Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Dimensions Counted Cross-Stitch Tree Ornament

I just love to cross-stitch and always have a cross-stitch project half finished. Some of my projects are finished quickly while others seem to linger for months on end. My cross-stitch tree ornament is in the lingering category. I don't remember when I started my tree ornament. My guess is sometime last spring.

So, with the Christmas holidays looming I thought it was time to finish it.

The Dimensions Counted Cross Stitch, Tree Ornament kit contained the presorted thread, 14 count plastic canvas, needle, and instructions.  The  pattern uses full counted cross-stitch and outline stitching for emphasis and depth.

The pattern came with starting, stitching, finishing and even cleaning instructions as well as samples of the various stitches required, and color coded keys (with code #'s, color names, and cross-stitch symbols) and a chart with color coded symbols. The colors and symbols on the keys and chart were easy to read and follow.

While I was very pleased with the end results of this design there are some things in the kit and in the instructions that can be improved upon.

As was the case with previous Dimensions kits the thread sorter was poorly designed. The embroidery threads were glued to two foam backed 2 3/4" by 1" strips 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.

I also added the symbols to the strip to make reading the chart easier. To make things even easier for the user the color symbol 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 had no problem cross-stitching the tree ornament and then cutting the plastic canvas close to the sides of the tree. I was pleased with the way the tree ornament came out but was disappointed that the finishing instructions only contained instructions for making the cord and nothing for finishing the back of the ornament. It's was such a cute ornament to leave the back unfinished with the cross-stitch threads showing didn't seem to me to be the right way to finish this ornament.

So, I decided to finish the back of my ornament with red felt. First I cut a piece of .25m DMC embroidery floss for the hanger and taped this to the back top of the ornament using double sided tape. Then I cut a square of red felt to fit the back of the ornament and taped it to the back of the ornament using double sided tape. Once I was satisfied that everything was holding I cut the red felt along the tree ornament edges.

It took me 15 hours to complete this ornament. Despite the problems I encountered with the thread sorter and the finishing of the back I was very happy with the way my Dimensions Counted Cross Stitch, Tree Ornament turned out.

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