One of the most fun parts of Mario Kart (besides having Ghosty as my driver) is using the contents of Item Boxes on your opponents. Since it’s a key part of the game, it is only fitting to have a couple of them grace the front of my Nintendo Quilt. The Item Box is a translucent feature, which challenged my design skills. The combination of the color gradient, dimensional appearance, and transparency made it a little intimidating.
First, I examined the image below and selected my color palette. I focused on each side, a then expanded my view and considered common colors for other elements.
Bottom: Blue (#1029) –> Blue Green (#1301) –> Green (#1248)
[edges in Blue and Orange]
Left Side: Pink (#1319) –> Violet (#1311) –> Blue Violet (#1275)
[edges in blue & blue green]
Back Side: Green (#1248) –> Yellow (#1068) –> Y. Orange (#1137) –> Red Orange (#1278)
[edges in orange & red]
“?” Outline: Light Blue
Next, I began the design process in 5D Design Creator. Since the box has dots all over it, I looked for a fill style that would present the same feel. I found the perfect fill, which I then programmed to have a color gradient and a somewhat loose density of 5*.
After the sides were created, it was time to shade the edges to help give it dimension. I used the “Feathered Satin” option with a very loose density of 16. I chose a “feather type” that only feathered one edge, leaving a straight edge to define the box. I applied the edge colors listed above.
Now that the background was done, it was time to create the Question Mark and shading. For the shading, I chose a light blue in order to help stand out from the background. The fill style was a simple one that I set to a loose density of 7. (As a reference, I normally prefer either 2 or 3 for a solid fill.) For the Question Mark, I added another normal fill style and set the density to 3.
Since I was already using white as my thread color, I moved right into the box highlights. Again, I used the Feather Satin option, with an even looser density of 25! This gave the appearance of a few “sketches’ hinting at the edge of a translucent box.
Here is the design rendered in Live View in the software:
With all the gradient colors in the box, there was a total of 16 color changes (not 18 as indicated by Live View). It isn’t a quick stitch by any means.
Here are the two Item Boxes that I stitched, one on blue and one on green. Note that the thread colors are the same, but with the translucent design element, they look different on each fabric.
*Note: I originally designed and stitched the blue one using a fill density of 6 for the background. I thought this was a bit too loose, and increased the density to 5 for the green one. I don’t notice much of a difference, however.
Overall, this was a neat test of some design skills and stretched my creativity. While I usually prefer nice and thick stitching, I am surprised how much I like the look of this! I found myself thinking of “thread painting” frequently during stitching, especially when I used the feathered satin areas. I really think this design would look fabulous on white fabric and I may need to try it.
– Machine: Designer Ruby Royale
– Stabilizer: 1 layer of tear-away (medium weight)
(For the blue, I hooped the fabric with 2 layers of stabilizer)
– Needle: 75/11 Embroidery (Inspira)
– Hoop: 120mm x 120mm
– Software: 5D Embroidery Professional (Design Creator & Stitch Editor)
– Stitches: 8,473
– Color changes: 16 (12 different colors)
– Applique: no