Alaina Varrone, aka SpidersPaw, is an embroidery artist unlike any you’ve seen before. The self-taught Connecticut native has a style all her own, and it’s far more T and A, than flowers and bunny rabbits.
Though her work does feature a lot of big bums and plunging cleavage, it’s more than just provocative. The detail, vivid characters, skillful execution, and acute sense of humor mean Varrone’s pieces do more than titillate. They scintillate.
Born to a self-proclaimed “family of weirdos and storytellers,” Varrone draws much of her inspiration from history’s oddities and eccentric characters, and she uses embroidery as a means to explore that inspiration.
Though some pieces are on the tamer side, featuring girls in bikinis and rear-ends galore, other’s are not quite so PG. Varrone’s creations are, in some cases, incredibly graphic, but due to the artistry involved, they are perhaps less pornographic and more beautiful. It is amazing how much feeling can be expressed with a simple needle and thread.
If you love Harry Potter, you’ll love this free embroidery pattern and tutorial from Beverly at Flamingo Toes! You can solemnly (or otherwise) be up to no good and make your own 8″ hoop art piece. Beverly gives step-by-step instructions and photos, and she even talks you through distressing the final piece so it looks aged, just like that Marauder’s Map!
Do you need a little help learning the Backstitch for this fun pattern? Check out my friend, Kristen, at Hey Paul Studios and her awesome video! Plus, she’s got great tips on picking fabrics, thread, and even hoops.
More Links of Interest:
This year, don’t just let your geek flag fly. Hand embroider that geek flag with your favorite quote or character.
If you enjoy the Dresden Files, you’ll love this free hand embroidery pattern designed by Jennifer from Sew Hooked. Check out her blog and Craftsy store for more original pattern designs.
I’m totally Sher-locked myself, so this next free hand embroidery pattern by Jordan F (username: dozmuffinxc), as found on FandomStiches.com is something I’m definitely going to try.
The only thing is, I look at these fun patterns and can’t help but wonder, how do you make a quote or line drawing into an embroidery pattern. I did a little digging and found this awesome tutorial on making your own hand embroidery design from Angel and Amy on their blog Tada! Creations.
And then I found another tutorial on color tinting your embroidery using crayons and an iron. The technique is so easy, but the impact of the final product packs a real wallop. I found this tutorial on Urban Threads, and it’s got great step-by-step instructions with pictures.
Links of Interest
Wow. Just…wow. This embroidered tribute to Ray Harryhausen (who passed away earlier this year at the age of 92) was posted to our Geek Crafts Flickr Pool awhile ago, and it blew me away! It was stitched completely in redwork by the awesome Ellen Schinderman. Ray Harryhausen was a special effects artist specializing in stop motion animation and movie monsters. If you’re into horror or sci-fi movies at all, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen at least one of the movies he worked on, like Clash of the Titans (1981) or Jason and the Argonauts (1963). One of my favourites was The Valley of Gwangi (1969) because (of course) it was about a dinosaur!
Who knew fungi could be so pretty? Besides Carolyn, I mean. She’s a PhD student and these “furry friends” are actual fungi that’s she’s studying in the lab. She was so smitten with them that she decided to stitch them up as a decoration for her desk. I love it! You should definitely check out her blog, Allspice Abounds, for a more detailed explanation of this piece and some great close-up shots of the stitches.
And for all you 90s nerds out there, see if you can spot the Wayne’s World reference in her post.
Mmmm…toasty braaiiinss! Check out this amazing zombie embroidery by Flickr user Darizard! It’s the perfect combination of cute and creepy. And believe it or not, this was only her first try at embroidery!