A turn to the weird

cropped

Silence of the Lambs quote done in stem stitch

Straight Geek Stitchin’

Here are two pieces I finished today, since I spent my weekend laid up with an injured back.

I wanted to make my husband something that he could put up at work. Since he’s a software engineer, he immediately suggested his favorite programming language:

I took the chance to work on my stem stitch. It’s not my favorite to do, since I feel it’s more time consuming than other lining stitches, but it does give a lovely ropey line, and adds nice texture. Doing this part of the piece inspired me to plan my next one–a spiral rainbow done entirely in stem stitch. I figure, I’ll either have liked the stitch by the time I’m done, or sworn it off forever!

Yes, I know I forgot to dot the “I”. I finished it after the pictures.

Aww, look at the happy programmer, and his happy test driven development friend!

While I was finishing up this one, I thought of another geek piece I could do quickly.

You automatically lose all your geek street cred if you don’t know who he is!

They say couples should share some of their hobbies. Since I have about as much chance of learning Ruby as he does of learning how to embroider, I guess this is a good compromise!

Colorful Mandala

The Wikipedia article on mandalas explains that they are a form of religious art for Hindu and Buddhism, but I’ve always just enjoyed drawing and coloring concentric mandalas like these. There’s something relaxing about filling in the patterned designs that’s great for car rides, college lectures and Sunday afternoons on the couch. In a way, its very similar to embroidery to me, so I think embroidery as a craft lends itself great to creating mandalas.

I started out with a piece of scrap flannel from a baby blanket, a 6 inch hoop, and no plan in mind. After a few failed starts, I realized I needed some kind of grid or pre-drawn circles to work with. I printed out a few sheets of polar graph paper, and traced several circles with an iron transfer pencil. A quick pass of my iron, and I was ready to go. If you wanted, you could do this easily with a compass, and skip the ironing step. I chose to create an iron transfer since they can be re-used several times, and I knew it wouldn’t be the last mandala I made. I only transferred 4 circles, and filled in the rest by hand.

I had not worked with flannel before, but it surprisingly was a very forgiving fabric to embroider. It was heavy but soft to touch, and the stitches stood out beautifully on it. It also did well at hiding mistaken stitch holes. I think several of theses in similar colors would look great hooped and hung on a wall, or stuffed as pillows!

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