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Vendor Spotlight – Dimensions Embroidery Pillow Kit by E.K. Success

Reported by Maria Del Pinto

This really fun pillow cover kit is from the “Handmade Embroidery” line by Dimension Needlecraft (from the E.K. Success product lines).  I like the company slogan:

“with a few simple embroidery stitches and a little applique, you can create a heartwarming project in just a weekend with our Handmade Embroidery line” 

Which is true, this kit is easily finished in one weekend, and is great for those with limited free time to work on embroidery projects but want to enjoy the relaxing fun of doing embroidery.   This is also a nice kit for introducing embroidery to beginners.  The project is cute and the fabric and appliques are good quality cotton.  


The “Bird on a Flower” pillow cover kit is designed by Erin Ries.  The kit is designed to fit up to a 14″ pillow which is not included in the kit but easy to find at any local craft supply store.  It is a colorful and fun crewel embroidery project that I am very excited to make.

The contents of the Bird on a Flower Kit are:
Pillow Cover
  • pre-printed cotton fabric pillow cover in 100% cotton 
100% heavy cotton
Applique sheet

  • color coordinated cotton thread
color coordinated thread and thread holder

  • one needle
  • one set of brief but simple instructions
To finish the kit, you need to purchase a 12″ or 14″ pillow to fit inside of the cover.  
The instruction booklet and the Dimensions website do have some simple instructions and diagrams for their versions of the following stitches and knots:
  • buttonhole stitch
  • running stitch
  • back stitch
  • stem stitch
  • french knot
The first step was to lay out the supplies to see what I had to work with and iron all the cotton pieces to remove the wrinkles.  Then I cut out the appliques.  

These are really nice appliques that do not seem to unravel easily but I decided to apply a 
little fray check to the edges of the pieces (just in case).

The instructions on how to apply the stitches and appliques onto the pillow are very brief, as you can see in the photo below.  

This is great for me, I like my instructions short and to the point.  However, since this kit is being promoted as good for beginners, it might cause someone who prefers more in depth instructions some small discomfort. 

So the next thing is to begin to applique the different fabric die cuts onto the pillow cover.

The kit directions for the actual stitches are far more detailed than the project directions and 

include diagrams that are easy to follow to finish the different appliques.
So once I had finished all the stitches and appliques, I added some buttons to personalize the pillow cover to add a little more dimension to the finished project.
It is cotton and will wrinkle easily.  However, I like the casual look of wrinkled cotton so this look totally works for me.

Overall, this would be an easy project to introduce someone to applique work and basic embroidery stitches.  All the supplies are included (except the pillow) and the directions are very brief and simple to follow.
Tips:
  1. Always keep the color picture, you can use it as reference, just in case the diagrams do not make sense to you.
  2. Utilize the color-coded card that is included in this kit to perfectly match the colors to the diagrams.
  3. Place all the parts in a ziplock for an easy and inexpensive traveling kit.  Just grab it and you have something to work on when the opportunity presents itself.
Pros:

  • The color-coded stitch holders help you match the color to the diagram.
  •  The stitch diagrams are easy-to-follow, but they also provide additional reference on their website of the stitches and some video help too.
  • The die-cut pieces are easy to work, and are a nice heavy cotton.
Cons:
  • The instructions in this kit do not have the color diagrams that some of their other kits provide.  Those were super helpful to beginners and made it easy to see the differences in not only the stitches but in the correct colors to do them in.
  • The very brief instructions may bother a beginner who may want more detailed instructions.
  • Only comes with one needle.  Why not include an extra needle?
Do you enjoy pre-printed embroidery kits.    What type of embroidery do you enjoy most? Have you made anything from fabric die cuts?  We would love to hear about your experiences with these type of kits.

Vendor Spotlight: Dimension Embroidery Butterfly Kit by EK Success

Reported by Maria Del Pinto

I was very excited to find out that I would get a chance to make and review a kit from the Dimensions embroidery product line.  I enjoy doing embroidery because it is a craft that allows for so much creativity, and it is very portable.  Those of you who sit on the sidelines of your children’s sports events or wait during dental visits can relate to the need for that. The kit I received is from the new “Handmade Embroidery” (72-73602 Butterfly Ornament) selection which is  designed by Carolyn Gavin for the Dimensions (E.K. Success Brands) line. The project is 4.5″ by 5″ and simple enough to finish in one evening.
Above is a quick look at the contents of this kit which include the following:
  • Project directions.
  • Printed poly/cotton fabric
  • Die-cut polyester felt shapes
  • Pre-sorted cotton thread
  • Polyester Stuffing
  • 1 needle
The instruction booklet and the Dimensions website do have some simple instructions and diagrams for their versions of the following stitches and knots:
  • running stitch
  • straight stitch
  • back stitch
  • chain stitch
  • french knot
The first thing that I did was to lay out the supplies to see what I had to work with.
Then I followed the instructions that said to fold the long edges of the yellow piece fabric, so that they meet in the center.  I found it is easier to iron the edges down so they would hold their shape while I stitched.
I then sewed a running stitch down both sides of the folded fabric.  This piece will be used to create a hanger for the ornament.
The instructions directed me to sew the yellow piece to the large blue butterfly die cut.  Once that was sewn, I added the small pocket on to the back.
Then I took the white flower die cuts and stitched them according to the directions.  I found using two strands looked much better than using just the one that the instructions suggested.
I then stitched the rest of the felt die cuts.   They give you plenty of thread in the kit, so using two strands to do these stitches was not a problem.  Then I took the different die cut shapes and sewed them  onto the orange butterfly die cut.
The orange material started to fray as I sewed the die cut pieces on, so I put a little liquid seam sealant to prevent that from happening.  I thought about trimming the frayed bits off but I think they added a little character to the butterfly ornament. 
As I was working on this project, I realized it would make a cute tooth fairy pillow.  That cute pocket in the back is just the right size.
So once I had finished all the accent stitches, I added some beading to personalize it and add a little more dimension to the butterfly ornament.
This would be an easy project to introduce someone to basic embroidery stitches.  All the tools are included and the directions are simple to follow.
Tips:
  • Keep the color picture, you can use it as reference, just in case the diagrams do not make sense to you.
  • Utilize the color coded card to perfectly match the colors to the diagrams.
  • Place all the parts in a ziplock for an easy and inexpensive traveling kit.  Just grab it and you have something to work on when the opportunity presents itself.
Pros:
  • Good printed examples of the stitches and easy to follow instructions which are mostly drawn so you just glance at them to figure out what to do next.
  • The die-cut pieces are easy to work with and are fun colors.
  • Thread is on a presorted color coded card to make it easier to complete project.
Cons:
  • The aqua green and blue are kind of similar in color and they blend together too easily.  A brighter or darker shade of blue, would have been a nice mix with the bright pink and yellow to give more dimension to the project.
  • The orange butterfly die cut does fray.  I recommend using a liquid seam sealant that prevents fabric from fraying.
  • Only comes with one needle.  It would be nice if they list the size of the needle for the kit so that if you misplace it like I did, you will be able to replace and not risk changing how the stitches look on the project.
What are your favorite embroidery  projects?  Do you have any tips?  Leave us a comment and let us know.

Vendor Spotlight: E.K. Success – Martha Stewart Embroidery Set

Reported by Maria Del Pinto




The E.K. Success Company sent me this cute baby one-piece and cap embroidery set from their Martha Stewart Crafts embroidery line.  I love making gifts for infants, so I was very excited that they had a new line of embroidery projects for baby gifts.  At first glance, the kit looks a little plain because the colors on the packaging are printed in a yellow ink that seems to fade out the colors of the thread on the baby set.  The thread colors are actually more vibrant out of the packaging.  I really liked the simple “Let It Bee” design on the two baby project pieces, along with the color choices of the threads for this design.
Kit Contents

Here is what comes in the kit:
  • 1 cotton onesie, pre-printed in wash-away ink
  • 1 cotton cap, pre-printed in wash-away ink
  • 1 needle
  • presorted cotton thread (Papaya, Marina, and Pumpernickel)
  • easy illustrated directions


One piece shirt
The one piece shirt and cap are very soft and made of 100% cotton with the designs already printed on them in a “wash-away ink”.   
baby cap

I love that the company placed the threads on a color coded thread organizer card that directly corresponds with the drawings, which makes it easy to identify the right threads.

Additionally, the Martha Stewart  embroidery Kit includes an easy to follow Key Chart that not only lists the stitches but breaks it down by color.  

The directions themselves are well-illustrated and easy to follow.  Instead of being too wordy, they have done the illustrations in varied thicknesses and colors that correspond back to the chart.  

You only need to do three stitches to complete this kit.
  • the stem stitch
  • the back stitch
  • the french knot



All you have to do is look at the Key Chart and match the line and you will know which color and stitch to use.  



This is an ideal beginner embroidery project and the final pieces are so adorable as you can see in the close up below.



Tips:
  • The pieces in this kit are pre-printed in a wash-away ink, so remember not to pre-wash the two pieces or you will lose the design. 
  • Use an embroidery hoop, it makes the project go faster.

Pros:
  • Great illustrations that are easy to follow.
  • The needle has a big hole so I did not need to use a needle threader.
  • The shirt and cap are very soft and finished in an over lock stitch which means it will hold together through more washes than those that do not.

Cons:
  • I wish the design had been printed just a little bigger on the one-piece.  
  • It would be nice to list the weight of the child that would fit in the 9 to 12 month one-piece for those who may not be familiar with how to size baby clothing.  Or at least to list something to the effect of “when in doubt…pick a size up”.  

What types of projects do you recommend for infant gifts?  What are your favorite baby items that you have made? Leave us a comment and let us know.