A Fully Armed Battalion Embroidery

fully armed battalion embroidery

When my husband is into something, he tends to get a bit obsessed. For example, the soundtrack to Hamilton has been on repeat on our stereo for months now. Adam’s 40th birthday was 2 months ago. I wanted to do something really special for him to celebrate, but I couldn’t take him to go see Hamilton in New York since I had our baby 2 days before his birthday and traveling across the country at 9 months pregnant isn’t really feasible. So, to commemorate his big birthday, I embroidered him a love letter in the form of lyrics from Hamilton.

chain stitch as outline

“Oceans rise. Empires fall. We have seen each through it all. And when push comes to shove, I will send a fully armed battalion to remind you of my love.” I think You’ll be Back is my favorite song from the musical and I thought it a more appropriate lyrical selection than “I will kill your friends and family to remind you of my love,” though Adam shares my slightly dark sense of humor, so I think he would have appreciated either.

ship masts close up

I had a fun time designing and stitching the embroidery, though I changed my mind on several design details and ripped them out and re-stitched them. (No project, not even embroidery, is safe from my seam ripper.) I used 6 different stitches, including chain stitch which is my new favorite – super easy to do and gives great texture. (The others are straight stitch, stem stitch, satin stitch, backstitch, and french knots).

chain stitch as fill on boat

I adapted and cleaned up the ship from a vintage embroidery pattern. Though I’m no expert, I did a bit of googling to make sure that its shape was at least historically plausible, if not strictly accurate.

back of embroidery

I framed the embroidery in a wooden embroidery hoop and covered the back using my “how to permanently frame an embroidery in a hoop” tutorial.

love letter wall

I hung the embroidery on our “wall of love”. It includes pictures of us from our weddings, portraits of us that I have commissioned, and other love letters I have embroidered for Adam (like my “How Do I Love Thee” embroidery).

I’ve written up the embroidery pattern, so if you, too, are a fan of Hamilton and like needlework, check it out [Edit: Not currently for sale]. It includes the full embroidery pattern, printed over 2 sheets to be a finished 9.25″ circle (to fit nicely in a 10″ hoop) as well as general embroidery instructions & tips, illustrated instructions for each of the stitches, and suggested floss colors and numbers of strands.

Comments 4

  1. Wow, so cool!! Inspiring! I never thought of searching flickr for embroidery patterns before, so thanks for the tip too!

  2. I too enjoy that song from Hamilton! When I read the words on your piece, I was thinking, why are those words so familiar to me? Then I realized what it is! How clever, I love it! The subsequent songs are great too, as it is reprised throughout the play, it really is a history lesson in itself!!!

    I just found your blog, I am becoming an obsessed seamstress myself, so glad to see I’m not alone! I found great inspiration here!


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