I have bought (and thrown out or sold) many needlepoint kits in my life. The canvas was flimsy, the design was printed crooked, the threads were crappy and on and on. If you were interested in needlepoint and picked up one of this cheap but poor quality kits who could blame you if you gave up needlepoint in despair.
That’s why I am excited at the new breed of needlepoint kits. These companies sell either their own designs or a curated selection from their own websites and from shopping platforms. They use the same quality materials you’d buy in you local shop. Often they specialize in smaller projects that appeal to younger tastes.
That’s why I was excited to try out a kit from Tricia Heaton Designs, one of these new retailers.right now she has fewer than 20 kits pictured and many are sold out. There is only one book available, Stitches to Go, and no threads outside of the ones with the kits.
It’s a very different way to buy your projects but one with tremendous appeal. The shopper can quickly pick a canvas, buy the kit and have the project within a couple of days. It makes needlepoint very appealing for those without stores nearby and for the time-pressed.
My kit came quickly in a Priority Mail box and was beautifully packaged. The threads, all Silk & Ivory, included full skeins of the main colors and partial skeins of the others. The partial skeins were sorted by color and loosely tied as a group. It was very easy to separate the colors and put them into my project bag.
The canvas, from Thorn Alexander. was taped with artist’s tape and rolled up. It was wrapped in tissue paper and tied with a wide satin ribbon. Unlike the stamped mass-produced designs you find in most kits, this is a stitch-painted canvas identical to those sold in needlepoint shops. It came with two needles, so all I had to do was put it on stretcher bars and I’m ready to go.
The package also included a hand-written note which was a nice personal touch.
The one thing it did not include was any directions. Now usually we don’t expect to get directions when we buy a canvas at a shop. But often beginners will be buying these projects. Including a try-fold brochure on basic needlepoint with the kit would be a nice touch.
I like this way of buying needlepoint. It makes it more accessible and gives it a way to fit in easily with busy schedules. The designs are colorful and fresh, so you don’t feel as if you are buying fussy old-fashioned stuff. I think it’s a method we’ll see grow and thrive.