Dazzle Ships Needlepoint!

Somewhere between my flickr account and here on The Color Awesome, I’ve received comments and messages asking about this piece.  I love a good story, but I will try to make this one quick.

Obviously, Dazzle Ships is one of the most important records of my life.  It was shunned by the music press after the unexpected, overwhelming reaction to Architecture and Morality.  But nearly 30 years later, it has become one of those polarizing music geek records; you love it or you hate it.  As a gateway to O.M.D.’s body of work, primarily the “early years,” I’d say it’s perfect.  Although if I was selling it really hard, which I tend to do, I would say go with Architecture and Morality.  Along with Organisation, these records are amazing to just put on a pair of headphones to and truly go somewhere else.

My friend Kurt B. Reighley, renaissance man, entertainer, KEXP Disc Jockey, author and all around inspirational dude was working on a series of needlepoint record sleeves.  They included Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols, XTC’s Drums and Wires and Brian Eno’s Another Green World.  And of course there was an O.M.D. piece as well – Dazzle Ships.

My God, how I wanted one.  Wait, I could make one myself.  Or could I?  I ran over to Greektown where I passed a needlepoint shop pretty much every day on my way to work.  I brought a copy of Dazzle Ships with me and I matched the colors as best as possible and bought all the materials.  After a few tips from the nice lady who owned the shop (whose name I now forget,) I was on my way.

The first one didn’t turn out so well.  I was pulling too tight and making a lot of mistakes.  After at least 20 hours of work, I scrapped it.  Strangely, I wasn’t too upset about it.  I took it as a learning experience and started again.  The second one was a success; so much that the lady who owned the store couldn’t believe this was my first try!  She asked if I used a frame (I didn’t) and told me that my stress (pulling the thread too tightly) was good.  Wow, good stress!  I wanted to do something with it, but what?  Frame it?  Sew it onto the back of a jacket?  I decided on a pillow.  The nice lady at the shop did it for me, gratis.  I insisted, but she was so proud and supportive when I first walked into her shop that she wanted to do it for free.

So no, there isn’t a pattern, and when you compare the album with my pillow, you’ll noticed that I took some liberties.  But I like it, so there.  And as is usually the case with me, I jacked the idea from my dear friend, Kurt, who still inspires me to this day; as do most of my other friends in one way or another.  God I hope they all don’t think I’m a total copy cat!


  1. This is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Kudos to you!!
    And yes, Dazzle Ships is one of my absolute favorite albums of all time. I wish I knew needlepoint so I could make this. I am , alas, crap at crafts.

  2. beautiful. also one of my faves, and i have plans to make a dazzle ships quilt for a friend. i was just looking online to see if anyone else had already done it because i’m hoping for it to be original. this is a precious pillow!

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