For embroiderer Geri Finio and digitizer Bonnie Landsberger, the biggest challenge of creating the piece that graces this month's cover lay in translating an attractive graphic design into an embroidered work of art. "The original we worked from was an excellent graphically designed image, but would never translate to embroidery," says Finio, owner of Moorestown, NJ-based Studio 187.
Nonetheless, Finio and Landsberger succeeded in creating an eye-catching embroidery that maintains the spirit of the original artwork. Stitched primarily in BFC-Stash rayon thread on an Amaya XT, the design features 33,667 stitches.
Discussing the challenge of creating such a work, Finio says that the graphic design featured gradients that would produce a fetching dimensional effect on paper, but that could not be replicated in stitches. To create something similar, Landsberger, owner of Cannon Falls, MN-based Moonlight Designs, initially digitized a design that included a heavily textured fill stitch that would have run the stitch count to about 90,000. But, Finio then discovered a satin fabric that would generate something near the background effect the graphic designer intended. Finio consulted with Landsberger, and the collaborators decided to scrap the fill stitch and embroider the dollars signs onto the satin. "We decided it was best to simply let the fabric work with the embroidery instead of covering it up," says Landsberger.
For embroiderers working on a similar piece, Finio says the key lies in understanding the designer's and digitizer's intentions and melding them into a piece that works as embroidery. For punchers, it's important to determine how you want the final design to look before you begin digitizing, but also to not be afraid to make changes as the process progresses, Landsberger says. She says: "If you realize the main elements are being overtaken by the background, don't be afraid to try lighter fill densities or simply eliminate it."