When one of my favorite coworkers announced that he would be leaving the company, I wanted to make him something special as a goodbye gift (which invariably translates to “something stitched” with me). I knew he was an avid Magic the Gathering player, so I started from there. I was originally just going to translate the back of a MtG card into stitch and use it as the focal point for a nice goodbye card, but I noticed about two days into stitching it that it was going to be almost exactly the size of an actual MtG card. It had never occurred to me to aim for that, but having stumbled into it.. well. Clearly a second side was needed! And a personalized one at that -- go big or go home, right?
I really wanted to emphasize the family aspect, because Jeremy really is such a dad. He trades silly faces with every little kidhe passes, he fusses over anyone who seems upset or hurt until he’s assured himself that they’re ok, and he has little ones at home himself who he dotes on. It’s such a big part of who he is, and he’s happiest when he can treat everyone like family, so I knew I wanted that to be my focus. Since I also wanted it to be a plausibly accurate and playable card and I was utterly unfamiliar with MtG myself, however, I did a brainstorming session with the wonderful @knitmeapony and we came up with this.
I made a very sincere effort to get as many details from the real cards as I could into the pattern, though sadly some of them couldn’t quite be captured by my camera. (The holographic oval was stitched with a special thread that sparkles with colors, for example.) I’ll be the first to admit that some of the colors aren’t quite right, however. Since I only had thirteen days to get both sides done and stitched together before he left, I didn’t have time to do any testing and had to guess at how things would combine. I still came pretty close, though!
For those interested in such things, numbers and whatnot:
Size: Each side had a stitch count of 43w x 60h and was stitched on 18ct aida. After stitching the two sides together, the final ‘card’ was 2.5in x 3.25in (and roughly 1/8in thick).
Stitches used: full and partial crosses (including some over half-squares, or effectively 36ct), backstitch, and quite a bit of couching. I also made backing weaves for the lines of text on the front, since tiny lines of backstitching over half-squares tend to get lost on their own, and I attached the two sides together using basically a very tight overcast stitch.
Colors: 53 (!) in total, on ivory fabric because I had some suitable scraps and I knew it wouldn’t show anyway.
Time spent: so much! I knew it was going to be a lot, so I kept track pretty carefully for once. It broke down into 33 hours on design/patterning/picking colors (23 for the back, 10 for the front), 83 hours spent actually stitching (42 for the back, 41 for the front), and 2 hours at the end for assembly -- a grand total of 118 hours. (In 13 days, in my ‘spare time’ when not sleeping or at work. It was totally worth it, but I was so tired at the end. xD)