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)

Its Time to Improve your Backstitch Game

Star Trek Voyager Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan Zoomed in Section of ship

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’s a lot you can do to improve it. The smallest of changes in your backstitch can have a massive impact, and it’s 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 it’s 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.

Star Trek Voyager Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan Zoomed in Section
Star Trek Voyager Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan Zoomed in Section

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 separate wires, which come together, then split off again. Something small like this has added another layer of detail to a simple cross stitch.

Portal Gun Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan Zoomed in Section
Portal Gun Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan Zoomed in Section

Layering

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 overall effect has now changed so that the image as a whole is a ship, then the details, and not a super detailed hot mess.

Star Trek Voyager Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan Zoomed in Section of ship
Star Trek Voyager Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan Zoomed in Section of ship

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.

Micro Cassette Keychain Cross Stitches by Lord Libidan

Micro Cassette Keychain Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Title: Micro Cassette Keychain Date Completed: June 2018 Design: Lord Libidan Count: 14 Canvas: Plastic Colours: 5 Pop Culture: 80s Tape Cassettes
Title: Micro Cassette Keychains
Date Completed: June & August 2018
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 14
Canvas: Plastic
Colors: 16
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 literal things, so I thought I would also submit a literal 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.

Xstitch Issue 6 Mixtape featuring Lord Libidan (Source: xstitchmag.com)
Xstitch Issue 6 Mixtape featuring Lord Libidan (Source: xstitchmag.com)

Mad Max Car Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Mad Max Car Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Mad Max Car Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan
Mad Max Car Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Title: Mad Max Car
Date Completed: November 2018
Design: Lord Libidan & Petrick Animation
Count: 14
Canvas: Orange
Colors: 5
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.
Mad Max Interceptor pixel art gif by Petrick Animation (source: behance.net)
Mad Max Interceptor pixel art gif by Petrick Animation (source: behance.net)

Mad Max Inteceptor On Set Image (Source: Imgur)
Mad Max Inteceptor On Set Image (Source: Imgur)

Miniature Traditional Pirate Samplers by Lord Libidan

Pirate cross stitch samplers by Lord Libidan

mini pirate cross stitch samplers by Lord Libidan
Title: Miniature Traditional Pirate Samplers
Date Completed: May 2018
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 32
Canvas: Ecru
Colors: 8
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.

EIC Pirate Sampler cross stitch by Lord Libidan