Monday, January 03, 2011

My Dimensions Gold Collection "Morning Lake" Cross-Stitch and Dimensions Gold Collection "Moonlit Cabin" Cross-Stitch


You may have noticed in my last few Linda's Blog posts that I've been on a cross-stitch kick this year. In fact, I think I've been on it now for close to three years.

Just recently I finished an enormous Dimensions Gold Collection Victorian cross-stitch kit and wrote about it on a Linda's Blog post entitled "You Spent How Many Hours On That Cross-Stitch?"and wrote about it on a "The Book Review Corner" blog post entitled "Linda's Review of M'Lady's Chateau - Dimensions Gold Collection Cross-Stitch Kit."

I have been a fan of the Dimensions cross-stitch for quite some time and have written about them several times on my The Book Review Corner blog before. There was the Christmas In The Adirondacks Cross-Stitch Kit From Dimensions The Gold Collection review, my Christmas Village Ornaments Cross-Stitch Kit by Dimensions The Gold Collection Kit #8785 review, and my Colorful Rooster Cross-Stitch Kit #7195 From Dimensions review.

Back in June I told you about several cross-stitch kits I had bought and was hoping to finish this year.

Well, I finished several - two of which were woodland landscape scenes and which are shown in the pictures at the beginning of this post and below:




I had bought these two because they were different from all the other cross-stitch kits I had seen. They were woodland and I knew some of my relatives would just love the pictures.

The first was made based upon the following Dimension Gold Collection cross-stitch kit:

Dimensions Needlecrafts Counted Cross Stitch, Moonlit Cabin

I ended up giving the Dimensions Moonlit Cabin Counted Cross-Stitch picture I had finished to my younger brother as a Christmas present his year. You know, the one with the amazing workshop. I had mounted it onto a thin cardboard backed board, matted it, and framed it with a wood grain frame.

Well, he and his wife just loved it and were amazed at the detail within the picture and how it had a three dimensional aspect to it.

The Dimensions Moonlit Cabin Counted Cross-Stitch Kit included the pattern, embroidery thread, and 18 count navy cotton Aida and thread sorter. It called for some of the background tree sections and some of the river sections  to just be the 18 count navy cotton Aida and I left them that way.

The Dimensions Moonlit Cabin Counted Cross-Stitch pattern uses full cross-stitch, half cross-stitch, and outline stitching for emphasis and depth and this detailing really makes the picture stand out. The design of this cross-stitch gives the finished picture a 3 dimensional aspect with the half cross stitch and outlining being used for artistic effect.

While the end results of this design were absolutely stunning I had a couple of issues (good and bad) with the instructions and packaging of the embroidery thread.

The instructions, chart, and symbol key were all contained within a 4-page booklet. The chart, which was on page 3, was great as it was large, fit on one side of the booklet, and the symbols were easy to read. Unfortunately, some of the instructions were printed on the back sides, pages 1 and 4, and some were on the attached left side page 2, so when you wanted to refer to them you had to keep opening the booklet or turning it over. The same was true for the symbol key which was on page 2.

I like to keep the chart in front of me on a lapboard type desk with the instructions and symbol key easily referable on separate pieces of paper. You could photocopy the instructions and symbol list ahead of time but you'd have to do that on a color photocopy machine or you'd lose the colored symbols with a black and white photocopy. I think the instructions, chart, and symbol key should all be on single-sided paper, but that's a pet peeve of mine. It just makes it so much easier for the crafter.

Secondly, the thread sorter was poorly designed. The embroidery threads were glued to a foam backed 6 1/8" by 1 1/8" strip of cardboard that had a picture of the color of the thread and it's number. In order to get to the threads you had to separate the foam back from the cardboard strip. Very quickly the threads separated from their section and then you no longer knew what the thread number was to tie to your symbols & legends.

I had to punch a hole in the thread sorter cardboard strip just below the color of the thread & it's number and then insert the threads through the hole and tie them in a loose knot so my threads, colors, and numbers would stay together. To make things even easier for the crafter to understand the color symbol key should have been shown on the thread sorter strip of cardboard as well.  That way you would only need to use the thread sorter strip of cardboard to follow your chart.

The 2nd was made based upon the following Dimension Gold Collection cross-stitch kit:

Dimensions Gold Collection Petite Morning Lake Counted Cross Stitch Kit: 7x5

The Gold Collection Petite Morning Lake Counted Cross-Stitch picture (shown at the beginning of this post) I finished I decided to keep for hubby. Like the picture I gave to my younger brother, I had mounted it onto a thin cardboard backed board, matted it, and framed it with the same wood grain frame. I have it hanging next to our desk in our kitchen. It looks wonderful there and I, too, am amazed at the detail within the picture and it's three dimensional affect every time I look at it.

The Gold Collection Petite Morning Lake Counted Cross-Stitch kit included the pattern, embroidery thread, and 18 count ivory cotton Aida and thread sorter.

Like the other kit, the Gold Collection Petite Morning Lake Counted Cross-Stitch pattern uses full cross-stitch, half cross-stitch, and outline stitching for emphasis and depth and this detailing really makes the picture stand out. The design of this cross-stitch gives the finished picture a 3 dimensional aspect with the half cross stitch and outlining being used for artistic effect.

As with the other kit, while the end results of this design were absolutely stunning, too, I had a couple of issues (good and bad) with the instructions and packaging of the embroidery thread.

The instructions, chart, and symbol key were all contained within a 4-page booklet. The chart, which spanned page 2 and page 3, was great as it was large and the symbols were easy to read. However, because it spanned two pages it had to be folded to make it easier to refer to the whole chart at once. Plus, the instructions were printed on the back sides, pages 1 and 4, so when you wanted to refer to them you had to keep opening the booklet or turning it over.

The color symbol key was on the remaining part of page 2 that wasn't covered by the chart and, as mentioned above, I like to keep the chart in front of me on a lapboard type desk with the instructions and symbol key easily referable on separate pieces of paper. You could photocopy the instructions and symbol list ahead of time but you'd have to do that on a color photocopy machine or you'd lose the colored symbols with a black and white photocopy. As mentioned above, I think the instructions, chart, and symbol key should all be on single-sided paper, but that's a pet peeve of mine. It just makes it so much easier for the crafter.

Secondly, the embroidery threads were glued to a foam backed 6 1/8" by 1 1/8" strip of cardboard that had a picture of the color of the thread and it's number. In order to get to the threads you had to separate the foam back from the cardboard strip. Very quickly the threads separated from their section and then you no longer knew what the thread number was to tie to your symbols & legends.

I had to punch a hole in the thread sorter cardboard strip just below the color of the thread & it's number and then insert the threads through the hole and tie them in a loose knot so my threads, colors, and numbers would stay together. To make things even easier for the crafter to understand the color symbol key should have been shown on the thread sorter strip of cardboard as well. That way you would only need to use the thread sorter strip of cardboard to follow your chart.

I offer my critique of these two astonishing designs as constructive criticism and a way in which they can be improved upon. My critique does nothing to diminish the end results of these beautiful woodland cross-stitch scenes. They are just stunning when completed.

I was hoping to finish more of the cross-stitch kits I had bought this Spring but just ran out of time.

Oh, well! There's always next year!

In my opinion, it's never too early to start on Christmas presents.

In fact, I already have a few gifts in mind!

Hmm........ Do you think they'll be cross-stitch gifts?

They'd better be with the number of kits I've bought and haven't completed as of yet.

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