Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Coffee Fairy review

I was recently contacted by Yiota of Yiotas XStitch who asked if I would mind reviewing one of her cross stitch kits.  She sells online kits or charts, mostly designed by herself and a few by others.  There is a wide range of subject matter from animals to landscapes, fine art and fantasy.

Many of the Fantasy designs are from artwork by Erin Ewer and have been converted into gorgeous cross stitch patterns.  They are what I would call "photo-realistic" rather than hand-drawn (like Mirabilias).  As a result they only feature whole cross stitches and no back-stitch.  Ideal for people who just like to stitch!  They can also be easily stitched on aida which the kit is supplied with.

I spent a long time browsing the site which is well laid out and easy to find the different designs.  Some designs often feature in two categories, eg Fantasy and Fairies which makes it easier to find something you will like.  There are often three different ordering options - full kit, just chart or email chart which suits everyone.

After lingering over the Art Nouveau astrology fairies, I finally chose this design, the Coffee Fairy.  I liked the humour in this design and can see her completed in my kitchen near the coffee cupboard. 

The parcel arrived this afternoon, in a solid envelope marked Do Not Bend so I got to meet my new postman again as he rang the doorbell.  I bet he wishes he got paid "per item"!!  This is what was inside:

Plus the chart of course!  The fabric is plenty big enough (haven't actually measured it yet) and the colours look so gorgeous all wound onto their little bobbins clearly labelled with the Madeira numbers.  The chart includes DMC references too so if I wanted to stitch it again or pass the chart on in a Giveaway I could easily do so.

The chart itself is nice and clear, it's spread over 2 pages of A3 paper and there is a 2 stitch overlap.  I like an overlap, the larger the better.  The symbols have been well chosen so the darker colours are more solid symbols, this means when you hold the chart at arms length and squint you can "see" the design.  It's also much easier to follow when stitching.

All in all, a nice kit with a nice chart of a lovely design.  An option for evenweave would have been a bonus but at least this way I can choose my own colour and count if I want to.  Also, the biscuits are not included, you have to buy your own!

One question for bobbin users, when you cut a length off, what do you do with the strands you're not stitching with?  Usually I tie it round a piece of cut-up card thread sorter and put it back in the Floss-a-way bags I use.   I'm thinking of making a thread sorter from card while I'm working on the kit as I'll be using the holes in the top to thread all the bobbins onto a split ring to keep them in numerical order.

While browsing the site I came across this kit too, Girl with a Pearl Earring based on the beautiful painting by Vermeer.  I saw a lady stitching this recently, on 48 count over 1, can you imagine it?  The design has 55 different colours!!  How I wish I'd had my camera with me.  I'm not sure if it was this exact chart as her piece was smaller than this one would come up (about 2 x 3 inches) but it was clearly recognisable as the painting.   Amazing!

Finally, a Giveaway.  This time from Crafty Rahenna to celebrate opening her Etsy shop.  She has some lovely Christmas kits, threads and fabric to win.  Rahenna has less followers than she deserves so pop over there and start stalking following her, tell her I sent you and we'll share the prize hahaha


Rhona said...

Gorgeous colours in the coffee fairy kit. Bet you can't wait to get started on that one. I'm off to check out Crafty Rahenna's blog too!

Unknown said...

I will watch this eagerly as I have always wanted to do a mirabilia but I know I wouldn't get on with the over one stitching!!

Lesleyanne said...

Thanks for your review it was really interesting. Will go and have a browse. Also heading over Rahenna's blog to have a look.

Colours of the Outback said...

I LOVE that site! Thank you! I just found a couple of Rottweiler designs that I love. I'm off to look some more.

Bec said...

Very nice kit. Gorgeous colours.
Looking forward to following this one :)
It's making me want a coffee now lol

Rachel said...

That's a pretty design! It's interesting that they floss is already on bobbins too, not many kits come like that.

As for bobbins, that's pretty much all I use. When I cut a length off, I pull the strands I need, then set the other strands on the table next to the bobbin box. If I end up having leftover strands, I rewrap them on the bobbin for a use next time.

cucki said...

yup..really very lovely kit and stunning colors..all of them are my fav one..i love it so much..
hugs cucki xx

Rahenna said...

Haha, when I cut a length off a bobbin, the unused threads get thrown on my coffee table and I eventually end up using them. I'm a slob. :p When I'm using multiple colors, I just pile the threads on top of the bobbins so they don't get mixed up.

When I'm done and still have leftovers, I loop them through the hole on the end of the bobbin then (sometimes, if I'm not feeling lazy!) wrap the threads around the bobbin to secure them.

Penny said...

A lot of pretty things on that website. I love the Coffee Fairy and it's nice that you don't have to sort the threads. Sounds like you have a nice postman. Any package marked Do Not Bend just seems to encourage my postwoman-not just to bend it but to jam it in the box so you have to pull with all your might to get it out. :)

Joysze said...

You picked a cute design. Looking forward to seeing you pics on this one.

As for the thread, I just wind the unused portions back up on the same bobbin.

Christine said...

Looks like a nice kit. When I use bobbins I just wind the leftover bits back onto the bobbin over the top of the whole thread. You can always cut another little slot to secure it

Anonymous said...

Coffee Fairy is a gorgeous design and the colors look very pretty.
1over 1 on 48ct... Uff, I guess I would go mad...
But it's a nice kit =)

Jennifer M. said...

Oooo I like the design you chose and how interesting the kit comes with Madeira threads instead of DMC. A nice change I think. I'm looking forward to seeing your stitching on this.

Did I read that bit right? 48 over 1?? I didn't know Linen went up to 48. She must have a serious magnifying glass for her stitching. More power to her!


Unknown said...

Thank for your review once again. I am glad you like my kit :-)