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BlizzCraftsMar 24, 2015 8:00 pm CT

Stay Frosty Stitching turns Warcraft into cross-stitch

Cross stitching, where x-shaped stitches with colored thread are used to embroider designs on fabric, is ideal for modern pixel art, where each stitched X represents a single pixel. It’s no wonder we see so much retro video game cross-stitch — but that doesn’t mean that modern games can’t get the same treatment.

Maateline, who runs the Etsy store Stay Frosty Stitching, designs cross-stitch patterns which you can use to DIY your own Alliance or Horde logo, or “home is where the hearth is” Hearthstone art. We were curious to just what went into creating these patterns, so we caught up with Maateline to ask her about doing Warcraft in cross-stitch.

Blizzard Watch: How did you get started with cross-stitch? How long have you stitching?
Maateline: I started cross stitching more seriously in 2007 when my sister got married and I wanted to give her a unique, handmade gift.  She actually met her husband through WoW and his groom’s cake was the Horde symbol.  We are both big Nintendo fans (and so is her husband!) so I made a Luigi and Daisy in love framed cross stitch.  I had probably been stitching for maybe a year before then, so uh…. that’s nine years!

What got you started with gaming art? And World of Warcraft art?
Pixel art seemed like a prime source for cross stitch ideas.  I really enjoy retro SNES gamine, especially Legend of Zelda and Super Metroid.  As for the WoW art, I’ve been playing since vanilla and once you have two things on your brain, they tend to collide!

blizzcrafts home is where the hearth is
Could you give us a step-by-step on what’s involved in making a cross-stitch pattern?
The most important part is coming up with an idea.  I have an entire file full of little ideas for patterns that I add to anytime I get inspired.  When I’m ready to work on something new, the first thing I do is open up that file and see if anything feels right.  A lot of times I’ll sketch out a general idea on paper for basic layout before even sitting down at my computer.

The cross stitch program I use has a really handy import feature so I can scan a picture sketch directly in.  The most tedious part is the clean-up phase, honestly.  If you’ve ever looked at a scanned image, there are a lot of little faded grey pixels and junk that you need to remove.  Once that’s complete, my favorite bits are adding the little details and then matching the thread colors.  The colors on your monitor aren’t the colors of the thread necessarily so you need to get creative.

How long does it take to go from pattern to finished piece?
I’ve never quite determined if I’m slow or fast, but a piece with about 1500 stitches takes me 8 hours to stitch plus about 30 minutes to mount for framing.

Do you have a favorite of the patterns you’ve made so far (Warcraft or otherwise)?
I have two favorites: one is my “Home is where the hearth is” one… it’s a nice sentiment even for non-WoW players.  My other is the Sheik sprite I designed in the style of Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.  It was featured on the GirlGamers subreddit for a few months when that was LoZ themed, which was really neat!

blizzcrafts horde logo pixel art
What are you working on right now (or next)?
I am working on a few things right now.  An actual cross stitch for my wall that says “Kitties will puke on everything you love”, the pattern for a red stapler piece for a coworker who is a huge Office Space fan, and a Hearthstone logo.

Based on the cross-stitch patterns you have up, I’m making the guess that you play WoW or Warcraft: what do you play?
I am an active World of Warcraft player.  I’m the guild leader of Stay Frosty on US-Duskwood, which is where my shop name comes from.  I’m a founding member of my guild (2007!) and a diehard resto druid since vanilla WoW.  I play mostly adventure type-games on Steam and I like to bust out the ol’ NES, SNES, and N64.

That’s all for this week — but check back next week for another crafty interview! Have Blizzard arts and crafts of your own you’d like to see on Blizzard Watch? Send them our way! Submissions and suggestions should be sent to liz at blizzardwatch dot com.

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