LL: You’re known best over at the forums for your epic pokemon cross stitch pattern, however you never attempted it yourself. Why was that? Just a little too big?
S: The Epic Pokemon Pattern Pattern was the result of pure boredom. I had made a lot of pattern requests around that time and this was just an idea I had, no-one had asked for it. I thought that people would get a kick out of seeing such a stupidly large pattern. I wasn’t even sure they made aida cloth that size at the time I made it. I never actually expected anyone to start and finish, much less in the number of people who have taken it on.
LL: Looking at the pattern wiki, a lot of patterns have your name on it, however we rarely see a finished piece from you. Do you prefer the pixel art side of cross stitching, rather than the actual stitching?
S: Not at all! The sheer size and/or complexity of the patterns I make just means that I am not able to complete pieces as quickly as other people. I also work full-time now which gives me less time to stitch. For example my first big piece, the Zelda: A Link to the Past map took me four months to make while unemployment, while my Earthbound Poster (which is the same size) took me about twice that long.
LL: Where do you get the inspiration for these patterns?
S: Most of the time when I am trying to decide on a pattern I have an idea of what I want to do. The Zelda: ALTTP map was the result of me wanting to do a large piece, and I wanted to do a piece with lots of colour which led to the Zelda: Helmeroc King stained glass. Some pieces like my Death of Discworld, Spider-Man, Sam and Max and Earthbound pieces are chosen because I specifically wanted something from those games. I also try to aim for originality, trying to make something that no-one else has.
LL: I see a lot of them are pattern requests?
S: Well, I am one of the earliest members of the forum. At the time, there weren’t many people able to make their own patterns and I had just found the free cross stitch program KG Chart, so I was in a position to help out. I ended up making a lot of them for people (Unemployment again!) which led to johloh asking me to help out as a moderator.
LL: A lot of the patterns you make are epic pieces, either in size or sheer complexity. Why’s that? Do you simply want the challenge?
S: Partly the challenge, partly I just want the pieces to look good. I will put in as many colours in as I think the piece needs to look great. The Zelda: Helmeroc King piece had 150 colours in it, but i don’t think I will have another piece with that many different colours in it. I’m getting better at making the patterns now I think and reducing the amount of redundant colours in piece, while still keeping it looking good.
LL: What are you currently working on?
S: I’m currently working on my second charity square for the Sprite Stitch/Child’s Play Charity Quilt. This one is a Sonic & Knuckles square after my first Bastion one. After that, I may start another Map of Hyrule from Ocarina of Time or a Metroid Prime pattern, both of which can be found on my Etsy store. I also have a set of blank Russian Matryoshka dolls and a vinyl Munny toy to customise.
LL: I think its fair to say, based on your work, that your a big video game fan. What are you currently playing?
S: I’m actually between games at the moment. Recently I’ve been playing Disaster: Day of Crisis on my Nintendo Wii and Super Mario 3D Land, Cave Story and Mario Kart 7 on my 3DS. I’m about halfway though Final Fantasy XII on my PS2 which I haven’t played for a while and a whole host of games on Steam which I haven’t even started yet (Steam Sales, I cannot resist you…)
LL: Is it one of your favourites? Or does another game hold that title?
S: I don’t think I have any one game that I could call a favourite but here is a small selection: Banjo-Kazooie, Pikmin, Shadow of the Colossus, Mario Kart Double Dash, Final Fantasy VII and IX, all (well, most) of the Zeldas, Psychonauts, most adventure point and click games, Portal, Half-Life, Metroid……(fades out while still listing games)………
LL: I see you work in a book store, yet your pieces are rarely book related. Do you think cross stitch works best with video games, and if so, why do you think that is?
S: Cross stitching works with anything, but it may seem lake it work better with video games simply because video games are a visual media, like TV, films and comics. Books, I think, lend themselves better to stitched quotations because people have their own ideas about what the characters look like.
LL: Anything else you want to add?
S: I don’t have a massive web presence, so I can generally be found on the forums (I don’t post often, but I am nearly always around) I also now have an Etsy store selling patterns. And you can see all my finished stitches on my forum post.