The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge – Erin McMom


The Cutting & Stitching Edge | Contemporary Embroidered Art from Mr X Stitch

Over on YouTube, Erin McMom is a cross stitch artist who’s doing some really clever stuff. Go grab a drink, make yourself comfortable and enjoy Erin’s video for the OK Go song “Before The Earth Was Round

I came up with the idea to create a 3D globe while I was out for a run sometime in June. I had just finished my previous project and had no idea what I was going to do next. I was listening to my iPod when the OK Go song “Before The Earth Was Round” came on, and I knew I had to try a 3D globe to turn the concept of the song into a cross stitch. I printed out a template for a paper globe and sketched it onto the aida cloth with a pencil that very same evening. I thought it would take me about 3 months to complete (a gross underestimation).

“Early into the planning stages I decided I wanted to find a way to incorporate the song lyrics into my time-lapse video as a nod to the band, as an element of interest, and as an extra creative challenge for me. I decided that using the floss to write a word each time I started a new strand would be the most interesting way to do it.

Toronto Confetti Skyline

“I planned out the lyrics by listening to the song and writing out all the lyrics into a notebook. I aimed to have one photo for each word in the song but broke some words down phonetically to keep the video moving. I also counted out any pauses between lyrics in the song. I marked these breaks with dashes (one dash representing each photo during the pause) generally 3-4 photos per second during pauses. Truth-be-told, I kind of rushed through the planning process because I was so excited to get to work. As a result, there are times where I miscalculated the amount of photos needed for some sections which caused variations in the speed of progress during the video, although looking back on it now, I think the variation makes the video more interesting.

“There’s even an entire section that I forgot to spell out in thread, so I created a work-around after finishing the entire project and fit it into the video (I’m actually in love with that section and I’m glad it worked out that way!) It’s a wonder this worked out at all, let alone working as well as it did! In total the video is comprised of over 700 still photos and took me over 1200 stitching hours to complete (I lost track).

“This is my second OK Go cross stitch video, they are my favourite band and I’m really hoping they’ll see this video eventually.

OK Go – What To Do

“When I create time-lapse cross stitch videos I mark where the corners of the cloth will sit on my craft table using a pencil. Every time I take a new shot I line the corners up with my marks again to minimize movement. Good lighting is difficult to achieve without shadows so I’ve experimented with a variety of set-ups. My current set-up consists of a desk lamp, and some clamp lights which I attach to the edge of the table. I also use a Rotolight which I mount on the hotshoe of my Canon SL-1. My camera is set-up on a Velbon tripod with one of the legs unextended and propped up on the edge of my desk so the camera can lean over my work as far as possible without casting a shadow. I set my camera to the correct zoom and ISO setting and it remains on the tripod for the entirety of the project.

Mystery GuitarMan Cross Stitch Time Lapse

Erin really knows what she’s doing and her output is growing fast. Well as fast as a stitcher can under the circumstances.

Hello Hong Kong Confetti Skyline

I hope these videos inspire other people to have a go at doing the same. I must admit, I’m thinking about it…

Don’t Forget To Be Awesome

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The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge is brought to you in association with PUSH: Stitchery, the contemporary embroidered art book curated by Jamie Chalmers. Featuring 30 textile-based artists from around the world, it’s a must have for needlework fans.


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Mr X

Director at Mr X Stitch
The Kingpin of Contemporary Embroidery.
Mr X

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