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Friday, July 10, 2015

Pop Culture Badges

Last year Wendi Gratz of Shiny Happy World started making felt merit badges as a way of keeping track of her monthly goals and achievements.  I thought that was a neat idea, but I knew I'd never have the time to do something like that (plus my monthly achievements would be things like prepping X items for serials inventory, filling out medical forms in triplicate, spending Y minutes navigating a bureaucratic phone tree,  successfully shuttling kids from point A to point B, and so on -- not a lot of fun to embroider).

Making badges with various geeky symbols, on the other hand, would be both fun and more manageable.  First up was the coat of arms for the Raven King, from Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell: argent, raven volant.  I traced the raven image from the book jacket onto water-soluble stabilizer and pinned that onto a piece of cream felt.  I used black thread (Gentle Arts Sampler Thread in Soot) and long-and-short stitch to stitch the raven:
Almost done!
Once I was finished stitching I rinsed the piece in water to remove the stabilizer (and several more times to remove excess black dye that ran) and dried it on a towel:
As I've said before, clear water-soluble stabilizer is a great way to embroider a pattern on felt without having to transfer the markings onto the felt itself, and it allows me to tweak the stitching as I go along without having to worry about exposed permanent marks on the fabric.

The finished badge:

Next up was the deathly hallows symbol from the Harry Potter books:
Another badge of black-on-white embroidery would be boring, so I chose grey and metallic silver thread used together on periwinkle felt.

The third badge has the Stonecutters' symbol from the Simpsons:
Who rigs every Oscar night?
I've been wanting to embroider this symbol ever since I spent a month looking at it last year on my Tapped Out game.

I hope to have a chain of these eventually.  Next up: something from The Lord of the Rings.  Oh, and I have to do Babylon 5.

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