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rifestitch
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Joined: 16 May 2005
Posts: 639
Location: North of Atlanta
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8:23 pm Dec 29, 2008

I haven't seen a GK in person, but I honestly can't believe they are any different than SQ - as many as they churn out every month, I almost wonder if they even spend as much time on them as Meredith does.

What I do think they do differently is cater to those folks that think the more you pay, the more you get. I don't know if they have any licensing fees or anything that roll up into their costs - they don't really license designs like, say, Heaven & Earth Designs, and their wonderful charts are pretty inexpensive, too.

I haven't gotten a GK chart specifically because of the cost - if I'm going to lay out $45-65, then I will be guilted into starting it immediately, which will likely make me less than inspired to work on it at some point, leading to more guilt.
Lani
Member
Joined: 26 Aug 2008
Posts: 50
Location: The Woodlands, Texas
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11:05 pm Dec 29, 2008

I have only one GK pattern. My husband ordered it for me as a birthday present. It is one of the Bouguereau patterns SQ does not offer. I have not begun to stitch it, as I am in the middle of an SQ pattern; however I am really disappointed in the GK pattern, as well as GK. The pattern is not laid out nearly as well as the SQ patterns are, and they certainly are not as professional. You have to calculate the amount of floss used in each color, and there is not a layout of the page location in the overall pattern as there is on each SQ page. Also, no lables! I know these are small complaints, but given the size of these projects, they're really important to me. I am concerned about stitching the pattern, as about 95% of the first 11 pages are only one color (black). Seriously. I don't know if I want to put in the time stitching it if the finished product will not be worth the effort (especially after being spoiled with the wonderful SQ pattern I am working on!).

If you do order one of the GK patterns, however, I STRONGLY urge you to download it rather than have them ship it to you. My husband had them ship it as it was a present and he wanted to give it to me in a nice presentation. It took them 3 weeks to send the pattern, and it arrived about 1 week after my birthday. Their customer service is nowhere near SQ's, as my husband e-mailed them several times before they responded, and even then the response was lacking. I realize the pattern was mailed to the US from Sweden and this takes some time; however I had ordered a scroll frame from another European country, and it arrived in 3 days. If I remember right, he paid $10 for shipping for the pattern, and I paid about $25 for shipping for the scroll frame.

Bottom line, if the pattern you want to stitch is available through SQ, I would suggest you order it from Meredith, as the quality of the physical pattern, the amount of work put into the pattern, and the customer service are all vastly superior (albiet, based on my limited experience!). I guess I really should send Meredith a separate e-mail request with pattern requests for Bouguereau!
rifestitch
Member
Joined: 16 May 2005
Posts: 639
Location: North of Atlanta
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11:24 pm Dec 29, 2008

quote:
Originally posted by Lani
The pattern is not laid out nearly as well as the SQ patterns are, and they certainly are not as professional. You have to calculate the amount of floss used in each color, and there is not a layout of the page location in the overall pattern as there is on each SQ page. Also, no lables!


Jeez, no kidding??? I don't know how you could NOT have those things on a chart this size. Well, that alone is enough to convince me GKs are not worth all the extra $$$. Maybe I'm spoiled by SQ, but when you come to expect certain things, anything less is a disappointment Smile
Alanna
Member
Joined: 27 Aug 2006
Posts: 633
Location: Brisbane, Australia
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5:45 pm Dec 30, 2008

I myself have always been a little alarmed at the rate with which GK pumps out its new patterns, dozens every month! And I was always not satisfied that they just put the digital image of the pattern on the website rather than a picture of the finished needlework. If you look at a photo from their gallery you'll see a significant difference between their picture and what actually gets stitched. However, I've since realised that Meredith now does the same thing, so since I know she always insists on the best of everything I have to assume that its just not feasible to wait until the pattern has been stitched before putting it on the website for sale. I guess with the size of these patterns you would have to have some very dedicated model stitchers!! It is a bit disappointing I must say because you can't have "what you see is what you get", unless of course you look at some of the very impressive examples in the gallery. Still, having said all that I do believe that SQ's digital images are closer to the stitched piece than GK's, which just look like the original painted artwork.
Fibreartist
Member
Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 18
Location: Vancouver BC Canada
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2:55 pm Dec 31, 2008

[quote="Alanna"]I myself have always been a little alarmed at the rate with which GK pumps out its new patterns, dozens every month!

Man! Thanks so much. How eye-opening. That site seems so popular and the forum is busy. But I can't believe the unrealistic prices! Thanks for all the insight. I'm going now to look at the SQ catalogue and see if the pic I want is in there. On GK its 70$!!!!!!!! It's called "The Spinner" I forget who the painter is.
Fibreartist
Member
Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 18
Location: Vancouver BC Canada
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3:17 pm Dec 31, 2008

Here is a comparison with an example of a chart I want and both sites carry it. Chart is "Stitching the Standard" by Edmund Blair Leighton.
GK Stitch count: 180x405 154 colors $35.99 USD
SQ Stitch count: 206x411 93 colors $11.99 USD

What do you make of that? Question Neutral
Lani
Member
Joined: 26 Aug 2008
Posts: 50
Location: The Woodlands, Texas
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7:59 pm Dec 31, 2008

quote:
Originally posted by Fibreartist
Here is a comparison with an example of a chart I want and both sites carry it. Chart is "Stitching the Standard" by Edmund Blair Leighton.
GK Stitch count: 180x405 154 colors $35.99 USD
SQ Stitch count: 206x411 93 colors $11.99 USD

What do you make of that? Question Neutral



I checked between SQ and GK on the chart I am working on, My Sweet Rose.

GK stitch count: 150x230 140 colors $23.99 USD
SQ stitch count: 279x363 98 colors $13.99 USD

The SQ color count is the total number of the blended and solid colors used (there are 98 symbols). There are, however, 126 different DMC flosses used in the chart. I am not sure if the 140 colors listed in the GK pattern refer to the DMC floss numbers, or to the color combinations. I hadn't looked at the GK pattern very closely yet, but I did look at the symbols they are using, and there are symbols for 75 solid color stitches, versus 12 solid colors used in SQ's My Sweet Rose. This was my first project to use blended stitching so extensively. I am a convert based on the results I am seeing, and now I am not sure about using so many solid colors!

I does look like I would be done a lot sooner with the GK version of my pattern, as the stitch count is a lot less!
rifestitch
Member
Joined: 16 May 2005
Posts: 639
Location: North of Atlanta
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10:50 pm Dec 31, 2008

quote:
Originally posted by Lani

GK stitch count: 150x230 140 colors $23.99 USD
SQ stitch count: 279x363 98 colors $13.99 USD

The SQ color count is the total number of the blended and solid colors used (there are 98 symbols). There are, however, 126 different DMC flosses used in the chart. I am not sure if the 140 colors listed in the GK pattern refer to the DMC floss numbers, or to the color combinations. I hadn't looked at the GK pattern very closely yet, but I did look at the symbols they are using, and there are symbols for 75 solid color stitches, versus 12 solid colors used in SQ's My Sweet Rose. This was my first project to use blended stitching so extensively. I am a convert based on the results I am seeing, and now I am not sure about using so many solid colors!

I does look like I would be done a lot sooner with the GK version of my pattern, as the stitch count is a lot less!



That's a good point - I bet GK's color count is the number of thread colors used, not the number of different symbols. So in your particular instance, you'd get the GK done sooner, but I bet the SQ will have a much more detailed and accurate outcome Smile

As for the solid colors, that is one of the things that amazes me about Heaven & Earth Designs. Now, my experience is limited, as I have only 1 of their charts, and I am only on page 2 - but so far, I am very impressed with their ability to render in solid colors. But, too, the chart I have is 50% solid black, so they do have 590+ other colors to work with besides the 310 Smile
Alanna
Member
Joined: 27 Aug 2006
Posts: 633
Location: Brisbane, Australia
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2:49 am Jan 01, 2009

I've done these kind of comparisons myself before between SQ and GK and HAED (these three seem to be the top contenders for big artistic cross stitches) and concluded that although, GK (for example) often has a higher number of floss colours - something which would usually signal to me a greater accuracy - there is definitely such a thing as overkill and if I can can use 1 colour in two squares to look as good as two different yet very similar colours in the same two squares without compromising the overall effect, I think you'd be mad to choose the two colour version. I think the proof is in the pudding. Go to the galleries of completed works and compare, only then can you decide which pattern you'd rather go with.
Fibreartist
Member
Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 18
Location: Vancouver BC Canada
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5:54 pm Jan 07, 2009

quote:
Originally posted by Alanna
I've done these kind of comparisons myself before between SQ and GK and HAED Go to the galleries of completed works and compare, only then can you decide which pattern you'd rather go with.


It's hard to compare in the gallery if the pictures are different. It's hard to find the same patterns being done in each gallery to compare apples to apples instead of apples to oranges.
I don't want to buy a GK if SQ is better. It sure seems like this company is the better one. The pricing is definitely top notch.
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