Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Linda's Review of Dimensions Santa & Snowman Ornaments Kit #8789

I think if I tell you any more about the cross-stitch kits I made this past year you'll want to strangle me! LOL LOL Well, maybe not strangle me, but say, "Linda, enough is enough." I know that's what my Mother would say.

But, I just have to tell you about another cross-stitch kit I bought and made this year as it contained 6 adorable and delightful Santa and snowmen ornaments. They're shown in the collage pictures above.

Aren't they adorable? I know you'd like to say that they are, but you're afraid if you do then I'll have even more cross-stitch kits to tell you about! LOL LOL Not to worry. This time I promise it's the last cross-stitch kit I'm going to tell you about for awhile.

I had bought the kit last Spring and written about all the cross-stitch kits I had purchased in a post on my "The Book Review Corner" blog entitled Cross-Stitch Kits I Bought This Spring." The Santa and Snowman ornaments kit was one of the few cross-stitch kits I was able to complete this past summer.

The Dimensions Santa & Snowman Ornaments Counted X-Stitch Kit included the pattern, embroidery thread, 14 count white Aida, felt, needles, and sequins. The 14 count white Aida fabric was 15" x 10".

The Dimensions Santa & Snowman Ornaments Counted X-Stitch pattern uses full cross-stitch, half cross-stitch, back stitch, and French knots for emphasis. It also uses thread shading and different strands to achieve a subtle effect. The pattern also tells you that you will also need thick craft glue and quilt batting.

While I found the pattern instructions to be easy to follow there are a couple of things I would change. First of all, the thread did not contain a thread sorter. It was all just bundled together in a knot.  You had to separate the strands yourself. So, I opted to take a piece of cardboard and punch a series of 18 holes in it for the 18 different colors of thread. I added the color code to each circle and then tied the respective threads to it.

I would have added the color symbol key to this but, luckily, the pattern came with an 8 page booklet that was separated into two four-page booklets and the symbol key booklet was entirely separate from the charts. As a result I didn't have to add the color symbols to the thread sorter I had made for these purposes as I just kept my symbol key open on my lap top desk. The 6 individual charts were large and symbols used were easy to read.

The pattern calls for you to divide the fabric into 6 equal sections but not to cut the sections out. They want you to find the center of each section and mark that with a piece of thread. Then you attach the 15" x 10" Aida to the embroidery hoop you are going to use and proceed to cross-stitch all 6 of the ornaments. Well, I found this to be cumbersome. I thought it would be a lot easier to just cut the Aida into 6 sections and then use a smaller embroidery hoop. Unfortunately when I did this I found that there wasn't enough fabric to fit into a small embroidery hoop.  As a result I had to add masking tape to some of the edges to stretch the fabric wide enough to fit the small embroidery hoop I was using. A larger piece of fabric would have been nicer.

The pattern called for you to use the red embroidery thread to create a long braid that you would then glue or hand sew along the edges of the ornament.  Instead, I decided to deviate from the kit and give my ornaments a lace edge.  I cut a piece of 1/3" lace trim long enough to fit the circumference of the ornament plus a 2" overlap and then machine stitched the lace edge WSO (wrong side out) to the edge of my cross-stitched Aida with the lace edge facing the center of the cross-stitch picture.  I did this so that when the felt was sewn to the cross-stitched Aida and the ornament was turned RSO (right side out) the lace would be facing in the right direction.

The pattern also called for the felt to be hand sewn to the back of the ornaments. Instead I opted to machine stitch the felt RST (right sides together) to the cross-stitched Aida leaving a 1" opening for turning RSO (right sides out) and then turned my ornament RSO (right sides out).  I then turned the edges of the 1" opening under WST (wrong sides together) and then hand stitched the 1" opening closed.

The pattern said that one of the things that makes their designs unique was the subtle color shading. They achieved this through the use of different stitches and different numbers of strands. By following the key you would get a beautiful design for each ornament. That was definitely true. When finished the ornaments were beautifully shaded and were quite colorful and cheerful.

So, what do you think?

Aren't they colorful and don't they make you smile?

They certainly make me smile and given the year my family and I have had that is no small feat.

I hope you all have a happy, "healthy" and peaceful 2011.

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