The 15 Minute Break Of Doom

Right now I’m taking a break from knitting, not for anything major really. I need to pack more stuff and my holding out from packing all of my knitting stuff has come to the inevitable conclusion… I actually have to pack it up. Not that we’re any closer to moving mind you… I just have alot of it and it needs to be packed away.

I did leave my embroidery box out though. A girl like me can’t go craftless for long, or weird things start to happen… things you don’t ever want to see- trust me on that.

In that regard, the Mister brought me home a new bag. The man knows I’m a sucker for a good plain all black bag. I have no idea why I have this thing about black bags, considering that every bag I’ve had since Sam was born has been a black bag… I think we can call it a thing. I mean, already I’ve packed away 3 black bags in various styles and sizes, leaving out 3 more black bags (My crafting almighty bag [it has my sketch books and my current knitting work in progress in it], my purse, and my big duffle bag I take as luggage).

The Mister had noticed that with my purse [which is neat, its convertable from a one strap over the shoulder into a back pack type dealie] I was managing to fill it to the brim with stuff I actually need to take with me. While nice, it had thin little straps which were digging into my shoulders something awful. As well, it never had quite enough room when we went out as a family… me being the mom, the designated pack horse.  He also noticed that I favored the back pack style conversion and went out and got me a plain old black back pack (Eastsport – Skater from Walmart for the tidy sum of $19.88). Its twice the size of the bag I was using with wider shoulder straps and a kitschy air bag for lower back comfort…. oh, and a mad amount of pockets- even a little velcro thingy on the outside to put a bus pass in and flash it to the driver without having to get it out.

The fact that it has Steeler detailing colors is just gravy really.

BUT- see the thing about actual backpacks… its a compulsion I cannot stop… I cannot keep backpacks plain…. they must have… patches… or writing… preferably patches.

Now, this compulsion can usually go one of two ways…. cutesy patches that have Tinkerbell or teddy bears… or Hot Topician patches which are far too emo to really be something I like most of the time. I’m a mom if four in my early 30’s… I could go in a lot of ways. Yet, there doesn’t seems to be a big patch market for moms in their early 30’s who have a weird compulsory need to decorate backpacks. This is where the post comes full circle… since my embroidery kit is what I have left out, I’ve decided to make my own patches. I did one 2 years ago for the WWKIP thing where I made a “Steph” patch to put on a hat that I wore there. which I already put on the backpack over the Eastsport logo….


And earlier today I finished another patch that will be going on the bag… somewhere… (the scan of the patch makes it look deceptively HUGE, in actuality the patch is the size of half a business card)…..


I know it has wonky edges, I like it that way. Now I just have to get some HeatnBond Iron on Adhesive stuff….


that I’ll put on the back… not so much to make it a patch/applique, but really more to adhesively bind all the knots and ends on the back- I tack patches down. I never rely on the adhesive on patches, having been burned over the many years of LARPing by symbols peeling off of costumes because they weren’t tacked down.

In any case, anyone can make them. I’ll give you the handy dandy Stephieface 10 step tutorial….

Materials:  Muslin (a yard will last you forever with patches), an embroidery hoop (you can go small, my favorite is the 4″), some embroidery floss in whatever colors you desire, you can use embroidery needles or just standard hand sewing needles (nothing with too big of an eye), some HeatnBond lite iron on adhesive and you are go to go…. oh and scissors.

 Step one: Pick a design, personally I love words and names in fun fonts, celtic knots, and really simple images.

Step two: Get a piece of muslin and cut it in a square bigger than your hoop… not crazily big but give yourself some overhang

Step three: Trace your design onto the muslin with pencil. You can do this a bunch of ways, my favorite is to tape a piece of paper with the image on to a window in a nice sunny space, then tape your muslin square over it… the sun will make the design show through so that you can trace it…. ghetto lightbox baby.

Step four: Put muslin with design in the center of the hoop, tighten outer ring over inner ring to keep in place.

Step five: With whatever color floss you are using cut an 18-20″ strand. Seperate from 6 strands into 2 three strand pieces.

Step six: Attempt three or four times to thread needle before ultimately being victorious. If you are still having trouble, cut a small length of sewing thread and fold in half, placing the floss in the “fold”… then thread the ends of the sewing thread through the needle pulling the floss through…. ghetto threader baby.

Step seven: Put whatever knot you like (or none at all) at the end of the floss. Then start coloring in your picture (think paint my numbers) with your floss using the Satin Stitch (with big spaces I keep it all going in one direction, with celtic knots and borders and such I follow the space around [see the square of the robot’s belly and the outside of the patch border]… not that it matters, that’s just what I do.). Make sure to to anchor your floss ends when you are done with them with knots or whatever, make sure you work stays in one piece.

Step eight: You can iron out your patch to make it nicer if you like. Cut a piece of the iron on adhesive to the size you need it (it need not be perfect) and iron it on to the back of your patch.

Step nine: Cut around the outside of you patch getting as close as possible without cutting your stitching.

Step ten: Peel off the paper backing and iron on to whatever you want to attach patch to, or just tack it on, or iron on and tack… whatever you like- and voila!

If you make some, let me know- I want to see them!



  1. Stepherz said,

    February 5, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    You’re so awesome! You are so creative and I love seeing your newest creations. The Steph patch is awesome!

  2. natureknitty said,

    February 6, 2008 at 1:04 am

    What a kick ass patch! I thought as I read…”I wish I knew how to make patches..” and mind reader that you are, you tell me how. I love it. BTW the wonky edges keep it from looking machine stitched Wal-Mart, good job!

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