Glow Big or Glow Home

Glow Big or Glow Home

Poor Black Sabbath. They get such a bad rap. The truth is that many of their songs send the exact opposite message than what people think. Don't believe me? Check out the lyrics to After Forever!  To that end, I have stitched up a nice, pious cross logo to remind people how wholesome Sabbath is.

On the other hand, by his own admission Ozzy Osbourne is the Prince of Darkness. So flip out the lights, and this piece will remind you that no matter how good you are during the day, nighttime is the time to RAWK! \m/

The long game - why so much white?

This pattern has about 21,000 stitches - over 13,000 of which are white. This is a whole lot of setup for the glow-in-the-dark payoff, but the effect is worth it! It's like a magic trick. The illusionist puts in a lot of time to create and execute a trick, but the look on the face of the observer makes it all worthwhile.

My original idea did not include the bat wings, so I stitched v1.0 on white aida. Once I started working on the background I realized that it didn't "pop" the way I liked it. After much fuming (and maybe some cursing), I scrapped the original and started all over again on blue fabric. That makes my long setup even longer, but such are the pains of a designer. I go through all this so you don't have to!

Quid Pro Glow

There are also 5000 glow-in-the-dark stitches done with DMC Light effects E940. Phosphorescent floss is different from your standard threads in that it's made of synthetic polymers rather than cotton or silk. These plastic threads are much stretchier than cotton thread, so you have to pull them tighter to maintain the tension. Unfortunately, this often pulls at the edges of the holes, and makes them more apparent.


E940 looks white by itself, but it is not actually as white as DMC Blanc thread. When you embed large blocks of it in a field of white cotton stitches, you can see a slight variation due to the differences in both color and material which somewhat gives away the final glow-in-the-dark result. Hopefully, your average non-stitcher won't even notice it. If your finished piece is framed under glass, it further camouflages the difference.

Most importantly, since the fibers of E940 are plastic, DO NOT IRON THEM, or they will melt. For this piece, I stitched all the cotton stitches first (all 16,000 of them). I washed and ironed it, and then put it back on a Q-snap frame stretched nice and tight, and stitched the rest. I debated re-ironing the unstitched borders (being careful not to touch the glow-in-the-dark edges with the iron), but fortunately, the process of stretching and mounting the finished piece meant there were no wrinkles or creases to be seen. I think you'll agree that once it was stretched and mounted, it looks pretty awesome!

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