March 12, 2010
One of the big things that has gotten me so enthusiastic about embroidery is the needlework groups I’ve found on Flickr. I like the setup of Flickr for these communities better than discussion boards because it’s built around the image – the thing you’ve made – rather than the words. Ask a question and you’ll get answers, but I’ve found that the best way to learn this art is to pay attention to what other people are doing, and their pictures are a perfect way to do this.
My favorite group right now is Phat Quarter, which is the Flickr pool for readers of Mr X Stitch. The people posting in this group are just my kind of people – they’ve all put their own modern spin on embroidery, and I love almost every piece that gets posted. So last month, when the details for a Comic/Cartoon-themed swap were announced in the Phat Quarter group, I signed up before I could realize that I didn’t know the first thing about swaps.
No worries – swaps are just what they sound like. You make something and put it in the mail to someone else. You get something else in return. Easy. I ended up mailing this Tick piece off to Giddy Girlie, who herself makes amazing pop culture pieces (not just embroidery, but paintings and more!). The piece I got just came in and I’ll post about it soon.
Why the Tick? It was one of my favorite cartoons when I was a kid. I think it was on when I was in middle school, and I used to quote it daily (I still quote it, just not that often). My favorite line is “Today is my birthday – I think I’ll celebrate by inventing agriculture.” The live-action show that was on later was short-lived but fantastic – you can watch it on Hulu. There are just so many amazing moments, and I went with the iconic moment when the Tick chooses his battle cry – Spoon!
For this piece, which is about 5×7, I used crayons to tint the fabric, then used satin stitch and my own weird version of outline stitch* (there are a few stray straight stitches and French knots in there too). I’m really happy how he turned out, and I’m feeling like I might need to make another one just for me.
*I say my own version of outline stitch because I kind of figured out how to do it on my own and it’s more of a back stitch than the real thing.