Posts Tagged ‘geek’

Tutorial – Embroidered Pillow With Real Headphones

superdatti_on_couch

You know what’s cuter than an adorable embroidered headphone pillow? One with real headphones inside! Yup, that chic embroidery is hiding an even cooler secret… you can use this pillow to listen to music, podcasts and audio books while lying down. Want to know how? Get the tutorial on how to stitch the headphones into a pillow here, and then get the quick embroidered pillow cover tutorial here, all over on Look What I Made! 

Easy Tutorials For A Handmade Christmas

Looking to whip up some handmade gifts this holiday season? Why not try one of these easy projects! Click on each image to go to the tutorial or use the link provided in each description.

Free gingerbread men design!

Make some adorable in the hoop gingerbread ornaments. Delicious looking and calorie free!

Norton's Hoodie

We shouldn’t forget about our furred friends this Christmas. Make your little furball a stylish dog hoodie from scratch.

Naughty or Nice?

Don’t have a stocking to fit your goodies? Maybe you’ve been a little naughty this year and you’re not expecting much. It doesn’t matter, with this furry naughty stocking your mantle can look good even if all you get is coal!

Upcycled sweater boots

Got tons of old sweaters lying around in your closet and can’t bring yourself to throw them away? Upcycle them into these super cute sweater boots to keep someone’s feet cozy this winter.

Feeling Toasty rice warming bag

Not cozy enough? How about this huggable heat pack that’s super “toasty”. It’s reheatable and easy to make by filling with rice! It also includes a super cute printable gift tag complete with instructions on how to use it.

Tired of hanging your candy canes up the old fashioned way? Why not make an adorable monster to nom on them for you and keep them safe. Yup, they’re super safe with him, I promise.

Do you know someone who’s always chilly around the house, wrapped in a blanket? Make their life a little easier with this super cute and stylish cozy winter wrap, which will let them cozy up but still use their arms!

Keyboard Cat

If you have a nerd or geek in your life who’s desk is in serious need of personality, make them this totally adorkable keyboard cat wrist rest! He’s like longcat’s nerdy cousin or something.

Finally, brighten up your tree with this lovely little Dala horse ornament, or give one to someone special! Handmade ornaments are a great gift and a fantastic memento from year to year.

You ready for the holiday season? Get your handmade Christmas going with one of these easy tutorials, or check out our whole tutorials section for tons of ideas!

Machine Embroidered Viral Doilies

Now, when I say “viral” here I don’t mean it in the way that overconfident marketing execs mean it, though these things could go viral all on their own and that would be pretty meta.

No, these awesome machine embroidered doilies are viral in as such that they are designs from artist Laura Splan based on viral structures such as SARS, HIV, Influenza, etc.

From Laura’s website-

Doilies is a series of computerized machine embroidered doilies. The design of each doily is based on a different viral structure. The lace doily has traditionally referenced designs and motifs from nature. Furthermore, these decorative objects would be heirlooms, handed down from one generation to the next. The work explores the “domestication” of microbial and biomedical imagery. Many recent events, epidemics, and commercial products have brought this imagery into our living rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms. Bio-terrorism, SARS, and antibacterial soaps alike have all heightened our awareness of the microbial world. Doilies serve as a metaphor for the way we have adapted our everyday lives to these now everyday concerns. Here domestic artifacts and heirlooms manifest the psychological heredity of our cultural anxieties.

It’s interesting how much these remind me of these designs that are used used for tissue repair after surgery. Maybe there’s just something in the nature of the circular, organic shape? However one is designed to repair, and these, as the viral design would imply, would do the exact opposite.

You can see more of this project and more designs over on Laura’s website.

via Explore

Free Halloween Printable!

Happy October everyone!

We just LOVE Halloween around here, so much so that we can’t help but get a little involved in Halloween crafts that may or may not have anything to do with embroidery. In fact one of our artists Taylor, who drew this Lil’ Death embroidery design, loved him so much he brought him to life! Or… er, death. Either way.

And now he’s yours for FREE!

That’s right, just click here to grab your free downloadable pdf of your little death printable doll. It includes two pages to print your little harbinger of doom, and two pages of easy to follow assembly instructions.

All you need is a sharp knife, some cardstock, and a glue stick, and you too can have a little death to cheerfully greet all your coworkers or friends this spooky season.

Love the printable? You’ll probably love the original design, and lucky for you he’s on sale as part of our Autumn Chill event for only $1.31, now through this Sunday. Grab your embroidered death right here at a discount, and then grab your FREE printable death right here!

Happy haunting everyone, and happy October from all of us at Urban Threads.

Featured Project – The Darkheart Duckie Project

I had been gleefully watching this project as each duckie was slowly uploaded to our flickr group, and I was just waiting to pounce on our talented stitcher Chris so I could get her to share her amazing finished quilt with us once it was ready.

Well, the deadline for the quilt was fast approaching, and Chris got it done! We now have 6 delightfully hand-stitched duckies from our Daring Duckies collection made into one geektastic quilt. This amazing creation goes to one lucky little tyke, which is a fantastic and nerdy way to welcome a kid into the world. Chris joins us today to talk about all the work that went into this quilt and where it all began…

What started this project?

A friend becoming pregnant. I had already told her that when she did get pregnant, her sproglet would have one very cool baby quilt.

Did the embroidery inspire the quilt or was the quilt the catalyst for starting the embroidery?

The first! I was very taken by many of the Urban Thread designs, and a quilt is a good way to get multiple designs into one piece.


This looks like an impressive undertaking! How long did it take to embroider it all?

Somewhere in the neighborhood of 700 something hours. Around 80 hours per duckie, not counting the pantographs and bias tape borders. I took plenty of time with it, as I started in April and didn’t finish up until the end of September. Putting the quilt together went quite quickly in comparison. It probably wouldn’t be done yet if I hadn’t been up against the definite deadline of pregnancy.

Talk us through the embroidery… What make you pick the ducks? Which of the duckie designs did you decide to use?

Initially, I had planned to do a skully quilt, however, I took another look before picking out skullies and saw Zombie Duckie, which sealed the decision to go with duckies. My friend is all about zombies, she loves them and I had already made her a zombie pillow. So, duckies it was going to be.

The Duckies I chose: Punk Duckie, Zombie Duckie, Robot Duckie, Vampire Duckie, Nerd Duckie, Pirate Duckie, Devil Duckie and Ninja Duckie.

Punk Duckie provided a nice opportunity to deal with the knotty pink/blue problem by combining them both in one Duckie.

Zombie Duckie was sheer fun to do and I added some touches which tied it into the pillow I had made for my friend. We both share a love of Futurama, so I downloaded the official Alienese font and used it to say “Zombie Loves You!” Zombie Duckie also ended up with changes due to my not getting enough of the purple thread for the shirt, which resulted in a rather large hole in the shirtsleeve. I liked the end result, but that was not planned at all.

Robot Duckie quickly became Bender’s Duckie, due to Futurama love. I wanted a touch of color and DMC had come out with fluorescent light effects floss, which I used for the eyes and antenna ends. I used pink fluorescent to do “Bender’s Duckie.” One strand worked best when working with the light effects floss, it’s easier to manage and flattens out quite thick.

Vampire Duckie felt like it took forever, but I had a lot of fun with it. Rather than go with Maître d’ look popularized by Bela Lugosi, I went with a richer look for the clothes. I wanted a vest which resembled brocade. I think I managed that, but it felt like that vest was never going to end. Everything else was a piece of cake in comparison. A little bit of blood on the fangs was added to counter the cheerful expression and because, well, it’s a vampire – there must be blood somewhere.

Nerd Duckie was next and that one saw considerable change. I tire of the default geek = male, so I decided to make Nerd Duckie decidedly female because there are a lot of us glasses wearing geek women out there.

This gave me the opportunity to use variegated floss for the hair. I also used a subtle variegated floss for the shirt, DMC’s Color Variations Glistening Pearl. I chose red for the glasses frames because that’s my personal favorite color for frames.

Next was Pirate Duckie. I decided to add a pirate shirt and a tentacle had to make its way in there somehow, being as we’re both cephalopod lovers too. After giving it some thought, I decided to go with the classic black on Ninja Duckie.

This also simplified it considerably for me, because I had a lot of shading planned for the gray version. This was for a couple of reasons – the black is not only classic, but it’s more vivid and striking and I was running out of time at this point, so simpler made things go faster. Devil Duckie was fairly quick stitching, using two shades of red. I added quite a bit of shading for variation.

What kinds of embroidery techniques and stitches did you use to bring the ducks to life?

The fabric I was using is a lightweight cotton, so once the duckies were drawn on the fabric, I drew an outline of the duckie on a permanent iron-on stabilizer, cut it out and applied it. Then, two layers of tearaway stabilizer were ironed on. I went with split stitch for the bulk of the embroidery, it’s a rapid stitch and is very durable and stands up well to washing.

There’s also a liberal amount of outline stitch and satin stitch throughout the Duckies. In Pirate Duckie, there’s padded satin stitch (for the shirt ruffles) and running stitch in the tentacle. I used 3 strands of floss for all the duckies except Ninja Duckie, where I used 6 strands, as black floss has a tendency to stitch thin. Each duckie needed a pantograph to secure it to the batting (I used Warm & Natural needled cotton) and I did something different for each one, using glazed cotton quilting thread.

Any challenges along the way? What advice would you give someone trying to create something like this?

Plenty of them, most all of them due to oversight on my part, such as not getting enough floss for Zombie Duckie. When I first started Nerd Duckie’s hair, I went with Turkey stitch. I did a rather large section. Once I cut the thread, I hated how it looked. It’s an absolute nightmare, removing cut Turkey stitch! Don’t use it unless you’re absolutely sure it’s what you want to do. This goes for any stitch you aren’t sure of – it pays to have a piece of fabric hooped for experimental purposes.

I also forgot to pre wash the fabric on several duckies (always pre-wash!), which left me with upsetting tensioning problems when finished. Thankfully, that turned out not to be a massive problem once I did the pantographs. Doing a project like this can be a lot of fun and that’s the key – choose something which truly delights you, something which you can add your own touches to and something you won’t get bored doing.

What’s your next project going to be?

There’s a La Calavera Catrina sculpture, a museum piece, which I want to translate to embroidery on canvas and two Urban Threads trees (Natura and Skeleton tree) which I want to do on canvas (stretched and barred, extra heavy artist’s canvas). Then, a Skully quilt! This time, an adult-sized quilt, single size for a futon, somewhere in the neighborhood of 42″ x 72″. I think.

Thanks again Chris for sharing this amazing hand embroidered creation. I love how each duckie came to life in their own unique way, and what an amazing quilt they make! I cannot wait to see your next creations.

Do you want to have your project featured on StitchPunk? Drop us a line at blog@urbanthreads.com or upload your Urban Threads stuff to our flickr group!

Bits & Bytes of Embroidery

I have to say I don’t know much about the Bits & Bytes project from this Behance Gallery, but I DO know I really really love that embroidered circuitry. The fabrics and other pieces from the collection are really just stunning. Hand stitches, machine stitches, digital printing, it’s all just amazing. I wish there was more info!

If you’re like me and want to stare at it even without knowing what it’s all about, check out the project from Lene Schendler on Behance.

UT Tutorial – Embroidered Paper Book Cover

Hand embroiderers, this one is for you! Learn how to dress up the tried and true paper bag book cover with some paint and some awesome embroidery. It’s a great project to try if you’ve never ventured into embroidery before, and it’s fantastic for all those back-to-school books. We promise, stitching on paper is easy and fun.

Get the tutorial here.