stitches by Lord Libidan
Rorschach Ink Blot Test Cross Stitches by Lord Libidan

Title: Rorschach Ink Blot Test Panels 1 to 6
Date Completed: October 2019
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 14
Canvas: White
Colours: 4
Pop Culture: Noir
 
I design patterns for the Xstitch magazine, and this issue the theme was noir. I know the themes are based on general terms to help promote a more varied selection, but I also write for the magazine, and in this issue, I spoke about black. So of course, my mind went to black for the stitch too.
 
But I couldn’t find anything I liked. I tend to stitch on black a lot, but making a dark black stitch is hard, and frankly, not very interesting. But then I happened across a set of ink blot tests in a toy store. They were full of color, but I loved the idea of a Rorschach ink blot test. Not only were they (mostly) black, but they were a pseudoscience that was very of the noir movie aesthetic and time period. It just worked.
 
The patterns didn’t really work though. My first idea was to pick just one and make it huge, but as you guessed, it was a lot of black. So I cut it down in size. But this meant it was not only non-symmetrical, a key feature of the ink blots, but it was full of shades. These shades were OK, but the way the DMC colors work, the dark colors were hued. They had blues in, or purples and they looked wrong. Finally, I made them all, pixel by pixel to get it perfect. I had to make a decision early on, with ink blot 2, as it had red in. Whilst this still fitted with the theme, I just felt it was better as black.

The Orville Blueprint Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

The Orville Blueprint Embroidery by Lord Libidan

The Orville Blueprint Embroidery by Lord Libidan
The Orville Blueprint Embroidery by Lord Libidan

Title: The Orville Blueprint
Date Completed: May 2020
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 14
Canvas: Black
Colors: 3
Pop Culture: The Orville
 
Like many people, my favorite cross stitch changes a lot. It tends to be the last one I’ve stitched or the last big one at least. However for some time now, it remained as just one. My Star Trek Voyager Blueprint/LCARS cross stitch completed over a year ago. I think there were a few reasons for this. I’d worked on LCARS cross stitch before for both my Star Trek cross stitch book and my LCARS what happens on the holodeck cross stitch however I was never really sold on either of them. So when I was able to do another LCARS cross stitch, with a realistic screen, I really felt I’d captured its essence. It felt like I’d managed to complete it in a way that really looked right.
 
I think part of this was I was able to take a real screen (or my impersonation of one anyway). What I didn’t realize at the time is that I liked the UX (user interface) of the LCARS system, and liked the actual screens themselves. When I started stitching my matrix code cross stitch I really understood this and wanted to do more. This is where the Orville project started. I was watching the most recent Star Trek and had heard of The Orville is Star Trek-like, and thought, why not? I gave it a try, and frankly, I think it’s better than Star Trek Discovery. But there was a screen that kept coming up. I won’t spoil why, but a main character is often shown, and he’s a science officer. His screen on the deck is in front of him and clearly visible from the camera angle. Normally I would ignore this, but it had an element at the bottom that looked a lot like a macOS dock. Needless to say, I wanted to do something with it.
The Orville Set Photos - Science Officer Screens on the Main Deck (Source: Wikipedia)
The Orville Set Photos – Science Officer Screens on the Main Deck (Source: Wikipedia)

 
The second thing I noticed about the computer screen was the big old starship blueprint right in the center. It was VERY similar to my Star Trek one, and I just had to take that element as well, after all, I love blueprints. As you can probably tell from my lightsaber blueprint, ZF-1 Blueprint and Metroid Suit blueprint. But all of those are real blueprints. I wondered how a science officer would look at the ship, and wondered if I could make it more… real. I threw some ideas around, but the original image formed most of my plan, with overlays and more detail on science elements, and little in the way of room detail.
 
This also allowed me to do the same thing I had with my Star Trek cross stitch, and that was backstitch variance. What do I mean by that? Well, basically the number of threads when doing backstitch. By using three sometimes, 2 others and 1 for fine detail you can create a design that looks fairly plain from a distance, but then as you come closer gives you more and more detail. Unlike the Star Trek blueprint, the Orville’s computers mostly use blue, so this became really important.
 
So, I started making a pattern. It wasn’t a cross stitch pattern that took me 100 hours, but it sure took a long time. I tried adding the original MacOS dock style thing, but it just didn’t work. However, I came up with about 30 inspiration shots from the show, including this one, and knew there were elements I could add. I put everything together, and finally got stitching.
The Orville Screenshot - Computer Screens (Source: Google Images)
The Orville Screenshot – Computer Screens (Source: Google Images)

This is where I would normally stop, showing you the complete thing. But as I stitched, the less sold on the idea I was. Looking back, the whole reason I wanted to stitch this was the macOS style screen, that I failed to make in the pattern. Then, on top of this, is the fact that I had just completed my Futurama ship blueprint embroidery and was about to start on another one (more on that once I’ve finished it). This pattern just didn’t click in the way those did. So I changed the pattern while stitching to remove the outside, leaving just the ship itself.

Futurama Planet Express Ship Blueprint Embroidery by Lord Libidan

Futurama Old Bessie Blueprint Embroidery By Lord Libidan

Futurama Old Bessie Blueprint Embroidery By Lord Libidan
Futurama Old Bessie Blueprint Embroidery By Lord Libidan

Title: Old Bessie Futurama Blueprint
Date Completed: April 2020
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 14
Canvas: Green
Colors: 2
Pop Culture: Futurama
 
When it comes to blueprints, I’m sold. I’ve made a light saber blueprint cross stitch, a fifth element gun blueprint cross stitch and loads of others. So when I started watching Futurama again (the best cartoon ever by the way) I started getting itchy to do a cross stitch. Then, when watching an episode where the ship gets dismantled (screenshot below), I knew I had to do a blueprint of the ship.
Futurama Dismantled Ship (Source: theinfosphere.org)
Futurama Dismantled Ship (Source: theinfosphere.org)

The thing that makes it so perfect is that the ship is constantly changing, you see in almost every room, yet there aren’t any plans. Others have put things together in the past, but I wanted to do my own take. In my previous blueprints, I had only shown the inside or the outside, but with the ship, I really wanted to combine the two, so I have a cutaway style blueprint.
 
In my research I found a great poster by Volpin Props, and whilst the image was rather small (the quality below is the best I could find), I based my blueprint on it. I also threw in loads of little details the Volpin Props one didn’t have, things that you only pick up on if you’re a Futurama fan, much like the Star Trek Voyager Blueprint cross stitch did. What makes this even better is that much like Volpin props I’ve hidden most of these details away in a Futurama language you need to translate.
Planet Express Blueprint by Volpin Props (Source: volpinprops.com)
Planet Express Blueprint by Volpin Props (Source: volpinprops.com)

This wasn’t as easy as I had planned, however. Much like my Matrix code cross stitch I needed to recreate a whole language in tiny form. The original alien language that Volpin props used was way too hard to convert, so I changed it for the newer alien language Futurama uses (which is much more complicated to translate).

Morning at Hot Spring Resort in Arayu Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Morning At Hot Spring Resort In Arayu By Lord Libidan

Morning At Hot Spring Resort In Arayu By Lord Libidan
Morning At Hot Spring Resort In Arayu By Lord Libidan

Title: Morning at Hot Spring Resort in Arayu
Date Completed: April 2020
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 16
Canvas: Cream
Colors: 27
Pop Culture: Japan
 
By now you might realize I’m on a massive Japanese print kick. I’ve stitched up Moon Light in Yasaka Pagoda cross stitch, New Moon on Tokyo Tower cross stitch, and a miniature Spring In Daigoji Temple cross stitch too. And I haven’t stopped. For my recent XStitch magazine pattern, I made a new Japanese print, this time all my own, and for it, I had to get inspiration. I normally use the work of Asano Takeji as he’s a modern artist with a style I like, however when looking for inspiration I found Hasui Kawase.
 
He was working at roughly the same time as Asano Takeji, but was a prolific traveler, with many of his works being from around Japan, and America. He even added Western elements to many of his works, including Santa, however, his works from around Japan really excited me. When I traveled there I took in many of the tourist sights, including many that Hasui had created prints from. One in particular that really interested me was his hot springs at Arayu. Whilst I didn’t go to Arayu, I did go to another hot spring resort, and it was one of the most relaxing days, and possibly one of the best days of my life. The feeling of warmth and the calming ways of the hot springs are a real juxtaposition against the super high tech cities of Japan.
Morning at Hot Spring Resort in Arayu, by Hasui Kawase 1946 (Source: JapanObjects.com)
Morning at Hot Spring Resort in Arayu, by Hasui Kawase 1946 (Source: JapanObjects.com)

This was the first of these patterns that I turned into a cross stitch (yes, there will be more), however, I created it about 6 months before I could start stitching. This meant that by the time I went back to it, I fell in love with it again. However, due to magazines and other life-things, it took 6 months to stitch as well, meaning it may be my longest project to date. Thankfully, due to all the time we’ve been spending indoors lately, I’ve had some more time to stitch and finished it up.

Namaste Paper Fortune Origami Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Origami Paper Fortune Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Origami Paper Fortune Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan
Origami Paper Fortune Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Title: Namaste Paper Fortune Origami
Date Completed: August 2019
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 14
Canvas: White
Colors: 5
Pop Culture: Origami
 
You may know, but I often supply patterns for the XStitch magazine. In the past I’ve supplied a pattern for every issue, but not only did that mean I didn’t have much time to make the patterns truly awesome, but I also write for it, meaning I was in everyone multiple times. So recently, I’ve been in fewer and fewer. But that means I can be a little more… adventurous.
 
My last pattern for the magazine was New Moon on Tokyo Tower cross stitch and it had a lot of blue. In fact, it had a whole lot of stitching. So I knew I wanted something a little lighter on actual cross stitch, but something that was still awesome. So I looked at ‘my book’. Yes, that’s right, I record every idea I have down in a little journal. It has WAY too many bad ideas, but there are some gems in there that just don’t work out.
 
One of those gems was an origami crane. I have always loved Japan and put it in my cross stitch whenever possible, but there has always been one Japanese thing I’ve wanted to try out, but failed at. Origami. I’ve always loved 3D cross stitch, and like to push boundaries a bit, but there is one thing that always gets in the way when making cross stitch 3D, and its something I worked out when I was making my first transforming cross stitch; angles. Thanks to the structure of aida, 90 degrees is a breeze. In fact, 45 is OK too, but anything else just gets hard. I tried to work around this when I did my 3D Pokemon cave cross stitch, which is at 67.5 degrees, but it made the joint huge. Therefore an origami crane with hundreds of different angles was out.
 
But as always, I couldn’t quite shake the idea. I looked up as many origami animals as I could, trying to come up with a shape that would only use 90 or 45 degrees but couldn’t find any. Until my niece brought home a paper fortune. It wasn’t a type of origami I was thinking about, but actually, its probably most people’s first foray into origami. I had only just written my post on the best cross stitch toys and loved the idea of something people could actually use. And wouldn’t you know it, it has 90 and 45-degree angles.
&nsbps;
After I mocked something up I realized that the design was only just going to work; aida doesn’t fold well multiple times and in different directions, but it worked! In order to theme it better to the magazine issue ‘namaste’, I added different greetings into the insides in multiple languages.
Origami Paper Fortune Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan 2
Origami Paper Fortune Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan 2

Home Sweet Home Futurama Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Futurama Home Sweet Home Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Futurama Home Sweet Home Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan
Futurama Home Sweet Home Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Title: Home Sweet Home Futurama Cross Stitch
Date Completed: October 2019
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 14
Canvas: White
Colours: 3
Pop Culture: Futurama
 
Before I started cross stitching back in 2001, I knew of cross stitch. This was before the big cross stitch revolution in England, and I didn’t have anyone I knew cross stitching, or even crafting. So how did I know about it? Futurama. Yes, the sci-fi cartoon.
 
But I want to go slightly further back to tell this story. Matt Groening, the creator of the Simpsons and Futurama, has regularly made nods to needlework in the past. In fact, Marge Simpson cross stitches, which we covered in our Celebrities That Cross Stitch post, but it was always something that someone was doing. It was never the main joke itself. But then Futurama comes along.
Futurama Screenshot S01E03 of Home Sweet Home Cross Stitch (Source: Reddit)
Futurama Screenshot S01E03 of Home Sweet Home Cross Stitch (Source: Reddit)

As you can see from the above screenshot, Futurama made a simple joke using the ‘home sweet home’ cross stitch in its first season when Fry and Bender get an apartment. But teenage me, who fell head over heels for Futurama didn’t quite get it. Clearly, it was a joke. Clearly, you were meant to understand. But I didn’t. Until a lot of lewd jokes that might go over your head, this was a joke that was clear as day, begging you to laugh.
 
Well, I looked it up. I saw the cross stitch, but I still didn’t understand. I ended up learning to code from that Futurama code, and now I get the joke, and in fact, I can see the error in the programming now too, but it was the first time I saw cross stitch, and understood it was a thing.
 
I’ve taken on the joke, and I’ve even stitched a Pokemon Home Sweet Home Cross Stitch in the past, like many cross stitchers and made a free pattern of it too, however not the version that first showed me cross stitch. Some 20 years later, when rewatching Futurama I knew I had to stitch this up.
 
Sadly, despite the many patterns out there for this, none were perfect. This is mostly due to the fact that it’s a cartoon and pixels mean nothing, so it’s impossible to make it perfect, but I made my own and tried to be as close as possible without ruining the overall look.

New Moon on Tokyo Tower Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

New Moon on Tokyo Tower Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

New Moon on Tokyo Tower Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan
New Moon on Tokyo Tower Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Title: New Moon on Tokyo Tower
Date Completed: June 2019
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 18
Canvas: Navy
Colors: 19
Pop Culture: Japan
 
When the editor of the Xstitch Mag announced the new theme for issue 9 was going to be oriented; I knew exactly why. A few months before I have shown him a preview of my Moon Light in Yasaka Pagoda Cross Stitch (just before I decided to remove the Pokemon from it), and showed him what an awesome theme it could make.
 
However, that turned out to be a little problematic. The piece of art I used to make that cross stitch was still under copyright, meaning I couldn’t give the pattern to the Editor. Instead, I had to make my own. Now, I loved Asano Takeji’s work and thought I could riff on his style, whilst bringing it slightly more modern. To do this I researched when the ukiyo-e style went out of fashion. It was roughly the 1870’s. That meant that none of the modern Japanese buildings would be captured in the form.
 
Having visited Tokyo a few years prior, I also felt that the new Tokyo Skytree overshadowed Tokyo’s previous iconic tower; The Tokyo Tower. Following the American occupation of Japan, in the 1950s, Japan wanted to celebrate its newfound freedom with a new and audacious tower. Based on the Eiffel Tower they constructed a new tower, which was originally planned to be painted Bronze, but due to height regulations at the time had to have a red and white candy stripe paint job.
 
The tower, when completed would have been a beacon to all of Japan that they were back in charge, and were once again, ready to enter the world stage. However, at the time, modernization hadn’t come to a lot of Japan, meaning a lot of streets were traditional in design. I really wanted to combine this design to show both the new Japan and traditional Japan side by side.
 
To do this I combined images of Tokyo Tower, and a preserved traditional street in Tokyo, ironically next to Yasaka Pagoda, Sannen Zaka Street. I then lowered the tone of color to show a deep night sky, free of moonlight, to differentiate it from my previous Asano Takeji piece.

Spring In Daigoji Temple Miniature Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Miniature Spring In Daigoji Temple Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Miniature Spring In Daigoji Temple Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan
Miniature Spring In Daigoji Temple Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Title: Spring In Daigoji Temple
Date Completed: August 2019
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 32
Canvas: Antique White
Colors: 16
Pop Culture: Japan
 
The idea for this project was a simple one, but as always, with simple projects, it turns out much more complicated than you first had in mind. To go back to the start of this project, we need to talk about my Miniature Pirate Sampler Cross Stitches. I was asked to do a ‘heroes and villains’ themed pattern for the XStitch magazine, and to match the nature of the theme, and the magazine itself, I wanted to do two things. But with a standard sampler, it was going to be too big. So I changed the count to 32.
 
It was the first time I’d ever stitched on anything smaller than 18 count, and whilst it was a great task, I wasn’t convinced to change my standard 16/18 count preference. The mag went out, the patterns were liked, however almost exactly when I got them back I was able to submit something for the National Needlecraft Awards 2019. I submitted them, and I won.
mini pirate cross stitch samplers by Lord Libidan (source: xstitchmag.com)
mini pirate cross stitch samplers by Lord Libidan (source: xstitchmag.com)

This was a super pleasant surprise and I thought to myself, it was easy enough, how about I make something for next year? So I decided to bring out the 32 count again. But this time, I wanted something a little harder. I’m in a big Japanese print kick at the moment, with my Moon Light in Yasaka Pagoda Cross Stitch and my New Moon on Tokyo Tower Cross Stitch, so I thought it would be good to do something similar. But with this, comes full coverage and changing colors a lot. I knew it wasn’t going to be too easy, so I stitched up a Miniature Pokemon Card Cross Stitch to try it out.
 
I then wanted to do something a little more special, so decided to do the whole piece using cut-offs (meaning I had to delay this project while I got enough of them stored up). But, finally, I was ready to make the pattern. This also caused issues.
Unlike smaller counts, the 32 count requires a fairly simplified pattern to work. This means any Japanese print I could find had details removed from it. So, after a lot of back and forth and false starts, I finally picked Spring at Daigoji Temple by Asano Takeji (the same artist as the previous Moon Light In Yasaka Pagoda cross stitch).

Miniature Pokemon Card Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Miniature Pokemon Card Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan with Coin

Miniature Pokemon Card Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan with Coin
Miniature Pokemon Card Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan with Coin

Title: Miniature Pokemon Card
Date Completed: August 2019
Design: Unknown
Count: 32
Canvas: Antique White
Colors: 7
Pop Culture: Pokemon
 
I rarely stitch up other people’s cross stitch patterns, however, it does happen. But in those instances, like the Portal Gun cross stitch, I like to edit the patterns slightly. It might be adding something new, or in this case, just doing it on a different count.
 
I originally found this pattern on Instagram over a two years ago, and I put it in my pile for cross stitch patterns I wanted to stitch, but probably wouldn’t do. I honestly expected that to be the case forever and never thought about it again. However, I happened on someone else selling small pendants of the same pattern. It was cute. But once again, I just didn’t feel right. With the way the pokemon card has been reduced down in size, the overall thing seemed a bit too large. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
 
Roll on 2018 when I stitched up two miniature pirate cross stitch samplers for the XStitch Magazine. I got these back from the publisher and chose to submit them to the National Needlecraft Awards. I didn’t expect to win, but I did. In fact, I won the Best Miniature Needlecraft award. It came as a bit of a shock, but the whole process really made me appreciate getting crosss stitch recognition. I decided to make another one for this year, and whilst you’ll see that one shortly, I decided to go full coverage.
 
This was something I decided to do after I put together a round-up of the best miniature cross stitches, but I hadn’t done it before. This is where the pokemon card came back. I thought that to both test the full coverage, and to make the pokemon card even more miniature, I could stitch it in 32 count as a tester.
 
Sadly, by this time, the Instagram post and Esty sale had both ended so I no longer had access to the original artist or pattern. However, I recreated it and stitched it up in 32 count. It’s now smaller than my thumbnail!
Miniature Pokemon Card Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan with Scale
Miniature Pokemon Card Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan with Scale

Matrix Code Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Matrix Code Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Matrix Code Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan
Matrix Code Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Title: Matrix Code
Date Completed: April 2019
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 18
Canvas: Black
Colors: 3
Pop Culture: The Matrix Trilogy
 
It’s rare for me to continue editing a pattern whilst stitching a project. It is, after all, the worst time possible to change a cross stitch pattern. However, that didn’t stop me with this project! I edited it 4 times during stitching.
I guess we should start back at the beginning. I had just finished 4 back to back Pikachu on my animated running Pikachu cross stitch, and I hadn’t got anything to stitch. That isn’t a new problem, in fact, I’ve spoken about getting cross stitch inspiration before, but unlike previous times, this was on purpose. I know that might sound crazy, but I stitch a lot of different things, from loads of areas, and wanted to go back to basics and see what really excited me. From the back of this I came up with a load of big projects, however, there was one that I thought would be small. I was wrong.
I’ve done a lot of interface/computer screen stitches in the past, like my Voyager Star Trek LCARS cross stitch and really wanted to do something similar. I had just so happened to see that it was the 10 year anniversary of The Matrix and I remembered one of the best computer screens in cinema history. The Matrix code.
I grabbed an image of the code from Wikipedia and started charting and soon realized, that despite the apparent simplicity of the code, it was actually super complicated. So my first step was to create a whole cross stitch alphabet but much like the original code, I needed letters that looked recognizable but weren’t. I made a total of 29 characters, which I then had to put through a random number generator to place each letter in a massive grid. I had originally wanted to make a massive pattern, however, less than 1/10th of the way through the pattern was taking me AGES. And whilst it was far from a 100 hour cross stitch pattern, it was too much.
I cut the pattern down and finished the pattern.
Matrix Code (Source: Wikipedia)
Matrix Code (Source: Wikipedia)

At this point all seemed good, I picked out 18 count fabric to get nice small letters, and make it fit a rough landscape frame. However, when stitching, and rewatching The Matrix, I realized that 90s screens aren’t landscape, they were square. So the first cut came in the form of the pattern becoming a lot more square (not perfectly, however). The second change came in the form of an error on my part. Instead of the whole height, I missed out on two letters (I really should have gridded by cross stitch). I cut the pattern down again, followed by a further reduction in width after I realized the pattern wouldn’t be square enough. Finally, I cut the last line of code off as I ran out of green DMC 700.
However, despite all of that, it’s still too big to frame, looks too much like Japanese and is too bright. However, I REALLY loved stitching this. I haven’t approached a lot of 90s movies, preferring the 80s, and really loved the computer screen part of it. I reckon the whole nothing to stitch thing worked.
The Matrix screenshot (Source: are.na)
The Matrix screenshot (Source: are.na)