I saw this amazing cross stitchable iPhone case on the Craftzine blog back in July and I knew it was fate. I love cross stitching and had just bought an iPhone; basically, it was a match made in heaven. I ordered one that day, the case arrived at my house (from Korea) a few weeks later, and it’s been sitting around in my apartment ever since… until now. Behold! My iPhone is now an ode to Meatburger Cat, my favorite cat.
Who is Meatburger Cat, you ask? Is he a meme? As far as I know, no, but he should be. Meatburger Cat is from the website Stuff on my Cat. Basically, people put things on their cats, take a picture, and submit it to the site. It’s really amusing because the cats usually have indignant expressions and/or the things people put on their cats are really bizarre. (As a little aside… the site now is kind of gross with too many ads… it went downhill for sure. I would recommend checking out the books instead.) The site has spawned books and stationary, including a postcard set, which I was given as a gift. Meatburger Cat is my favorite postcard from that bunch. I think he’s particularly striking because of his size, the fact that his tongue is sticking out, and of course, because he has a meatburger on his back. In short, he captured my imagination. Meatburger Cat was what I named him…according to the postcard, his actual name is Loki.
I converted the picture of him into a pattern, which I then cross stitched onto the case. Here follows a very mini-tutorial on how I convert images to cross stitchable patterns.
I’m pretty low-tech when it comes to arts and crafts. I don’t often use my computer – I work everything out using my hands and on paper. If I do use the computer, I tend to hack solutions from basic programs like excel and paint. In the past, I’ve created patterns two ways. If it’s a geometric pattern like my binary cross stitches, I’ll make the patten in excel. I’ll make all the cells square by resizing their height/width, and the create patterns by filling in the cell backgrounds. For repetitive patterns, this is really easy, because I can copy and paste the colored cells. I have also used graph paper to make patterns, namely my graffiti cross stitch. For that one, I printed out a copy of the image and then overlaid a piece of graph paper over the top. I then manually colored in the squares to make the pattern. For Meatburger cat, I ended up using the free vector graphics program Inkscape, but my method was still pretty ghetto.
I scanned in the image of Meatburger Cat and placed it in a new file. I then turned on the grid and snap-to settings. I counted the squares in height of the iPhone case (and by this, I mean the width) and re-sized the image so that it’s height was the same number of squares in Inkscape’s grid. I then created little squares that were the size of one grid square, and copy/pasted them into the image in another layer. This way, I could play around with Meatburger Cat’s silhouette. Because I had the snap-to setting on, the squares would be roughly in a grid.
Below, you can see the pattern that I made. Since I was just making a basic cat and not worrying about shading and different colors of the fur, I just created the basic outline. (No sense taking the time to fill in all the little squares.)
You can see that the pattern I came up with is a little different from my finished case. I decided to not put the tongue and also not use a different color for the nose. The tongue looked too random – the image is too pixellated for it to make sense. The nose also make him look like a Hitler cat more than anything else, so I made it the same color as the body.
I also made a few adjustments on the bottom of the cat. In the image, his two back legs are right next to each other, but when I cross stitched that, it looked weird because either it looked like the cat had 3 legs, or a mega-leg in the back, depending on how I did it. Adding the 4th leg made it look more balanced. I also flattened out the curve on his belly, because that didn’t translate well. I ended up working out the MMM on graph paper. And there you have it. A finished iPhone case!
Let’s end with a close up, shall we?