I’ll start by saying I’m fine and I don’t ride motorcycles.
After I finished the cross stitch for Dad’s birthday, I shared a photo of him with it on facebook.
Within a day I got a message from a fellow photographer. He works at U of Michigan and I know him from the UPAA. “Can I commission you to do a cross stitch of my first motorcycle?” He went on to say (accurately, I think) that it might be kind of weird but he likes the idea of it. I did too.
I asked him to send me photos of the bike and I got to work. I came up with a few design ideas but landed on this one;
I found a line drawing of apple blossoms online. They are the state flower of Michigan. Then I put the bike over the flowers, and used a filter on the bike to take away some of the intricate details. I brought the whole design into an online cross-stitch pattern maker program and worked for a long while cleaning it up (the program adds colored dots where there are none, and includes many shades of one color when really only one would suffice).
I printed it out, got to work. I cross stitched the bike itself, then used a tracing technique to then paint the blue background. Once that was done, I drew faint black lines then I embroidered over those lines to make the flowers.
Then there was a problem. Part of it looked weird. And once I saw what looked weird, I couldn’t UN-see it. I mentioned it to Libby and she was like “yeah, I see it”
But did she see it because I pointed it out or because it’s obvious?…
I sent a photo to a group of friends- some of whom I am closer to than others – and asked a more vague question “Do you see anything wrong or off about this?”
Amanda immediately chimed in “I see testicles!”
“I didn’t want to be the first one to say it” another said.
“Well, I know Cydney well enough to say it!” Amanda quipped accurately.
OK I actually saw boobs, but now that the problem invites either to the imagination it definitely needs fixing.
There were two challenges once I removed the black embroidery thread from beneath the motorcycle.
- There were faint black lines made as a guide for the thread I’d just removed, and there was no removing those marks. So I was forced to work with them.
- The line drawing of the flowers was not made with my artistic “hand”, so I couldn’t replicate it and every time I tried it looked wrong.
I photocopied the piece a billion times and works on it with pencil on paper. Every time I thought I’d had it right I would draw over in marker and realize it still didn’t work. I went through a lot of paper and got very angry.
I slept on it.
Within the next few days I figured it out. I would need to paint over some of the black lines. I was still constrained by the reaming black guide lines that were there, but it was less of a problem and I did figure it out.
After that finishing up was easy breezy!
I hope he likes it!