Friday, March 04, 2011

Maggie the Messmaker HD

This piece has been the biggest nightmare piece I have ever faced. No Teresa Wentzler piece, no hardanger, no HAED has given me as many problems as this piece. It's a beautiful piece, don't get me wrong. But I had nothing but problems from the minute I started. With a TW, I can just go without reading the directions. I sort of tried it with this piece and didn't notice the different strands and half/full stitches. So I had to rip a lot when I didn't pay close enough attention to the chart. So, for the final time, let me enumerate the things I didn't like about the design of this piece:
  • Lots of half stitches. Sometimes I forgot which one I was supposed to stitch and did it the wrong way. Ripit!
  • Differing numbers of strands. Sometimes two strands, sometimes three, sometimes a blend. Again, I had to rip.
  • Colored chart. Same symbols, different colors -- that can get confusing, especially when you highlight the chart and have to restitch something. (I had to highlight because there was so much detail in the piece.)
  • Huge chart. The thing is in shreds now with all the folding.
  • Complicated backstitching. Given the complexity of the piece, it's hard to avoid, but the backstitching was a pain.
  • Poor cording instructions. I didn't even realize I was supposed to make cording until I glanced at the stitch instructions. I know how to stitch -- I didn't need instructions. Well, apparently I was supposed to intuit that I was supposed to be couching cording, not strands of thread (the diagram gave a thread count, 1, 2, or 3 strands). Again with the ripping.
  • Knots! Yes, I had to use knots with the cording. Icky patooey.
  • Aida and non-DMC floss. The standard thing we hate about Dimensions kits. I didn't sub.
  • Full stitches, not quarter stitches. As we know, this makes for a sloppy-looking piece. As complex as this piece was, I'm pretty glad it didn't use fractionals, to tell you the truth!
I think the key here is that you have to pay attention to every little thing you do with this chart. I stitch to relax, so that's sometimes difficult. But it's done, and I'm not going to buy another Dimensions kit. They probably aren't all this bad, but I'm not taking that chance. Of course, I still have Magnificent Wizard in my WIP pile. I think I'll save that one for later, even though I had wanted to finish it for Matt's graduation in May. I just don't think I can take it right now. So, on to my Victoria Sampler gingerbread house. I can enjoy my stitching again!


Raven/Missy said...

This is gorgeous! You did a fantastic job! However I agree with you about Dimensions kits. I hate that the use same symbols printed in different colors, never enough floss, and the chart is printed on one huge piece of paper so it tears from being folded. They could do a much better job with the charts. I did one of the wizards but I don't think I'll do the others in my stash.

demeter83 said...

Does it help at all if I say it looks absolutely gorgeous? Is that any kind of balm, because it really does look brilliant

On an unrelated, every time I see your name at the bottom of oyur post it makes me think of a HAED chart,
It's spelt completely different, but I still always think of it when I'm looking at your posts.

Blu said...

Spectacular finish!
Sorry to hear you had so many issues, but at least it's over and done with.
Some of the bigger Dimensions charts are a real pain. I need to make colour copies for then, since like you said, they need highlighting but the same symbols come in varied colours. And don't get me started on the many colours of backstitchs! But they look so good when finished...

Alice said...

Gorgeous! I bet you are really dancing after all your trouble with this one.

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

It was worth all thre trouble!

When you frame it you must put a note on the back so future generations will know how much blood sweat and tears went into this one!

Pete's Pixie said...

Michelle - congrats on getting Maggie finished. I have this one in my to do pile and I always change the fabric but have taken note of the many problems you had. Thanks for the heads up - and thanks for cheering me on with LoS! Hugs, Ally xx

Karen said...

It is beautiful, and you are a fabulous stitcher; so I hope the "pain of the stitching" is something you forget and you totally enjoy this finished piece. I remember the HAED pieces you finished and what an outstanding stitcher you are. Congratulations on a great finish.

Giovanna said...

It turned out spectacular! Congratulations, and I'm sure the bad memories will fade as you enjoy it on your wall.

Cathy said...

It is a beautiful finish even though it gave you lots of trouble.

Aurelia Eglantine said...

Harder than a TW?! Good grief!

I really liked this design from the first moment I saw it in a store, as it's so colourful and unique, and I actually thought it would be one of the easier kits to stitch with all the different little items. It's very helpful to read your stitching review and realize that it's a great deal more complicated than it looks.

Maggie does look wonderful, though :) Lovely stitching!

Tama said...

She looks incredible - I agree about the annoyances of Dimensions kits, yet I keep buying them. I hate the way the charts are printed... but lovelies like your Maggie can make it all worthwhile!
You did a fabulous job!

Tatkis said...

It looks so beautiful after all your efforts!
You are my hero, because I'm stitching "Max in the Adirondacks" design, from the same line :) and I'm sooo far from finishing!

Best wishes,

Michelle said...

Woohoo!!! Amazing. I couldn't believe how huge this piece is when I saw it in person. That is a massive amount of work and it is beautiful. Congrats on the finish!