It isn’t everyday that you see artwork portrayed with a genuinely unique. Sure, there are those who paint and those who draw. And while each artwork holds its own unique way of representing the subject, there is something quite ingenious about the way Caroline Rhea has gone joining her passion for cross stitching with motorsport.
Caroline moved to Scotland, near Glasgow about 5-years ago. When she arrived, neither did she stitch or was deeply-invested in motorsport due to the lack of friends in the new area. But over time, she took to watching Formula 1, Formula E, Touring cars and their support races more seriously. She used to enjoy her hobby of cross stitching while watching the races. And soon it came to her.
After a few years of cross stitching patterns that Caroline had bought, she decided to branch out and try to design her own. She used a program called MacStitch, which allows her to create unique cross stitch patterns from scratch or by importing an image. To create these motorsport stitches, Caroline used a basic human shape and modified it to match the drivers helmet livery and the teams race suit. She then imported images of the cars and the teams logos and re-worked them to suit her precise needs, as the program usually turns images into stitches of hundreds of colours. She edited them to just basic colours and a more ‘cartoonish’ look to match the drivers.
Each cross stitch takes Caroline about 5 to 6 hours, but since she’s working 9-to-5 the process of creating one motorsport stitch takes her a few days, progressing little by little every day. She often has to modify the pattern mid-way of the cross stitch process if there is something odd about the output created.
At first Caroline stitched a couple of her favourite BTCC teams and started taking them to races and getting the drivers to sign them. She really liked the way her motorsport stitches looked, so she tried a few more, branching out to Formula E and cross stitching one up for her friend who is a big Mahindra fan. As Force India is her favourite team in Formula One, Caroline went ahead with stitching them next before she continued her work with another one with the McLaren team, which is currently in progress.
Caroline is hoping to open up a story on Etsy soon where she will be able to showcase and sell her motorsport stitch patterns as a bucket-list thing to-do before she hits 30.