My mum is an avid fan of Lord of the Rings. She read The Hobbit to my sister and I when we were children and I’ve lost count of the number of times she has seen the extended versions of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. For Christmas this year, I decided to embroider the map of Middle Earth. It’s a fairly mammoth task, but I know she will love it.
As I work on embroidering the map, I’ll be posting updates about my progress as well as information about what I’ve done–Just in case anyone else wants to take on such a feat!
So, I started with a map of middle earth that I found on google.
I opened up the map in paint.net (a free program that does pretty much everything Photoshop does) and I made a few modifications. I really wanted the map to be purely black and white so it would make transferring the map onto fabric much easier. So, I used the artistic effects in paint.net to turn the map into a pencil sketch. Then, I sharpened the image until the text and the lines were very visible. You can see the edited map below:
I sized the image to 45.57cm X 60.75cm, making it small enough to fit into an A1 frame. So, the final embroidered piece will be fairly large, but with the level of detail on the map, I don’t see that a smaller size would work. I’m unsure that the size I am doing is large enough! I’m particularly worried about some of the smaller text.
I then used an online program called block posters to split the image for printing on A4 paper. You can download the pattern I created to save time by clicking here: BlockPosters-YourPoster-118_Middle Earth Map
I then ordered a .5m x .7m piece of 27 count white linen (£7.50), a 15cm embroidery hoop and 1000m of Black embroidery thread (no idea whether this will be enough yet) from Ray Stitch.
Once everything arrived, I started to transfer the pattern on to the embroidery fabric. This is the tricky part! Well, the first tricky part. Essentially, I used a light box with the A4 pattern pinned underneath. Then, using a pencil (although, a fabric pen that washes out might be better/easier) I began to trace the image. At first, I pinned the whole pattern underneath the fabric, but this got a little tricky to maneuver because my light box is tiny. So, I pinned two A4 sheets and began tracing there.
At the moment, I’ve traced some of the main parts of the top right hand corner. I didn’t think the tracing was working that well at first, but looking at it today in the daylight, it actually looks pretty good. I still have a fair amount of detail still to trace, but some of the smaller details will be left until I actually embroider. For example, the shape underneath the “U” of “Rhun” will be tiny embroidered circles to represent trees, but this detail is too small to trace using a pencil. I am a little worried about embroidering some of the smaller text as it was difficult to write that small! I may try embroidering a line of small text to see if it’s possible. If not, I may need to reprint the pattern out larger! Fingers cross that won’t be necessary.
Below you can see the embroidery fabric laid out with the part of the pattern I am working on pinned underneath the fabric. I’ve laid the rest of the pattern out on top so that you can see what it looks like.
A close-up of the part of the pattern I have started to trace:
Once I’ve traced the pattern entirely, I’ll post again. This may take a while… In the meantime, happy reading!
See the next post of the Embroidered Map of Middle Earth here: Inspired by: Lord of the Rings, Embroidered Map of Middle Earth UPDATE