John Lohman, back in the 1980’s, started watching Star Trek: The Next Generation every week with his family. He was a kid then, and later he got into various types of crafting and started doing cross stitch of video game scenes. Star Trek and cross stitch, however, only recently came together for him as he started to consider different ideas for his new book, Star Trek Cross-Stitch: Explore Strange New Worlds of Crafting, out today from Gallery Books. StarTrek.com recently chatted with Lohman about Star Trek Cross-Stitch, and here’s what he had to say:
How naturally do Star Trek and cross stitch go together?
LOHMAN: Star Trek and cross stitch go together surprisingly well. There are so many iconic symbols, characters, and quotes across the Star Trek franchise that the projects weren't really very hard to come up with. Cross stitch is about taking complicated images and simplifying them to their most basic shape without losing the power of the original image. The strong symbols of the show are so ingrained in our minds that you don't lose much in the translation to little Xs on a piece of fabric.
How did the opportunity to do Star Trek Cross-Stitch come your way?
LOHMAN: I did two cross stitch projects for the nerdy craft book World of Geekcraft, based on the video games Oregon Trail and Super Mario Brothers. My editor, Kjersti Egerdahl, liked those projects and approached me about the possibility of working on the Star Trek Cross Stitch book. She had no idea I was a huge fan of Star Trek, and I pretty much jumped at the idea. I had already been tossing around potential book ideas in my head, and the timing and subject matter couldn't have possibly been any better.
Take us through the book. What did you want to accomplish with it? How long
a process was it?
LOHMAN: My goal was to make a book that could be appreciated by Star Trek fans who want to get into crafts as well as crafters getting into Star Trek. I tried to provide a spectrum of projects across the different shows and movies as well as a range of difficulty of crafting. The hardest part was editing ideas... with material across all the TV shows and movies it was really hard to break it down into 38 project ideas.
I spent about three months working on brainstorming projects, making patterns and getting the projects stitched. It was a grueling process and there is absolutely no way I could have gotten the 30 projects (and 8 bonus patterns) done in three months without the help from the community at spritestitch.com. They stitched up the majority of the projects and contributed patterns and ideas along the way. The whole process from idea to bookshelves took just about 15 months.
How did you go about making the book of interest to and accessible to both cross-stitch newbies and enthusiasts?
LOHMAN: We put in a huge range of projects for both new stitchers and experts. Some of the smallest patterns, like the Vulcan IDIC symbol handkerchief, could be stitched in about an hour. We also have huge projects like the Starfleet Traditional Sampler that will take even an experienced cross stitcher days to finish. Each project also has detailed instructions to walk a new stitcher through the steps while an advanced stitcher could simply follow the symbols on the pattern.
What are a few of your favorite Star Trek projects in the book?
LOHMAN: My favorite project in the book is the badge pillows which feature a command gold, engineering red and science blue pillow with metallic badges stitched on the corner. I'm dying to get them back from the publisher because they absolutely need to be on my couch in my office at home. I also like the Borg cube tree ornament that was designed by Lord Libidan (lordlibidan.com/) because it is unique in that it involves stitching up 6 sides and assembling the project into a 3-dimensional cube. It;s a very unique take on the basic flat cross stitch that people are so used to seeing. Lastly I really have a special place for the Shut Up, Wesley! piece. It features Wesley Crusher in his iconic jumpsuit with the words "Shut Up, Wesley!" stitched over the top. That one had to be in the book as I grew up watching The Next Generation and loving to hate Wesley's character.
If we walk into your house, what Star Trek stuff, cross-stitch or otherwise, would we find?
LOHMAN: My home office is decorated in all kinds of geeky memorabilia and projects. Right now, it’s mostly filled up with video game cross stitches because all the Star Trek projects are still with our publisher for the book. I have mostly NES and 80s video game projects on the walls, including a set of 8-bit style wooden weapons from The Legend of Zelda and a set of bookshelves made into the shapes of pieces from Tetris. I am currently working on three Star Trek-inspired prop projects which are almost finished, including a P.A.D.D. from Voyager, Geordi's VISOR and a wine bottle with a label from Chateau Picard.
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