Title: Nuka Cola Quantum Keychain
Date Completed: July 2019
Design: Lord Libidan
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 Assassins Creed cross stitch poster and a Bioshock Charge Vigor cross stitch poster, alongside 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 radioactive drink from the Fallout series. And it’s 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 implementation. 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. It’s been used in a few movies and games including Hugo, The Prestige, Sleepy Hollow and Bioshock Infinite. In fact, I referenced that last one in my Bioshock Infinite Heads or Tails cross stitch.
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.