The kit that I chose is called Boho Chic Embroidery. It has a bit of a folksy flair to it (and you guys know how much I love my folk art), so it was a very impatient wait for it to arrive.
Now, I do love me a neat and tidy kit. And this one included everything to enable you to stitch twelve different designs and two projects.
Out of the box you get ten different colors of embroidery floss, two different needles (embroidery and millinery), iron-on transfer sheets, a hoop, some fabric, and a book of stitches and projects, all nice and neat.
Having never embroidered before, I was only familiar with the backstitch and the French knot, so almost everything was brand new to me.
Each stitch was explained in text and in pictures, and I had no problems following any of them. Many is the time I have turned to Google to clear up confusion caused by poorly written instructions. Twelve of the (I'm assuming) most common stitches are clearly spelled out.
The instructions are clear (though I didn't have the most fun I've ever had flipping back and forth between the stitch directions and the project directions). I went for the project above, as it had a large variety of stitches I've never done, so I figured it was a good learning experience.
So my iron-transfer skills could use some work, but I have one of those Frixion pens that disappears with heat, so I drew in any details that didn't fully transfer over. And then I just dove right in.
So those are my chain stitches and some stem stitches. Not bad for a newbie. I found this highly addictive and just kept going and going and going, not realizing it was taking me much longer than I thought it would.
I told myself I was not allowed to take out any stitches unless they were severely bungled. Imperfect stitches had to stay. I did this for two reasons: one so that I could actually finish the project this century, and the second is that when it comes to pieces like this I do love seeing that a human hand was involved in the making. Oh, maybe a third reason--I think it's fun to have something to measure progress against. When I look at early knitting or sewing projects, I chuckle at newbie me, totally unaware of how practice makes not-quite-perfect-but-tons-better.
This design had so many repetitive elements I could gauge progress on this one piece alone. For example, those hearts--those to the left of the photo were the early efforts, and those to the right were later on; you can see the improvement just there. I'm going to ask you not to look at the big red flower or the orange ones--blanket stitch is on my must-practice list.
Another thing I do is that I jump right into something without an actual plan, so I had this really cute piece without an idea. I figured I'd frame it (and when A-train saw it and said "That's really nice! Are you going to make it into a picture?" I took that as confirmation that was what I indeed must do).
I think you can tell that I thought this is a great little starter kit. If you're not sure if embroidery is for you, but would like to find out, I think something like this would be a good place to begin. You get everything you need to get a good idea of if you'll have the patience for it, or even the physical ability to do it (it's not easy on the eyes, and hand stitching for a long time is not great for the hands or the back/neck--but I don't do things in moderation so if you're a normal person who understands the importance of breaks and stretching you'll be just fine). The instructions were clear, and the little book is pretty comprehensive.
As 'luck' would have it I have an old book of embroidery stitches upstairs. It belonged to my great aunt (I think--maybe one of her daughters) but found it's way to me. I've kept it for nostalgic purposes, but now I can't wait to look at it and see what else I can fashion from needle and floss.
I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the kit at no charge in exchange for an honest review. The opinions are completely my own based on my own experience. For my complete disclosure policy, click here.