I’ve been having a bit of a musing dream in the back of my head, muddled in with all the other mulling ideas, the kind that puddle about for a decade or two. Things like getting ducks, or moving to Australia. That sort of thing.
It’s related to my lovely little embroidered babushkas and my daily delight in surface embroidery. The idea is to perhaps make a tutorial or kits/patterns for the embroidery designs I always have stirring around in the ol’ gray matter.
As fun as the idea is, of course I needed a bit of research, so I naturally HAD to order a kit (or two, or three) from a handful of absolutely gorgeous Etsy shops. My approach was
scatter brained systematic and thorough. I went through my “loved” pages from the past however many years, and whenever I came across an embroidery kit, I opened that link. I compared the various kits and narrowed it down to the three most interesting and ordered them. They were all around $25 plus shipping.
All three sellers shipped promptly and the packages arrived on the same day making it the best day ever. I quickly opened and analyzed the initial product and decided to write up a quick review for each here. I’ve received many requests for a tutorial on how I embroider, and while I do not have that to offer yet, I hope these resources will get you on the path to picking up your own bit of embroidery. This style of embroidery is called surface embroidery, it is not counted cross stitch.
1. Mushroom Girl from cozyblue $24+shipping
Is she not the cutest little mushroom milliner? This was the first time I’ve ordered something from this shop. I had initially wanted a kit from cozyblue that I’ve seen and admired a few times on pinterest but alas, it was sold out.
- Excellent packaging, very professional and thorough
- Needle included
- Easy instruction with visual guide
- Plenty of embroidery floss
- Ample sized hoop
- Pre-printed fabric
- Cute thank you note
- For being the most expensive of the three, this is the smallest and most simple design
- For all the space of the packaging, the actual product uses much less space, so it could save on shipping and price of production if she had a more streamlined package
- Because the packaging box has a huge hole in the front, you will need to have on-hand your own way to store the kit while you are working on it.
Final impression, for a beginner who wants something that is fairly straightforward but still whimsical, this is a good place to start. It is small enough to not feel overwhelmed. The stitches are simple but the way she arranges them gives a nice presentation so that it looks more complicated. It is on the pricey side, but seeing that she included a larger sized hoop and a full skein of each color floss, the pricing seems appropriate. This ended up being the most expensive of the three once shipping was factored in.
2. Teapot Embroidery Kit by Nancy Nicholson $20.84+shipping
Le swoon. I thought this style looked familiar and a quick Google search gave me the answer. The only embroidery book I own is by Nancy with the title Modern Folk Embroidery. I actually have this teapot bookmarked in the book, saved in my etsy and on pinterest. Clearly it was time to make a teapot of my very own. Can you just picture it hanging in my tea corner?
- Even though it shipped overseas, the shipping time was lickety split
- The kit comes in a little fabric bag that you can also embroider, so you have a place to store your project while you work
- Clear instructions printed right on the design (so you can’t lose it! I’m forever losing directions)
Cons: (I have very few cons, really only what boils down to personal style and embroidery comfort level)
- If this is your very first embroidery project, you will need to buy your own needle. The other two kits reviewed today come with needles.
- Does not come with hoop, you can embroider without one, but if you want to use one, you will need to buy it somewhere else.
- The pattern is printed on the fabric in color so there will be wide open spaces that are in color, but not embroidered. It will certainly save time in completing the piece, and some people might like the look, but I am considering embroidering over all the colored bits, even though that will use up more than the floss provided
- There is a limited amount of floss for the kit. That makes complete sense given how many colors are used and how little of each color is needed. You really don’t NEED a full skein for each color, but I worry about running out.
- I didn’t see a list for the colors used. Since this is an Etsy shop, I could probably message the seller and ask for the specific brand and number for each color, but I do like when that information is included. It’s useful to know when you are just starting out because you are learning what colors you like (there are SO many colors of embroidery floss)
My final impression for the Teapot Embroidery Kit is that it is a fun kit and definitely worth the $$. Nancy Nicholson is an experienced textile artist, her designs are beginner friendly and definitely a change from the type of stuffy embroidery kits you’ll find down the aisle of a local craft store.
3. His Mercies Are New by Clementine Patterns Co $24+shipping
This is the second kit I’ve ordered from Clementine Co. The first was many years ago, can you spot it amidst my many crafting basket projects? (That one is now part of a quilt made by my extended family for my paternal grandmother.) I had hoped to make the “Children are a heritage from the Lord” again and keep it this time, but I haven’t found it again. Boohoo. On the bright side, this “Mercies” one is part of a 4 part collection themed with the four seasons, and paired with a lovely Bible verse. I can imagine having the full collection on the wall, or swapping them out depending on the season.
- The stitch guide is fabulous. This is where I learned all the stitches I know.
- The design is printed on the fabric but in a very light ink so it doesn’t show up if you don’t quite cover a spot.
- In addition to the printed fabric, there is a full size page detailing each part of the project. This paper is, in my humble opinion, what elevates this kit above the rest.
- I’ve never met the people who own this company and never talked to them, but there is something so very welcoming and friendly about them. Look at the little notes included in the instructions about the raspberry border. It makes me feel like someone shared their grandma’s cookbook with me, the kind where notes are written in the margin in loopy cursive.
- The thread is extremely organized with the matching color code clearly labeled. This is the only kit I’ve ever seen that does that and I appreciate it greatly.
- It comes with a backing fabric to make the completed project have a finished look.
Cons: I had a hard time thinking of a con but I was sure there had to be something
- This is listed as an “intermediate” level project and I think that is a fair assessment, so if you are looking for a beginner level project, be ready for this one to take you quite a while.
- It is packaged well, but the bag is hard to fit the project back into while in progress.
My final impression of His Mercies Are New by Clementine Pattern Co is that this is my favorite company for embroidery kits. Having used them twice and and been able to compare them to other kits, I can say their unique instruction approach and thorough design makes these more difficult patterns accessible to a newbie.
Now I’d like some feedback from you! What sort of embroidery patterns/kits would you like to see from heath&home? Leave your feedback in the comments please and thank you!!!