13March2012
11:32

Le Harem Moderne by Erté 

Copyright Erté, Maia, date unknown.

Maia

Le Harem Moderne by Erte

Chart: This Maia kit contains a double-sided A3 sheet with one copy of the Erté chart on each side.  One chart is the counted cross stitch only. The other contains the extensive backstitching instructions. Also in the kit is a separate Letter/A4 page with the Cross stitch and backstitching key or legend.  Also is a separate, folded, double-sided A2 sheet that gives basic cross stitching and backstitching instructions and diagrams in English, French, German, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finish, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Russian.  The cross stitch is quite simple and the chart is quite large so there I have no concerns with stitching from the chart.  The backstitching however is quite extensive, with the differing coloured threads only differentiated by differing thicknesses and types of lines on the chart.  This is an example where differing coloured lines would have worked to much better effect.

Stitches: Pattern uses whole cross stitch, fractional stitches and backstitch.

Materials: Kit contains Anchor stranded cotton and Anchor metallic thread with 16ct “Black” Aida.

Designer’s Notes: None.

Why I was attracted to this design: As follower’s of this blog will know by now, I love historical costuming and historical forms of art.  One of my favourites is the 1920s Art Deco period. Erté was a fabulous designer and stylist of that period.

So why haven’t I stitched it? Maia kits are very expensive. Inordinately so, for what the size and nature of their contents. However, when I knew I was going to quit my job for a few months to concentrate on getting my migraine fixed, I splurged and purchased one Maia kit.  I was quite disappointed when I discovered that the chart was so amateur – the backstitching and the cross stitching do not line up – and I have to replace the fabric.

Where can you buy it? Maia’s website only lists their latest designs, so I do not know if this kit is still officially available or not.  It is still listed via some LNS or ONS for around $50US or £30UK.

Discussion questions: As this design makes extensive use of fractional stitches, I will not be stitching it on Aida.  It peeves me when designs are sold only as kits when the kits are clearly unsuitable to the task. If black evenweave or linen had been provided I would not have any cause for complaint.

In this situation, do *you* still buy the kit as that is all that is available, knowing that you are wasting money on fabric that you will be replacing anyway. Or do you just bypass it as there are more than enough charts that take your fancy without these kits.

Project Status:
12 Mar 2012 – Partially kitted – need to buy some Black linen or evenweave.