Sad news today, Love Thy Thread is closing down on 1 December 2014 due to Bev’s ill-health. If you have lusted after any of her charts, now is the time to get them. As a reminder, here is the Maiko XL review I wrote last month.
From the Designer
“Kerry Beary’s retro designs are all thriving with charm and elegance in this exclusive range of cross stitch kits. Each design has been carefully reconstructed using our professional and state of art cross stitch producing technology. Every design has been shown to Kerry and given her personal ‘thumbs up’ before made available to Gecko Rouge so you can be sure that you will receive the best design closet to her original exquisite art.”
Why this chart?
I love these retro designs – such bright bold colours and sixties art style, plus cats. I won this kit last year in a Gecko Rouge competition.
As is standard in art-to-stitch designs, Fire Cats is fully stitched; the background is part of the picture so every square is stitched, culminating in a project comprising thousands of stitches and months if not years to work.
Gecko Rouge kits are of fully licensed modern artworks and they work with the artists to produce a high-quality rendering of their artwork into cross stitch.
Fire Cats is a simple design; full cross stitch in DMC only and many swathes of single colour; a beginner has the skills to stitch this project. However, this is a design that will take you months to complete; enjoy the journey instead of focusing on the finish and you should enjoy this design.
Note: Please respect our artists. Your work will be a labour of love for months and years to come. Buy from reputable designers such as those on this site. They support the artists who produce the original works. By buying cheap art-to-stitch designs, you are likely buying from a designer who is not paying royalties or licensing and the chart is likely to be low quality. Without support, our artists cannot thrive. Your time, and theirs are worth more.
Gecko Rouge used to produce charts, but now all of their designs are only available as kits.
The Fire Cats chart pack been printed in black on good quality white paper. The front cover is a glossy white card stock. The whole document feels strong and weighty. The plastic binder on the side is easily removed and returned to place the pages in any order you wish. When stitching this chart, I tend to put the page I am working on in the front and the floss key on the back so I don’t need to flip through the document. This plastic binder also keeps the chart tidy; I do not fear that I will lose any pages.
The Fire Cats printed chart pack includes:
- front cover sheet with a mock-up of the stitched design and approximate size (in inches) of the finished design on 14ct and 25ct fabrics
- kit instructions including stitch diagrams for cross stitch, half cross stitch and back stitch
- the 16 page chart; each page includes a diagram of where that page sits in the overall chart
- the symbol key or legend
The chart is available with both colours and symbols or black and white symbol pattern only. I chose the black and white symbol pattern only for my kit.
The chart uses unusual symbols for each floss; a circle with a dot in it, a diamond, a right hand arrow inside a black square. These symbols may be more difficult to remember or mutter under your breath while stitching, compared to numbers or letters, but they are also unique in the amount and type of space they take up on the pattern. Consequently, the differing pattern elements are extremely easy to see and differentiate. You can see the pattern in the symbols and know where you are and what you are stitching.
As these designs are only sold as kits, there is no need for the floss list/key to be on the outside of the pack. The threads arrive already sorted on floss cards that include the symbol and colour of the floss.
Fire Cats is a fully stitched chart; as such you can stitch on any fabric that you choose. Gecko Rouge offer the options of 14 ct white Aida, 18ct White Aida or 25ct DMC Magic Guide fabric for your kit. There are no overlap rows between the pages so you can stitch in rows of 10 stitches across the page, stitch on Magic Guide fabric or grid your fabric or count carefully. Most stitchers combine these techniques.
Most art-to-stitch projects recommend to stitch one-over-one on 25 count fabric; Gecko Rouge offers three options. As these designs only use whole cross stitch, I strongly recommend that you stitch on the fabric count you prefer. You are probably going to spend a long while stitching this project, don’t make it more difficult by using a stitch style or count that you are not comfortable with.
To stitch the charts exactly as designed, you will need:
DMC 310, 606, 677, 725, 728, 740, 741, 742, 814, 919, 921, 947, 970, 3078, 3854, Ecru. As these are part of the kit, there’s no listing for how much of each colour is needed.
14ct White Aida or 18ct White Aida or 25ct DMC Magic Guide (stitch count 204 x 219). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.
For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 21 x 22” or 53 x 55cm or a fat half (27 x 36″). The kit includes an exact cut for a two-inch border allowance.
Approximate cost for Project
Approximate cost of the Fire Cats kit (prices do not include postage). As this design is only available as a kit and does not include individual chart prices or numbers of skeins of floss I cannot offer kitting it up costs.
Kit : $73.00 ($85.95 AUD or €59.80 or £46.00)
Places to Buy
Colour Cascade Fabrics has a variety of fabrics for you to make this design unique. Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 6 December 2014.
Sparklies has a variety of fabrics to make this design sparkle.
Chromatic Alchemy “I wouldn’t normally recommend a hand dyed for a full stitched piece but I do think that Demeter contrasts the warm yellows in the gecko rouge cats piece beautifully.”
Gecko Rouge has a huge variety of artists they work with. Which design from their massive range would you stitch?
Did you like this review? Did it contain all the expected information? Is there anything you would like added or removed from the reviews? Do you know of a particular chart or designer you want to see featured here? If so, please head to the Suggestions page and let me know.
Last Updated: 19 November 2014