Well, having been encouraged and enabled by The Enablers group on Facebook, I’ve finally released the secret project I’ve been working on, and can now post my progress to date.

The Epic Fandom Blackwork Sampler is a very large piece, intended to be stitched by and/or for Epic Fans. It includes strips close to the hearts of many niche interest groups, and will please those who love giant robots, dinosaurs, Dr. Who, Star Trek, Star Wars, retrofuturism, classic bug-eyed monster invasion flicks, snakes, and much more. These theme bands alternate (more or less) with bands that are more traditional in composition, although everything in this project is original.

I have NOT made this a mystery stitch-along because it’s a bit more complex than most, and folk should know what they’re getting into before they commit time and resources. I’ve established a page here on String just for this stitch-along (SAL). Project components will be posted to The Enablers, and will be echoed here on time delay, at intervals over the coming year. Four weeks will be allotted for the larger, more complex strips, and two weeks for the narrower/less complex ones. I am also posting intro material on estimating fabric sizes and thread requirements, so folks can prepare. The first half of that information is on the SAL page, too as of today. More will join it tomorrow. The first pattern band (Giant Robots and Kaiju) will debut on 3 August on The Enablers, and on 18 august will appear on my SAL page, here on String-or-Nothing. The entire project will continue well into 2022.

Not only is this NOT a mystery stitch-along, I want to foster creativity, and am SO looking forward to what mischief can be accomplished based on this offering.

  • There are panels that are designed to accommodate voiding – filling in the background behind the motifs, although those panels can stand alone and read well without it. The optional voiding can be done after the foreground stitching is complete, so no decisions to commit to it need be made when the stitcher starts a band with the voiding option. More info on voiding and the many ways to do it will be provided before those strips break.
  • There’s no requirement to do the entire thing in a single color, even though monochrome is far more common in traditional blackwork than polychrome. Color choice and placement are entirely up to the individual stitcher. Some options include but are not limited to:
    • Each strip in its own color
    • Alternating colors between strips
    • Using variegated (with back stitch) for one or more strips
    • Picking out design features for color highlights (like I did below).
    • Working one repeat of a multi-repeat in a contrasting color, so it stands out.
  • There’s also a strip intended for customization, to allow signing, dedication, dates, a motto, or inclusion of optional motifs. A design worksheet with alphabets and measured areas will be provided when we get to that one.
  • If side borders are desired, go for it, but I am not furnishing those (top and bottom borders would be more difficult to add because my composition isn’t a clean rectangle).
  • And last of all, if someone wants to skip a particular panel, or wait until their favorite arrives and work only that one – that’s ok, too. But I won’t be releasing anything ahead of schedule or to special request. If you want a future band, you’ll have to wait breathlessly along with everyone else.

Here’s my own rendition of the thing, to date. This is just the first nine out of the total nineteen strips and some of those are partial. I went for polychrome because I rarely get a chance to do that. I’m using six colors, although you are seeing only five right now. There are light and dark shades of red, green, blue, and yellow. The light yellow will be used in the future for voiding and detail, but I haven’t stitched those parts in yet. You can also see partial voiding in the Pirates strip (#3). I will go back and finish that for the entire band, and eventually fill in the dice on the gaming band and add their pips, but I wanted to lay down as much of the rest of the piece as quickly as possible because I got a late start on it.

Depending on the reception of this piece, there may be follow-ons. So if your favorite fandom isn’t included, there’s always hope.

Oh, and if you are worried that you’ll make mistakes because it looks complicated – don’t worry. I have left mine in, including a quite massive one on the pirate strip. I bet that unless you hunt for it, you’d never notice.

Joining in? Please do. I so adore leading folk astray. 🙂

20 responses

  1. This is soooo cooool!!! Can’t wait!

    1. Ummm, any chance of a dragon?

      1. Hmm. There are two Kaiju winged dragons in the top panel, plus plenty of dinos below, And a dragon hoard. But I’ll file the suggestion away for the future!

        1. Oh, my bad. I even saw them at first glance but then got involved studying the rest of the panels. I was having so much fun with the fannish variety I spaced them right out again. (Love the little figure running away.)

    2. What is the link to the Facebook Enablers? I couldn’t find it through their search.

      1. It’s here. All SAL files posted there are posted on the SAL tab here on String two weeks after they debut in the group.

  2. I would love to join in- or join in in an “adapting” way as I would like to include it on my long band sampler . The link to that page is not working for me for some reason but I found the page via the SAL tab at the top. Just letting you know its glitchy for some reason.

  3. Are you old enough to remember Space Invaders?!? Classic game – I’m in I think I will have to adapt along the way but it looks just so much fun

    1. I’ve done Space Invaders on the nagging sampler I sent off to college with Elder Spawn. 🙂

  4. As for old enough, I remember programming in Fortran IV via decks of punch cards, the song of the acoustic coupler as it serenaded its people, and pretty much everything since. 🙂

  5. This looks such fun! I don’t see myself stitching the whole piece, but some of the strips are definitely calling me.

  6. Hi!

    I tried to access the WordPress page and it took me to a “create your own page” window. Would you mind re-sending me the link?


    – Linda Lassman

    1. Please try the link again, WP was being wonky, and I refreshed the link. It’s tested and working again.

  7. This is Awesome! I love the non-traditional theme, even though I’m not an epic sci-fi or gaming fan. Having never done blackwork at all, and knowing my tendency to start far too many projects and not keep up, I’m not sure I’ll be joining. And then there’s the question of what do I have on hand for fabric… if any is suitable type, let alone size.

    But as I think about it, I think I’d have a better time stitching this than the needlework casket with lots of 1-over-1 lettering on 32 count black linen I’m ignoring! Uh-oh – that sounds like I’ve nearly convinced myself to join in, doesn’t it?

    1. Just – there’s no rule that says you have to ride train for the whole length of the service line. If we get to a band that tickles your fancy, hop on, and do it up as a scissors fob, a bookmark, or along the edge of a napkin (or any other use you can devise). Day trippers are welcome along with those committing to the full odyssey.

  8. For some reason I am not being accepted in The Enablers facebook group – found the password so I don’t think its that.

    1. I am not a member of the admin team on that group so I can’t speak for them. All I know is that there are many new members right now, so I can assume that there have been a lot of recent requests and possibly even a long roster of folks lined up for approval. If you’ve followed whatever sign up instructions they are using now (answering questions, assuring that you will follow established group rules, or doing whatever else is requested to prove you are not a spammer or a robot) I’m sure it won’t be long until they munch down the approval queue to where you are. And I have no clue whatsoever about passwords on FB groups. Never seen one that required one. If some bizarre bit of Internet mechanics is preventing your access, rest assured that all of the SAL bulletins and patterns will be echoed here, and will be kept accessible for as long as I continue to farm String-or-Nothing.

      1. Sorry thought you were an admin – and you are right not ling after I left the comment I was a member. Sorry to bother you with it.

  9. Anita Tabbytite | Reply

    Although I’m not a gamer, I do love ScFi movies and I’m really excited to start the new Epic Fandom SAL. I placed my order for fabric, and a lap scroll frame this weekend. Now the wait…

  10. […] mentioned this before – it’s my original free band sampler celebrating multiple fandoms, offered up as a way […]

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