The Summer Quest: Giardia lamblia

One of my favourite fellow Bay Area Sewists, the lovely Rebecca, challenged me to a microbe-making summer quest, inspired by this post. You can buy those patterns from Etsy, but I wanted to explore making some more in the same vein as my beautiful E. coli.

For my first one, I decided to pick a parasite:


This little beastie is Giardia lamblia, the picture above is actually of it in trophozoite form, but in the laboratory it more common to see it as a cyst, like so:


….but I wanted to do the trophozoite form, and give it some free moving flagella.

To begin, I sketched out the picture on graph paper, (If you don’t have any graph paper, you can print some for free here), then started to make it into a cross stitch pattern by ‘pixelating’ the picture, using whole squares and diagonal half-squares to form the shape.

Colourwise, I picked 5 shades of a lilac colour, so that I could mimic the original stained image, DMC 3747, 340, 155, 3746, and 333.

Giardia lamblia

The main image is just simple cross stitch, with the flagella stitched in holbein stitch (just a variation on backstitch).

On the back I stitched a circle of felt, as usual, but instead of having it with the closure at the top so I could mount on the wall like my birds, I mounted it in the hoop with the closure at the base, then put a piece of dowel between the metal prongs to have it free-standing:

Giardia lamblia


Note: if you change your mind, you can always undo the closure and move it to the top… I think. Once the fabric is pulled taut and closed off with felt it should be pretty stable and allow you to move the hoop.

First challenge completed!


  1. oaklandbex · · Reply

    oh my goodness it’s outstanding! Man, you’ve raised the bar, Lindsay. I better get moving:)

    1. Time to deliver on the challenge!

  2. This is incredible!!! My microbiology teacher seriously would like to buy one and one of the E. coli too…do you sell these??

    1. I don’t I’m afraid, but if you wanted to stitch your own, then the patterns are in the post 😀

    2. Or in fact, it actually isn’t at the moment for this one. Whoops. Sorry about that, I will try and get around to finding it and scanning it, but the E. coli is definitely there!

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