Friday, May 27, 2016

Linda's Review Of Quiet Night Cross-Stitch Kit - Dimensions Gold Collection Petites

For some reason I decided last week that I needed to complete a 5" by 7" cross-stitch kit I had started several months ago. Ten to one I probably delayed working on it as I knew it would take me longer to finish it than the 5" by 5" kits I had been completing.

The cross-stitch kit I just finished was a counted cross-stitch kit from Dimensions Gold Collection Petites entitled Quiet Night. Like the other Dimensions Gold Collection Petites kits I had bought the kit included the pattern, pre-sorted cotton thread, 18 count navy blue cotton Aida, needle and instructions.

The Quiet Night pattern uses full counted cross-stitch, half cross-stitch, french knots 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, french knots and outlining being used for artistic effect.

The pattern came with starting and working order instructions as well as samples of the various stitches required, 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. The pattern did not include instructions for finishing the piece.

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 6" by 1 1/4" 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 1" x 11" long rectangular piece out to use as a thread sorter. I then punched 23 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.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

It's Not That Much Longer Until Artful Gathering 2016

It's not that much longer until Artful Gathering 2016 and I, for one, can't wait. This will be my 5th year taking online classes at Artful Gathering and I have thoroughly enjoyed every class I've taken.

Here's what I've taken so far:

2012 - Pat Winter -Crazy Quilting CQ101 

2013 - Briley The Birdie - A Vintage Tweetheart by Colleen Moody

2013 - Lovely Sea Maiden - A Needle Felting Adventure by Judy Johnson

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Linda's Review of The Complete Photo Guide To Doll Making by Nancy Hoerner, Barbara Matthiessen, and Rick Petersen

In doing my research on various doll histories I ran across a doll making book entitled "The Complete Photo Guide To Doll Making" by Nancy Hoerner, Barbara Matthiessen, and Rick Petersen. This book contained information on making several of the dolls I was posting about so I thought maybe I should review this as part of my Linda's Review of Doll Making Books series.

According to the books description: This book is a comprehensive how-to book about all aspects of doll making. It serves as a reference and technique guide for making dolls in a wide variety of styles. Full-size patterns are provided as well as artist galleries for inspiration. The organization provides easy access to information with step-by-step directions and color photos. Other doll-making books focus on one particular doll style. Some are purely inspirational, showing dolls made by other artists and crafters. This book provides complete how-to instruction on all types of dolls.

If you are a novice doll maker who wants to be introduced to all the world of doll making has to offer this book is a good beginning as it is filled with all sorts of dolls from simple handmade dolls to a beginner to intermediate cloth art dolls.

The book is filled with over 450 color pictures for the 30 doll project tutorials within the book and also includes lots and lots of tips for making those dolls.

There are seven categories of dolls: Toy Dolls, Nature Dolls, Folk Dolls, Paper Dolls, Book Dolls, Clay Dolls, and Cloth Art Dolls.