The Death Mask, part 1


As I’m back to working on this project I think I need to get a few things of my chest, have a good moan (you’ve been warned) and then (as the American’s would say) gain closure and move on…

So what is it I don’t like about this kit and why did I agree to do it in the first place?

Think I’ll address the second part of that question first; why agree to do it?  Easy – guilt!  I don’t know about you but I have a fantastic relationship with both my parents.  Over the last few years my mum has suffered some health problems which mean she is not able to do as much stitching as she used to.  So when she was having a clear out and we came across this and knowing how interested in the subject my Dad is, I said “I’ll do that one for you”.  I always feel I don’t do enough for them, so it felt right to do this – just goes to show my Dad’s right, I really am daft!

So what don’t I like about it?  Well let me show you…

Death Mask getting organised

Death Mask, laying everything out so I can begin stitching again

The threads, unsorted when you get them.  I like them to come pre-sorted, after all who wants to spend a couple of hours sorting threads when they could be stitching.  Now I’m sure I’ve said in the past that I don’t mind sorting out the threads, adds to the anticipation of beginning something new… OK so, I’m fickle! and if I’m honest being picky about this project (well I did say it was a moan).

Now I don’t expect manufacturers to do anything about the following, there’s nothing they can do, and it’s a personal preference thing.  Fraying edges on Aida fabric; I prefer to edge my fabric in some way, which is why the masking tape is in the picture.  So I’ll be doing that once this blog is finished.  I have used a product in the past, think it was called Fray Stop or something similar, but can’t seem to find it today so will revert to good old masking tape.

Death Mask chart whole

Symbols and grey backgrounds, what are they thinking?

Death Mask chart detail

I know it seems clear enough here, but it’s been magnified significantly!

The chart; nice size (A3) but an awful chart!  I don’t mind whether a chart uses symbols or colours or both, but I really mind when they use symbols then various shades of grade as the ‘colours’ especially on a chart which you’re probably going to photocopy so you can actually read it.  I blew this up to 2 x A3 pages, which has of course, made the grey backgrounds darker (and that was after experimenting with the settings on the copier).  Why couldn’t it come as say 4 x A4 pages, no greyed backgrounds and simply with symbols?  It would be so much easier to use.  By all means give us an overview on A3, but honestly if you’re going to make and sell kits – think it through from the users point of view, we don’t all have bionic vision! (showing my age now).

Death Mask metallic threads

Metallic threads, what more can I say?

Metallic threads, well just having to sort them is no fun – the more you handle them, the more they start to split, which makes them more difficult to use.  Add to that, that some are stitched as single colours some are blended and well it just becomes a nightmare to stitch with.  Now it says these are Kreinik blending filament, but they’re nothing like the metallic threads I used before Christmas when I raved about how good they were; these are thinner and much more suspectible to splitting.

Finally the fabric colour.  Now as a design I think it looks great once finished on the blue fabric.  I’ve seen it stitched and framed (another reason I said I would do it) and it looks wonderful.  But of course stitching on dark fabric presents it’s own challenges, so the white towel will have to come back out to sit on my knee behind the stitching when I’m working on it.

I have been thinking about investing in a good table top stand for my stitching for a while, but haven’t found one I really like, or had the money to buy one.  So I think it’s time for the floor stand to come out of hiding; just have to remember where I put it in the great tidy up… ah I remember, it’s in the bedroom!

I feel better now, have had a moan, and feel ready to take up my needle again and hopefully, not do battle with this kit, but wander gracefully through the next few weeks whilst stitching this project.  We’ll see…

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