It seems a little crazy at the start of the summer to be posting about a winter cross-stitch picture I just finished. You might wonder why I didn't post this in the winter. Well, there's a really good reason for that. I started this back on the Fall of 2018 and finally just finished it in June. Everyone who cross-stitches knows that WIP sometimes take months or years to complete....lol.
I was looking for more cross-stitch winter seasonal pictures to display during the winter season and was drawn to the picture in the Dimensions Gold Collection Petites "Snowman & Friends" picture when I saw it. So, I decided to buy the kit and add it to my other winter cross-stitch decorations on my fireplace mantle.
Like the other Dimensions Gold Collection Petites kits I had bought the kit included the pattern, pre-sorted cotton thread, 18 count white cotton Aida, needle and instructions.
The "Snowman & Friends" pattern uses full counted cross-stitch, french knots and outline stitching for emphasis and depth and this detailing really makes the picture stand out. It also varies the number of threads used with the various stitches to add to the depth emphasis. The design of this cross-stitch gives the finished picture a 3 dimensional aspect with the cross stitch, french knots and outlining being used for artistic effect.
Unlike other cross-stitch pictures I have done this one left large areas of the picture unfinished and just showing the white Aida cloth, like the picture shown above. It also did not square the picture to the border.
However, I don't like leaving large sections of the cross-stitch picture unfinished so I opted to finish mine, as shown in the picture above.
Unlike other cross-stitch pictures I've completed the jagged edges to the unfinished areas and border required me to improvise and fill in the cross-stitch picture so I had a 5" by 7" rectangle border to my picture. So, I utilized the extra floss from the kit and added the colors and images that I envisioned the picture would have if it had been completely finished.
Not only did I decide to totally finish the picture around the edges but also decided to embellish it in a few other areas of the white snow to create more of a 3-dimensional effect. I used 3-strands of the white floss and created several areas of french knots to create the effect of snow piles.
I also added more blue back stitching in the snow areas to highlight the depth of the snow piles and did the same in sections of the evergreen tree.
For the areas around the border that I filled in and for the large sections of white snow I used 2 strands of the respective floss color I was using in a half cross-stitch pattern.
I decided to use an 9" round embroidery frame to stitch this embroidery. The white Aida wasn't big enough to fit into the frame so I sewed 4 muslin strips to the four sides of the Aida to keep the Aida tight and stretched so I could easily cross-stitch this design.
The pattern came with starting and working order instructions as well as samples of the various stitches required and instructions for creating them, color coded keys (with code #'s, lengths, 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.
Unlike the problem I had with the size and readability of some of the other cross-stitch charts in the kits I had bought this color chart was large enough and easy to follow.
As was the case with previous Dimensions kits the thread sorter was poorly designed. The embroidery threads were glued to foam backed 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.
As I have done with other cross-stitch kits I've completed I had to design my own thread color sorter and symbol key. I took a piece of thin cardboard and cut a long rectangular piece out to use as a thread sorter. I then punched holes in my cardboard strip in which to tie each of the different colors. Just below the hole I wrote the DMC floss # and just above the hole I added the respective color coded cross-stitch symbol. I then inserted the floss threads that went with that # and symbol through the hole and tied them in a loose knot. This kit could be much improved if different thread sorter with respective #'s and color coded symbols was provided.
Short of changing the thread sorter all together to make things even easier for the user the color symbol should at the very least 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 pattern included instructions for finishing the piece. I didn't need these as I knew what type of picture frame I was going to use, the mat I was going to use and the way in which I wanted to finish the picture.
I tend to favor adhesive mounting boards for the cross-stitch pictures I'm inserting into a finished picture frame. I had decided to use an 8" by 10" wood frame I had bought that had a white and gold double depth mat with a 5" by 7" opening. Since the frame I was using didn't have enough depth to the inside of the frame I knew I wouldn't be able to use a 1/4" foam adhesive mounting board for this picture.
I also wouldn't be able to mount this on an 8" by 10" adhesive board either as I didn't have enough depth to insert my finished mounted cross-stitch picture and then insert the back of the picture frame. There just wasn't enough depth to then secure the back of the frame with the metal clips.
So, I opted instead to adhere my cross-stitch to a 5" by 7" Pres-On self-stick thin adhesive mounting board and secure my picture around the 5" by 7" mounting board. This would allow for just enough depth along the side in which to secure the back of the frame with the metal clips.
When I had finished securing my cross-stitch around the 5" by 7" board I centered the picture within the white and gold mat and then secured it to the back of the white mat with masking tape.
When the picture was finished I was very happy with the way it turned out. It would be perfect for the winter season for my fireplace mantle. I hope you like it too.