The Last Stitch

Shoujo Quilt Squares - Clover
[Cross-stitch] [Anime] [Geometry]

Size: 77W x 77H
Backing: Aida Cloth, 14-gauge
Finished Size: 7.5" x 7.5"
Time Frame: days

[Skip to Pattern]

Colors Used: (DMC embroidery floss)
Clover leaves: forest green (fill), leaf green (367) (outline)
Borders: dk. brown (3031), lt. pink (951), med. grey (646) (outline)
Lettering: lt. pink (951), silver metallic (blended)

Manga image
Font: Runic MT Condensed (modified)

Clover Square

[Click for larger image]


Following the Fushigi Yuugi set of squares, I decided to do another "quilt square"-inspired piece, this time with some very different features. Instead of the open, minimalist approach I'd used previously, I wanted something very dense and layered, covering almost the entire canvas, if possible. For subject matter, I also wanted to go for something very different from Fushigi, and so chose Clover, a short anthology filled with wonder and woe.

Clover's stories focus on a very small cast of characters, who instead of being marked with celestial kanji-birthmarks, have been literally branded with designations of their usefulness to the government. Those life-defining brands take the form of stylized clover blossoms sporting a rank and a bar code. Recreating those multi-leaved flowers was awfully hard, but I started with a defined size and a notion of symmetry, and tooled around on the computer until I came up with curves that felt right.

Juxtaposing rigid symmetry and conformism to those smoothly flowing lines turned out to be a snap, with a switch to tent stitches, which can be worked in opposing directions as shown. Tent stitch on canvas meant for cross-stitch tends to produce visible gaps between rows of stitches, which was exactly the sort of jarring look I was going for. Also, since I wanted to keep that cyberpunk sense of barcoded humans, I picked a font for the names that looked very much like parallel vertical lines and tweaked it to fit my clovers.

You'd think that after putting so much effort into the clovers and lettering, I'd go simple for the borders. In truth, I started off with a plan to do simple geometric borders with thin blocks of outlined color, which is reflected in the pattern. However, as is often the case with me, once I started stitching, I changed my mind and went a bit nuts, playing around with contrasting colors and interlocking stitches (a horizontally-worked herringbone stitch, in case anyone's wondering). I find the finished piece to be rather striking personally, although it may not match some people's aesthetic sensibilities.

  • MS Excel file (6K to 53K) [Win/Office2000 version, compressed]
  • Text file (24K) [Numbers-as-colors version]
  • Printer-friendly GIF Image files (~25K each, 8.75" x 8.5" size):
    Key | 1 (Suu / 4-leaf) | 2 (Oruha / 1-leaf) | 3 (Lan / 3-leaf) | 4 (Gingetsu / 2-leaf)
Previous: Shoujo Quilt Squares - Fushigi Yuugi Next: Whitework Chessboard

Go to Top of Page Return to Main Go to Site Index