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
Colours: 7
Pop Culture: Pokemon
 
I rarely stitch up other peoples 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 for ever 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 over all 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 into 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. Its now smaller than my thumb nail!
Miniature Pokemon Card Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan with Scale
Miniature Pokemon Card Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan with Scale

Miniature Retro Game Screens Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Retro Video Game Screens Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Retro Video Game Screens Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan
Retro Video Game Screens Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Title: Miniature Retro Game Screens
Date Completed: August 2019
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 14
Canvas: Black
Colours: 12
Video Game: Pacman, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong
 
One of my most loved cross stitches is actually one of the first, my retro video game trio cross stitch. It’s simple, and it works. However, there’s only so much you can do with 8bit video games, there just isn’t the wealth of material to pull from to make complicated patterns. As a result I’ve kept it as a great thing, but something that I probably wouldn’t go back to. That was, until I found a cool phone stand.
 
Yeh, a phone stand. It was actually a phone stand made to play arcade games on, in the shape of an arcade cabinet. I had made a miniature Joust arcade cabinet cross stitch before, but it had always bugged me that it was only Joust, a game that isn’t really that well known. So I wanted to come up with an idea to replace the screens, but also allow me to swap out a phone.
 
This was a great idea in principle, but I was never going to give my phone away when someone wanted to show it off at an event, so I threw the idea away. By that time however, I had made the screens that would fit into the cabinet. I once again thought about making the whole cabinet, but it would be larger than the last one, and it would be a bit derivative. But that didn’t mean the screens had to be. In fact, they fit rather well within a photo frame.
 
I wanted them to look a bit more like an 8bit game and so reduced the colors to 12 (even though you can have up to 256 colors on 8bit) and placed them side by side. A simple cross stitch, that still brings back the feelings of the retro gaming era.
 
Included are Pacman, Dig Dug (my favourite retro game) and Donkey Kong, which is the first time it’s been stitched up by me.

Portal Cake Reveal Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Portal Reveal Cross Stitch Box by Lord Libidan

Portal Reveal Cross Stitch Box by Lord Libidan
Portal Reveal Cross Stitch Box by Lord Libidan

Title: Portal Cake Is A Lie Reveal
Date Completed: August 2019
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 14
Canvas: Plastic
Colours: 9
Video Game: Portal
 
In the past, I’ve taken a long time to get to grips with some projects. A great example of this is my 3D Pokemon Cave cross stitch which took me 8 tries to get right before I could stitch the final version. This project is similar to that, in fact, its the longest ‘in progress’ project I’ve ever had. But it had a slightly different story.
 
Let’s go back to the start of this whole thing, LONG before I ever stitched anything. In 2012 I wrote a post on SpriteStitch about an epic portal gift box. It was so epic, that I had to jot the idea down in my journal to come back to at a later date. This is where the project actually starts, 7 years ago. Now, I know what you’re thinking; it just took me a long time to get around to stitching it? Well, no.

In fact, I started planning it almost straight away. I set out the general design, and the changes I wanted to make to the original. That however, is where it stalled. I couldn’t work out how to get the cake to work at all, which is basically the main part. Roll on a few years and I happen to see the same candle used in the papercraft version. I give it a shot, and frankly, it worked better than I ever thought possible.
 
I put it in a box, ready to work out the rest, and then it stalled again. This time, I couldn’t work out the design I wanted the rest. It sat in a box. I happened to be looking for something totally unconnected, a glow-in-the-dark thread that wasn’t green, and came across it. Well, thankfully, years had passed and my idea had developed a bit. By simplifying what I wanted to do, I could create the whole design pretty quick. It actually took a little longer than I planned thanks to a few on the fly redesigns, but we’re finally here!
Papercraft Portal Gift Box by PaperChaserTO (Source: spritestitch.com)
Papercraft Portal Gift Box by PaperChaserTO (Source: spritestitch.com)

Bioshock Bird or Cage Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Bioshock Infinite Bird Cage Key Cross Stitch By Lord Libidan

Bioshock Infinite Bird Cage Key Cross Stitch By Lord Libidan
Bioshock Infinite Bird Cage Key Cross Stitch By Lord Libidan

Title: Bioshock Bird or Cage Thaumatrope
Date Completed: July 2019
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 14
Canvas: Plastic
Colours: 2
Video Game: Bioshock Infinite
 
When writing up the post for my Nuka Cola Quantum Bottle cross stitch, I spoke about how I was inspired by a thaumatrope, and referenced a previous Bioshock heads or tails cross stitch I had previously done. Well, it got my creative juices flowing.
 
I’m actually half way through another project, and I’ve already got 2 patterns set aside to cross stitch afterwards, but the lure of a good idea got me. I’m attempting to recreate the key from Bioshock Infinite, which you can see below. In reality, the key is only shown from one side, either the bird or the cage, based on a previously made choice in the game. However in reality, the key is a thaumatrope.
Bioshock Infinite Bird and Cage Thaumatrope GIF (Source: reddit)
Bioshock Infinate Bird and Cage Thaumatrope GIF (Source: reddit)

There are two different ways of making a thaumatrope (which is a 1800s toy) you can either spin a stick with two images stuck to the top, in the way the key is done here, or you can make a spinning toy using string.
Sleepy Hollow thaumatrope animated gif (Source: reddit)
Sleepy Hollow thaumatrope animated gif (Source: reddit)

I was originally planning to do the second, before I played the game again and realised what they key was. Needless to say, I knew I had to do that version, however making a bird and a cage that small is actually rather hard. I’m not 100% impressed with my bird, but it roughly looks like the real thing, and its just a little palette cleanser cross stitch before I finish my current project.
Bioshock Infinite Bird Cage Key Cross Stitch compared to real key By Lord Libidan
Bioshock Infinite Bird Cage Key Cross Stitch compared to real key By Lord Libidan

Nuka Cola Quantum Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Nuka Cola Quantum Bottle Keychain Glow In The Dark Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Nuka Cola Quantum Bottle Keychain Glow In The Dark Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan
Nuka Cola Quantum Bottle Keychain Glow In The Dark Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Title: Nuka Cola Quantum Keychain
Date Completed: July 2019
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 14
Canvas: Plastic
Colours: 12
Video Game: Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas, Fallout 76
 
I had an idea. Or more accurately; I have an idea. For the first time ever, I’m writing this post not only before I’ve completed the cross stitch, but before I’ve even planned it. Yes, you heard that right; at the moment, this is still, just an idea.
 
I was struggling for a new, small project to do before my next big one, and I started looking for inspiration. I’ve actually spoken about where to get cross stitch inspiration before, and I have a journal of half baked ideas. In there, I normally cross out things I’ve completed, but as I read through, sometimes I read the crossed out ones too. And I noticed something. There were lots of mentions of glow-in-the-dark.
 
This wasn’t that shocking to me actually, I’ve stitched a glow-in-the-dark Asassins Creed cross stitch poster and a Bioshock Charge Vigor cross stitch poster, along side writing a whole raft of posts like epic glow-in-the-dark geeky cross stitches and is glow-in-the-dark really here to stay?, but there was one post that stuck in my mind. It was a post I did as a follow up to my column in the XStitch magazine’s Green issue, and I spoke about glow-in-the-dark thread is green.
 
I won’t spoil that post for you if you want to read it, but in short; it doesn’t have to be. But its easier. That makes sense and all, but that got me thinking; what if I wanted a different color?
 
In my mind, when I think glow-in-the-dark, despite all of those posts I’ve written, isn’t cross stitch at all. Its Nuka Cola Quantum, a fake radiocative drink from the Fallout series. And its blue. So far, I’m 9 different supposedly ‘blue’ glow-on-the-dark threads down, but I think I’ve found a solution. I think I’ve found a way to make a Nuka Cola Quantum cross stitch glow, just like the game shows.
 
The trick, is its implimentation. Officially, its a thaumatrope, which is a fancy way of saying a spinning toy. A plate with one image on each side is spun, making it look like the two images are one. Its been used in a few movies and games including Hugo, The Prestige, Sleepy Hollow and Bioshock Infitate. In fact, I referenced that last one in my Bioshock Infinate Heads or Tails cross stitch.
Sleepy Hollow thaumatrope animated gif (Source: reddit)
Sleepy Hollow thaumatrope animated gif (Source: reddit)

The idea of my Nuka Cola keychain is to do a similar effect, where one side is simply cross stitched in blue, and the other side is stitched in blue glow in the dark thread. It then spins on your keys, making it look like the bottle is both glow in the dark, but also gently moving around in the glass bottle. There is also a secondary effect caused by the clear plastic canvas, where you can see the glow in the dark through the blue stitched on the other side too!
 
Finding the blue glow in the dark thread was a lot of pain, but thanks to learning how to use metallic threads I used the same tips to great effect.

Pink Double Hoop Cross Stitch Ring Donut by Lord Libidan

Pink Donut Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Pink Donut Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan
Pink Donut Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Title: Pink Ring Donut
Date Completed: September 2018
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 14
Canvas: Ecru (Double hoop)
Colours: 5
Reference: Donuts
 
After the success of my micro cassette cross stitch keyrings for issue 5 of the Xstitch Mag I didn’t submit anything for issue 6. The reason, was I had an idea for issue 7; a donut.
 
The issue theme was ‘food’ and I had known about this maybe a year in advance, and went through a whole load of ideas, however it wasn’t until I wrote my post on the weird world of cross stitched food that I realised that pink donuts were a MASSIVELY popular cross stitch item. In fact, I took the ideas of Nickel And Grace Studio’s pink donut and combined it with Namaste embroidery’s double hoop idea to come up with something trully unique.
3D donut cross stitch by NickelAndGraceStudio (source: Etsy)
3D donut cross stitch by NickelAndGraceStudio (source: Etsy)

double hoop embroidery by namaste embroidery (source: namastehandembroidery.com)
double hoop embroidery by namaste embroidery (source: namastehandembroidery.com)

If you’re looking for a sweet guide on how to do this yourself, Namaste Emroidery have you covered!

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
Colours: 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 realised, 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 recognisable, 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 realised 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 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 realised 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, its 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, prefering the 80s, and really loved the computer screen part of it. I recon the whole nothing to stitch thing worked.
The Matrix screenshot (Source: are.na)
The Matrix screenshot (Source: are.na)

Anagraph Mass Effect Morality Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Mass Effect Paragon Renegade Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Mass Effect Paragon Renegade Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan
Mass Effect Paragon Renegade Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Title: Red/Blue Mass Effect Paragon & Renegade Cross Stitch
Date Completed: March 2019
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 14
Canvas: White
Colours: 2
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.
Red Blue Stormtrooper Cross Stitch by Tad Tafelsky (Source: flickr)
Red Blue Stormtrooper Cross Stitch by Tad Tafelsky (Source: flickr)

Red Blue Stormtrooper Cross Stitch Close Up by Tad Tafelsky (Source: flickr)
Red Blue Stormtrooper Cross Stitch Close Up by Tad Tafelsky (Source: flickr)

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!
Mass Effect Paragon Renegade Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan
Mass Effect Paragon Renegade Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Animated Running Pikachu Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Animated Pokemon Pikachu Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Animated Pokemon Pikachu Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan
Animated Pokemon Pikachu Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

Title: Pikachu Running Animated Cross Stitch
Date Completed: February & March 2019
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 14
Canvas: White
Colours: 7
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.
Running Pikachu GIF (Source: giphy.com)
Running Pikachu GIF (Source: giphy.com)

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.
Animated Pokemon Pikachu Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan
Animated Pokemon Pikachu Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan

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 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.

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 seperate 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 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.

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.