I’ve signed up to Craftpod (http://www.craftpod.co.uk), a quarterly creative subscription box. Each of the boxes is inspired by the seasons and usually nature themed. They are mainly focused around embroidery and felting projects. You can either buy each box as it comes out (£23) or subscribe for the whole year (£84). Extra shipping costs are also charged on top of this. I decided to go for the yearly subscription so I could try out all the seasons.
I started my subscription with the Spring 2019 box and was very excited to receive it though the post. It was small enough to fit through the letter box, without needing to be signed for.
Inside the box was:
• An embroidery hoop
• Various coloured embroidery thread
• Fabric: calico, linen, felt and interfacing
• Fleece stuffing
• A packet containing a needle and some pins
• Paper templates
• Artwork that inspired the box
• Stickers of the artwork
• A lemongrass, ginger and citrus teabag!
There were two projects to complete, both with clear step-by-step instructions and photographs of each stage. The larger project used the embroidery hoop, fabric and thread to create an appliqué picture inspired by the artwork Blackbird’s Nest by Gordy Wright. The project was created by building up layers of fabric and adding texture and detail using the thread. It was really satisfying to see the image progress as I added each layer. Some of the stitching was quite fiddly, particularly the positioning and sizing of the blackbird’s eye and also the grass at the bottom of the frame as you had to remove the frame and replace it for each stitch so it looked as though the grass was growing from below the frame. The final result does look good so I think making the effort to get it right was worth it.
The smaller project was a felt pin cushion with small embroidered plants around the edge. This didn’t take me long to finish at all and the result is not only cute but useful too! It was made from three pieces of felt. I embroidered the side piece first. Some ideas for decoration were included on the pattern. The three pieces were then attached together to create the shape and filled with rice and the fleece stuffing. It said in the instructions that you can buy proper beans for filling pin cushions to create the weight at the bottom, but rice or lentils would also be fine. As I already had some rice in the cupboard I decided to go with that!
I haven’t done any embroidery since I was at school so when I first got it all out the box I wasn’t sure I was going to make a very good job of it, but I found the instructions really easy to follow and the pictures were nice and clear so it was easy to just copy what they had done if I wasn’t sure about something. Once I got started a lot of the stitches came back to me (just like riding a bike I suppose!), but I think even if I were a complete beginner I would have been able to complete both these projects. On the Craftpod blog there is a post called Botanical Stitch Practice which does have images and basic instructions, however it was a few posts back so I had to click through several other posts to reach it. I found it quicker to just type ‘botanical stitch practice craftpod’ into Google and it came up straight away. Although the guide is fairly useful it didn’t have all the stitches required for this box, such as blanket stitch. If you are new to embroidery or need a reminder on how to do some of the stitches I found it helpful to watch some of the videos on YouTube where you can watch someone demonstrate the stitches and talk through each step.
The only thing I was slightly disappointed about was that the interfacing I was sent was not long enough for the branch template. I managed to get it to fit by placing it diagonally only to find that the brown linen provided wasn’t big enough either. In the end it didn’t matter because even with a shortened pattern there was still enough fabric to stretch across the frame, I was just a bit surprised at this oversight as the box as a whole was clearly well planned and thoughtfully put together.
Overall I really enjoyed these projects and I will look forward to the Summer 2019 box dropping through my door!