craft kit · subscription box

Inner Canvas – Autumnus

Embroidering on to organza and other transparent fabrics is quite a big trend at the moment so when I saw the Inner Canvas ‘Autumnus’ box I knew I had to try it out. The two main projects in this box were a classic arrangement of autumnal nature (toadstools, leaves, and acorns), stitched onto avocado dyed fabric, and a moth stitched onto organza.

Included in the kit was:

  • Avocado dyed calico
  • Organza
  • 20cm embroidery hoop
  • 15cm embroidery hoop
  • Embroidery thread x7
  • Needle
  • Black seed beads
  • Rhinestones x2
  • Mini embroidery hoop keyring kit
  • Paper templates
  • Carbon paper
  • Care package (tea lights x2, teabag)

Links to a video tutorial for each project were emailed including a basic stitch guide. Nadia, the lady behind Inner Canvas, has a very calm and soothing voice and explains and demonstrates each step very clearly. For the majority of my stitching I followed the guide in the printed instructions, but for a few stitches such as the use of fly stitch for one of the leaves and turkey stitch for the moth’s mane I watched the video as it was much easier to understand how these were done seeing someone else do them, rather than just trying to figure it out from the picture in the book.

Most of the stitches were worked in the full six strands of the thread unless otherwise indicated on the pattern, which is quite unusual as most embroidery projects tend to use a maximum of three at a time, but I quite liked working big for a change! It meant that the pieces were completed quite quickly and kept it fun, instead of painstaking. I did the autumn arrangement first before moving on to the moth.

Stitching on organza wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. The weave is slightly more open than on the calico and you must be careful not to pull too hard otherwise it can tear. The main thing to keep in mind is that the back must be kept as neat as the front because any stray threads will show through, ruining the effect. There were great instructions for finishing off the piece as well. Usually you would just use a running stitch to gather in the back of the embroidery, but obviously this would be visible from the front, so the sides had to be glued into the hoop before the excess at the back was trimmed off completely.

Last but not least was the bonus mini project, an embroidery hoop keyring. Tiny designs of each element from the autumn hoop were included on the paper templates and your chosen design was stitched onto an off-cut of the avocado dyed fabric before being glued into the mini hoop and turned into a keyring using the kit provided. 

I definitely want to try embroidery on organza again. It gives such a great effect once it’s finished and I can’t wait to hang my moth up on the wall!

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Craftpod – Enchanted Woodland

This year’s autumn box from Craftpod (https://www.craftpod.co.uk/) had an ‘Enchanted Woodland’ theme featuring toadstools and an extremely cute badger! Included in the box was:

  • Printed toadstool design fabric
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Embroidery threads x7
  • Stuffing
  • Felt (grey, black and white)
  • Interfacing
  • Pipe cleaner
  • Eyes
  • Paper templates
  • Toadstool pin
  • Woodland stickers
  • English Breakfast tea bag

The first project was an embroidery of a Fly Agaric toadstool, a typical fairytale style red with white spots. Although the majority of the embroidery was made up of long and short stitch, which is one of my least favourite stitches, I still absolutely loved this project! Firstly, it was quite small so it felt really achievable, but the thing I loved about it the most was how effectively the stitches and thread colours were arranged to create the highlights and shadows making the whole piece look really 3D. The addition of the French knots as the warts of the toadstool, which of course are raised off the fabric, made it really special. I also liked that it was done on black fabric. Not only did it make the design really stand out, but it was nice to work on something other than white or cream!

The second project was a small stuffed felt badger. As a Hufflepuff I was pretty excited to make this, and it didn’t disappoint. When I saw how small the paper templates were I was a bit concerned that I would be able to complete it without the badger looking like a wonky mess, but actually the way it was constructed meant that there were very few fiddly bits. I really liked the addition of the little toadstool embroidered on his side as it tied the whole box together. I also liked the use of the pipe cleaners in the legs. I have made this style of pattern before and found that the legs are very tricky to fill with stuffing and often end up quite flat, but by bending and inserting the pipe cleaner into the legs it meant that they were filled and also moveable.

I think I have said this before but Craftpod really is one of my favourite craft boxes. If you are into embroidery I would highly recommend it. I always feel that the projects push my skills and the results are so rewarding. The winter box is launching soon and I cannot wait to receive it! This autumn box is still available in the Craftpod Extras shop over on Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/868716864/autumn-2020-craftpod?ref=shop_home_feat_2).    

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Craftpod: Autumn 2019

The Autumn Craftpod was a box of two halves for me. One project I really enjoyed and the other one not so much! I did, however, really like working in the autumnal colours. Yellow and orange are my favourite colours so it was great to open up the box and see all the gorgeous coloured threads inside.

In the box was:

  • Cotton tote bag
  • Piece of calico
  • Piece of yellow felt
  • Embroidery threads
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Copper craft wire
  • Two needles
  • Two brooch backs
  • Inspirational postcards
  • Seasonal cardboard thread holders
  • Paper templates
  • Ceylon black tea bag

The first project was embroidering a tote bag. The picture was made up of various seasonal vegetation such as a pumpkin, mushrooms, nasturtium and oak leaves. It made me think of being at school and going to harvest festival! The embroidery was very fine, using only a single strand of thread. I usually enjoy this kind of needlework, but I wasn’t a big fan of the design, so it felt a bit laboured to get it finished. Large sections of the design were done in long and short stitch which I really hate doing, but that’s just a personal preference! What I did really like about the project was that it was done on a tote bag. There was a piece of calico provided so you had a choice to do either the bag or an ornamental piece. A lot of the kits I have completed have been to make a wall hanging, so it was great to embroider something that I will use on a daily basis and is practical.

The second project was to make an oak leaf brooch. I really liked this project as it was a bit different and I hadn’t done anything like it before. I also really like brooches, although this one might be heading to my mum as I think she would love it and would wear it more regularly than me. The brooch was made of felt and craft wire. The idea was to shape the craft wire around the oak leaf template and then sew it to the felt so that it is completely hidden. You then add the veins and cut around the shape, ending up with a pliable leaf shape, giving it movement and a 3D effect which I love. The brooch back is sewn on the back.

So, the Autumn Craftpod was a bit of a mixed bag for me, but as usual I’m pleased with the finished products. Even when I’m not really enthusiastic about a project, I always think that it was worth the effort  and hard work in the end, and it’s always worth giving something new a try because otherwise you never know if you’ll like it or not!