Let Your Geek Show Through Embroidery

Craft & Design
Let Your Geek Show Through Embroidery
An idea I borrowed from The Hudsucker Proxy: You Know, For Kids. Photo: Jenny Williams
An idea I borrowed from The Hudsucker Proxy: You Know, For Kids. (All photos by Jenny Williams)

Long gone are the days when embroidery and cross stitch meant only “country” style creations, or samplers, or kits from the craft store. We geeks have made our own niche within the fiber arts community, and our interests in all things geek have melded into new art forms. (See: Jayne hats for a prime example. For those unfamiliar, Jayne Cobb is a rough and tough member of the crew of Serenity, the ship on the show Firefly. One of many free hat patterns online is here.) Since every craft item is unique, crafting lends itself very well to customization.

I am not immune to the charms of these activities, and have gotten many of my ideas from other geeky stitchers online. My favorite resulting project was some Dr. Horrible blackwork. But you are only limited to your imagination. Freeform embroidery lends itself very well to original work. Anything you can draw (or trace) can be a finished embroidered work. Mario, microscopes, molecules, manatees, and any other geeky M — or non-M — concepts are fair game.

Math Geeks

One idea I came up with was a Golden Rectangle cross stitch. I am a math geek, and adore Donald in Mathmagic Land. It always reminds me about the Golden Ratio (along with conic sections and billiards), which recently inspired me to buy some gold embroidery thread and make a cross stitch of the Golden Rectangle with proper proportions.

The golden ratio made into cross stitch. Photo: Jenny Williams
The Golden Ratio made into cross stitch.

Doctor Who Geeks

I have also discovered a website that translates English words into Gallifreyan. (See: Doctor Who.) Gallifreyan is a beautiful and geometric visual language, and my mind instantly went to, “That would look beautiful embroidered.” The longer and more complicated the sentence or phrase that you want to translate, the more complicated the image. For those of you fluent in Gallifreyan, here is a good example of an image worth embroidering. Hover over the image for the translation.

What does this say in Gallifreyan? Made with a program from learngallifreyan.com

Star Trek Geeks

A very good friend of mine, Jules Sherred, recently got married. The Star Trek-themed wedding included favors that went along with the theme. Jules cross-stitched communicator badges and other symbols from the show. Those patterns are from a book called Star Trek Cross-Stitch: Explore Strange New Worlds of Crafting.

Jules's Star Trek cross stitch. Favors from the wedding. Photo: Jenny Williams
Jules’ Star Trek cross stitch — favors from the wedding.

If you need more inspiration, a Google search for “geeky embroidery” gives no end of ideas.

What geeky projects are you working on this summer?

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Jenny Bristol is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.

View more articles by Jenny Williams


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