Pride Patch Tutorial: Aro Text, Part Two

Six digitally-created versions of cross stitch pride patches, arranged in two rows of three, against a background of a textured partially-translucent aromantic pride flag. Text between the two rows reads Aro Pride Patches in black type. Patches include a rectangular patch in aroflux zigzag stripes, an idemromantic heart, an aro flag text patch reading "aro", a square in quoiromantic stripes, an arrow design in allo-aro colours and a second arrow in nebularomantic colours.

Part two provides the patterns for four and five-stripe “aroace” text patch designs and a four-stripe “aro” design.

Five cross-stitched patches sitting on a blue microfibre blanket. Each are a rectangle bearing text stitched in the flag coloured stripes against a solid-coloured background and a matching embroidered border. From top to bottom" "abro" in abro colours and block capitals with a dark purple background; "aro" in green/white aro flag colours and lower case letters with a yellow/gold background; "aro" in green/white aro flag colours and block capitals with a light green background; "alloaro" in yellow/gold allo-aro flag colours and block capitals with a mint background; and "aroace" in yellow/brown angled aro-ace block capitals with an olive background.

For a complete guide to the stitching process, please see part one, where I’ve posted step-by-step instructions with my “aro” patch as an example. Other than factoring in differing sizes of aida swatches and floss colours, there is no change in the sewing process. All patterns can be similarly modified in terms of letter spacing, use of quarter stitches and layout.

As a bonus, I’ve also provided four and five stripe “ace” patterns!

Aro Patch Patterns

The four-stripe “aro” pattern is a rectangle 35 stitches wide and 16 stitches high. Assuming a three stitch border, as for my other patches, this means you’ll want a 38 x 19 block swatch plus any excess (if used unmodified).

Cross stitch pattern with the text aro in block lettering, striped in the colours of the old green/yellow/orange/black aro flag, on a mint background.The five-stripe “aro” pattern is a rectangle 26 stitches wide and 14 stitches high. Assuming a three stitch border, as for my other patches, this means you’ll want a 29 x 17 block swatch plus any excess (if used unmodified).

Cross stitch pattern with the text aro in block lettering, striped in the colours of the blue/turquoise/white/light green/dark green non-SAM aro flag, on a mustard background.This version is a little smaller than my previous pattern, and I include it here for ease of counting.

Aro-Ace Patch Patterns

The four-stripe “aroace” pattern is a rectangle 68 stitches wide and 16 stitches high. Assuming a three stitch border, as for my other patches, this means you’ll want a 71 x 19 block swatch plus any excess (if used unmodified).

Cross stitch pattern with the text aroace in block lettering, striped in the colours of the navy/blue/white/teal oriented aroace flag, on a light pink background.(See below for a version with a more squared-off “C” shape.)

The five-stripe “aroace” pattern is a rectangle 50 stitches wide and 14 stitches high. Assuming a three stitch border, as for my other patches, this means you’ll want a 53 x 17 block swatch plus any excess (if used unmodified).

Cross stitch pattern with the text aroace in block lettering, striped in the colours of the orange/yellow/white/blue/navy aroace flag, on a light blue-grey background.

Ace Patch Patterns

The four-stripe “ace” pattern is a rectangle 35 stitches wide and 16 stitches high. Assuming a three stitch border, as for my other patches, this means you’ll want a 38 x 19 block swatch plus any excess (if used unmodified).

Cross stitch pattern with the text ace in block lettering, striped in the colours of the black/grey/white/purple ace flag, on a violet background.(If you prefer the more-rounded C shape, please use the four-stripe aro-ace pattern above.)

The five-stripe “ace” pattern is a rectangle 26 stitches wide and 14 stitches high. Assuming a three stitch border, as for my other patches, this means you’ll want a 29 x 17 block swatch plus any excess (if used unmodified).

Cross stitch pattern with the text ace in block lettering, striped in the colours of the purple/grey/white/grey/purple greysexual/grey asexual flag, on an aqua background.

Examples and Process

I stitched both aro-ace patches: the four-stripe version with a two block border (I miscounted when I cut the aida!) in oriented aro-ace colours and the five-stripe version with a three-block border in angled aro-ace colours.

I find it easiest to sew my stripes by colour, not letter:

A swatch of white aida sitting on a blue microfibre blanket. Six sections of navy, blue and white cross stitch, spaced two blocks apart, have been sewn over three rows per stripe near the swatch's top. This forms the top three quarters of the letters AROACE. A final stripe in teal is three stitches sewn-in on the first A.

The swatch of aida above, a panel cut from Sullivans’ 14-count pre-packaged aida, was large enough for both patches, with a section of cut-off remaining for another small square patch. I do find it easier to stitch with small pieces of this fabric, however: while I like the stiffness for patches, the roughness frequently snags the floss. Less fabric to catch the thread, as most of my patches are too small for a frame or hoop, reduces this annoyance.

(Not using the absurd length of floss shown above will also help. Thread length is my long failing as a sewist!)

I then fill in the background, leaving gaps anywhere I mean to place a diagonal border stitch (especially at corners):

A swatch of white aida sitting on a blue microfibre blanket. The text AROACE in block letters has been cross stitched onto the fabric in navy, blue, white and teal stripes. Pink cross stitch is starting to fill in the gaps between and inside the letters, leaving blank crosses in the corners for later backstitching.

A swatch of white aida sitting on a blue microfibre blanket. The text AROACE in block letters has been cross stitched onto the fabric in gold-yellow, yellow, lemon, beige and brown stripes. Olive cross stitch fills in the gaps between and inside the letters, leaving blank crosses in the corners for later backstitching. I then sew in the back stitch outline, trim the aida and buttonhole stitch the edging.

My finished patches look like this:

Two cross-stitched patches sitting on a blue microfibre blanket. Both read the text "aroace" in blockish letters, but the first has wider letters comprised of four horizontal stripes while the lower has narrower letters comprised of five horizontal stripes. Top patch is sewn in oriented aro-ace pride colours--navy, blue, white and teal--on a light pink background with a darker pink border. Bottom patch is sewn in angled aro-ace pride colours - gold-yellow, yellow, lemon, beige and brown--on an olive backgrond with a darker olive border.

I should mention that the oriented aro-ace patch is a good example of why you may wish to avoid dollar-shop and eBay-knock-off floss (if your budget allows). The thread used for the oriented aro-ace lettering and background is acceptable, but the pink for the edging feathered and split, snagging on the cloth and my fingers, and couldn’t pull flush to form a neat, even line. (Instead, I ended up cursed by lumps and bobbles. Not as pretty!) The edging on the angled aro-ace patch came from the same floss set, but it looks as well as my patches sewn with DMC floss. There’s just no consistency in thread quality!

Pattern Development and Variations

Because I created new letter designs for both aro-ace patches, I roughed ideas out on graph paper before test-sewing them on aida scraps:

An open graph-paper ntoebook sitting on a blue microfibre blanket. The pages are filled with various designs of the letters A, E, C, R and O, created by writing small crosses inside the graph-paper blocks. Scraps of aida test-stitched with the same letters sit atop the book's page, along with the borderless oriented aro-ace and angled aro-ace patch designs shown in previous photos.

Working this way, with one or two letters sewn on scraps too small for any other use (with left-over oddments of floss) is good from a recycling and economy perspective. The drawback to thriftiness is the inability to truly see how the letters look when put together. I’m happy with the five-stripe aro-ace pattern, but only after finishing the four-stripe patch did I realise that my “C” is far too rounded when compared to the other blockish letters.

I like the shape as its own letter, but it’s distractingly different when used as part of the word “aroace”.

So I reworked the pattern for a more squared-off “C”:

Cross stitch pattern with the text aroace in block lettering, striped in the colours of the navy/blue/white/teal oriented aroace flag, on a light pink background.I haven’t yet had the time to stitch up this version of the patch, so it’s possible that I’ll be posting another version after doing so. In the meantime, I hope it provides you with an alternative or a base for your own modifications.

I am planning to create a seven-stripe pattern for “aro” and “aroace” text patch designs, because I’d like as many folks underneath the aromantic umbrella as possible to have the option for a text patch in the colours of their pride. (I’m wanting a nebularomantic-coloured “aro” patch!) I’m also working on developing my aro-themed arrow designs, which I hope to share in future installments of this series.

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