Primary Tools & Materials:
NEEDLE & THREAD, DIE CUTTING MACHINE
Additional Tools & Materials: kraft card stock, Silhouette Cameo design software, cardboard, camera
Here's a letter that I thought would be fairly simple to make, but ended up taking me most of the afternoon. I started with a capital S in the typeface Neutra Display Titling - a nice, big chunky sans serif. I set up a grid of several letters in my Silhouette Cameo die cutting software, and sent it to the cutter. I then placed my freshly cut letter onto a scrap piece of cardboard and carefully poked 110 holes around the edge by hand with my sewing needle. I wanted it to have a quirky, imperfect feel, once I began stitching.
I had several ideas for ways to stitch this letter ranging in complexity but ultimately decided on the blanket stitch, using this demo I found on YouTube. It took a few stitches to start, undo, and restart to get my rhythm down and try to duplicate each stitch uniformly. I found the corners - which require three stitches in the same hole - the most difficult to master. I also tried to keep all of my stitches perfectly perpendicular to the edge of the letter, creating some nice starburst groupings on the inside curves of bot the top and bottom of the S.
This letter has the qualities of being both precisely duplicated from a master typeface, but also hand embellished, making it imperfect and irregular. The stitching gives the letterform a sort of floating, textural outline, and the holes give it a degree of transparency or shadow, depending on the light source. I enjoyed making it, though it took over two hours to create those 118 stitches. I think if I were to do it again, I might overlay a different style letter onto the thick sans serif - suggesting differences in stroke width, rather than just decoration.