The library in my city has a maker space. Including a Janome embroidery machine. So I started making myself patches. (And let me just head everyone off at the pass. I have no interest in selling or trading any, and I don’t want to make custom patches for anyone. This is just a fun hobby for me, and lets me make patches that say something about me. Thought folks here would dig this small selection of the ones I’ve done in the last year.) Lion I just did as a gift for a friend. A 40 year obsession. The Golden Section. Another, even older obsession. I've been a Guust Flater (or Gaston Legaffe - depending on which side of the Flemish Walloon divide you came down on) fan for a very long time. It still has the capacity to make me ache from laughing. That deserves a patch! One of the first things I made. A patch of the logo of the tattoo shop I work at. Death's Head Moth. Crummy first attempt on the right, lovely new one on the left. Let's call them, Roundel, RCAF, Embroidered, Mk. 1 & 2. Better shot. Triskehelions. Gift for a Star Wars geek friend. (He has two stormtrooper outfits and is a member of the 501st Legion.) Being a giant, I’ve always had an affinity for the Wookies. You might be surmising I have a love for Lego. You would be correct. This one's really special to me. 20 years ago my friend Andrew had a little club night, and the late great Scott Harder did the art work for the posters / cards. Made a patch of one element on the first one he did. Love how this turned out. The logo for Carolyn, the apprentice at our shop. Maze Skull. Screw you Che and all the clueless enema nozzles wearing your face on a shirt. Hard to tell from the photo because of the inch height difference, but same size as a SAK scale. I really love Victorinox Swiss Army Knives. I’ve always been into synths. Wanted to play around with variegated thread as well. Another patch experimenting with variegated thread. Technics turntables have been a part of my life for a long time. Being a proud Amsterdammer, one of the patches I've wanted for a while is a crest of the city. I like it partly for how bold yet simple it is. It's like heraldry and post modern graphic design had a night of drunken sex and this is its offspring. And after making an Amsterdam crest, I decided I wanted a flag patch too. Canoehead. Portage sign. I’ve been using Macs for 30 years, and the early days (and the iconography) are still my fave. Fitting since I spent 30 years in the print trade. Bold and simple. The best approach to this medium. Glad I can load the music I love from the thousands of records and CDs I own on to a hard disc. But cassettes will always occupy a fun place in my memories. Double whammy annoy the hippies patches. Diemaco, later to become Colt Canada, makers of fine firearms. My logo on a Kifaru Express. First version on the left, and improved version on the right. Hail Satin! Really detest that plastic poppy. I’ve written to the Legion several times over the years, asking if they could make an embroidered one. Don’t seem interested. So I made one. I’ll still happily throw money in the box in November. Just didn’t want that plastic and pin thing any more. Definitely archaic tech, but still have a soft spot for it. Spiraloctotentacle. Rendezvous on Champs Elysées Leave Paris in the morning with T.E.E. Trans Europe Express By pressing down a special key It makes a little patch for me. Huge Kraftwerk fan. My pal Jay’s funky, beaty dubby, recording project. Skully ranger eyes, using a skull I drew 25 years ago for a typeface. Skulls are cool and all, but spirals are a little more me. ASF deserves a glow in the dark patch. How much do I love my Leatherman Wave? Enough to want to make a patch of it. Some things I’ve learned. There is quite a learning curve to this - even with 30 years of graphic design experience under my belt. Lots of failures and screwups along the way. A file for printing and a file for embroidery are two very different things. If I was to make stickers out of an image, it's a fairly straightforward proposition. Embroidery requires some planning and often rebuilding of the file. Trapping and bleeding needs to be accounted for. Whether something is grouped or joined is a factor. I redraw every image (if it isn’t a vector file already) as a vector file. I need to have full control of every element. One of the things that drive me nuts is how things spread out way beyond the line you drew. Tight spaces and things like counters in letters are especially problematic. I have to open everything up and enlarge things to work around it. I still haven’t figured out if there is an easy way in the embroidery software to fix that spread. Letting the computer convert a JPEG you find on the internet into an embroidery file is . I’ve always known auto-trace is crap, an this is more of the same. I will often set up files with very bold, contrasting colours. Since I choose the thread colour, it doesn’t matter what they are on the screen. The screen on the embroidery machine isn’t so good, and if you have several very similar colours, it’s really tough to discern. this way, the bright green is the light grey, the pink is the medium gray, and the light blue is the dark grey. Even if it’s all going to be black, four different colours makes it easier to decide the sequence each element is done in. Bold will hold. Just like the old tattoo adage, finicky, hyper-detailed imagery doesn't translate so well to this medium. (Or at least with my knowledge level of the software I have up till this point anyway.) I find iconic images work best. Use the material colour as a design element. I try to avoid filling large areas with stitches 420 denier packcloth works fine for me. I have lots of scraps from my various projects and it works well. Avoid 3D satin. It creates prominently raised areas, but often at the cost of puckering the hell out of fabric. I don’t have access to a Merrowing machine, I cheat by drawing in a line in Illustrator, cutting very carefully to the edge and the singeing it with a lighter, and then colouring it in with a marker or acrylic paint. And the making of the patches is kind of fun. Sewing the Velcro on after is the sucky part.