Patch Previews: Letters and Text

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.

Since I took an updated patch collection photo for the tutorial master page, I thought I’d post some spoilers for new patch designs.

I wanted to make letter “A” patches, in part because many of my identities start with said letter and in part because it’s still common to see “A” associated only or first with asexual in the parlance of LGBTQIA+ initials. Nor did I want to remake the same style of patch in different colours and stripe variations, so, using a few extant patterns and typefaces as inspiration, I experimented with different upper and lower case “A”s:

An assortment of cross stitch patches with wide hand-embroidered borders in rectangluar and square shapes. Patches include various aromantic-spectrum flags in straight and zigzag lines, text patches "aro", "abro", "alloaro" and "aroace", arrow patches, patches with pan/ply hearts atop the allo-aro flag, heart-shaped patches and the A in aro, abro and allo-aro colours.

The challenge lies in making letters that have sections wide enough to fill in with cross-stitched stripes, which is why it’s taken me so long to attempt anything in lower case!

I have work to do in further developing the arovague and (upper case) aromantic “A”s. The arovague one is just a blob (a grey inkblot, perhaps?) instead of a swish, while the aromantic one looks … well, gappy. The abro and allo-aro “A”s, though, ended up nicely readable, and I’m that pleased to have figured out the lower case “a”. The current pattern makes for a very small patch, so I added a border that took forever to sew, but it’s so simple and cute that I don’t care.

(Said border wouldn’t have taken so long if I didn’t need to unpick half of it because I can’t count.)

Since I like my lower-case “a”, I decided it needed to become a text patch. This is still a work in progress, as I haven’t yet trimmed the patch or stitched the border, but it definitely fits my lower-case aromantic aesthetic needs:

A rectangular cross stitch patch in progress, sitting on a blue microfibre blanket. The patch bears the text "aro" in lower-case letters striped in the dark green/light green/white/grey/black of the aromantic pride flag on a yellow background. White untrimmed, unfinished aida frames the patch.

I will add another stitch’s width around (two stitches’ space/blocks between the edge of the design and the edge of the lettering) in the final pattern, but that’s the only change I’ll make to this test piece. Isn’t it cute? I’ve now got a characters with width enough to show the flag’s stripes without reminding me of a digital clock, and that’s a win in my book!

(I will also try harder, in future, to keep from blobbing fabric stiffener onto the top left corner of my patch.)

The next tutorial should include patterns for the five-stripe lower-case “aro” pattern above, the five-stripe upper-case “abro” patch shown in the collection photo, the bordered five-stripe lower-case “a” patch and the five-stripe upper-case jagged “A” patch. I also want to make the bordered “a” design into icons, so while I can’t say that all my experimentation was successful, I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished.

And because I really like how my allo-aro arrow pattern turned out on my new header, I’m going to show it off some more share it here as a transparent image:

A digital sticker, on a transparent background, of an arrow made from rows of coloured crosses, resembling cross stitch. The arrow has a grey triangular arrowhead, a brown shaft and fletching striped in the dark green/light green/white/yellow/gold colours of the allo-aro pride flag. The arrow is surrounded by a thick black outline.

Am I going to do a series of these? Absolutely.

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