August 18, 2010
When Sublime Stitching first announced their Combo Contest, in which participants had to combine three or more Sublime Stitching patterns, I knew I wanted to take part. I spent a good deal of time thinking about what patterns to use and how they could be combined into a coherent picture, but I kept coming up with exactly nothing. I put the idea away and moved on with my life.
But then one day, as I was listening to some Jonathan Coulton, the idea finally came to me. Coulton’s song Skullcrusher Mountain is about an evil villain, talking to his girlfriend (read: a girl who he is keeping captive in his lair). In the second verse, he describes a gift he has so lovingly crafted for her: “I made this half-pony half-monkey monster to please you, but I get the feeling that you don’t like it. What’s with all the screaming? You like monkeys, you like ponies. Maybe you don’t like monsters so much. Maybe I used too many monkeys. Isn’t it enough to know that I ruined a pony making a gift for you?”
Monkeys, ponies… these are things that Sublime Stitching has patterns for (kind of), I thought. I ended up using the Unicorn Believer, Monkey Love, and Craftopia patterns. It took a little while to get the patterns to fit together, but once they did, I was extremely happy with the outcome.
I crayon tinted the fabric so I could just focus on the outlines. I used back stitch, outline stitch, split stitch, and French knots.
August 2, 2010
I knew I wanted to go with a Celtic design of some sort, as my sister-in-law is part Irish, and I spent days poring over design books, many of which spent pages explaining how to design your own Celtic knots. I finally found one that was simple enough to stitch without looking cluttered but complex enough to still have that knotted look.
I stitched this with a dark green outline stitch on a light green background. The dark green really stood out, but I wanted to add a touch of gold to make it look more special. I used a metallic gold thread to whip the stitches. Whipping is when a second color of thread is basically wrapped around the embroidered stitches. The whip stitch is passed under the stitch but not through the fabric, like in the picture above. Always begin on the same side of the stitch so that the second thread looks like it’s wrapping around the first thread.