Sunday, 25 November 2012

Craftways Signs of Spring Kit Review

Hi there,

This kit is by Craftways and is called Signs of Spring.  The kit comes with everything you need to complete it including the 4" coasters.

Each flower design is worked in counted cross-stitch onto a piece of  14 count aida measuring 4" x 4".  It's a nice easy kit to work, and stitches up quickly with one square on the chart being equal to one square on the fabric.

The instructions are clear and the chart is printed slightly larger than the finished stitching. This makes it easy to see the difference between the symbols leading to greater accuracy in stitching.  The different shades of blues, greens and purples within the kit are also easy to tell apart.

The coasters themselves are made of a durable plastic and are large enough to fit the base of most standard sized mugs.

I loved working on these coasters.  They are quick, simple and the finished results are both functional and pleasing.

My only slight negative is that, although finding the centre of the aida is straightforward, the chart doesn't show which is the middle square on each design. This means that finding the starting square on the chart to match the centre of the fabric takes a bit of working out.

Having said that though, it's a lovely set and ideal to complete as a gift for someone, or even just to add a personal touch to your own home.

Bye for now


Saturday, 10 November 2012

Minicraft Soft Toy Kit Review

Hi all

This is a soft toy kit from Minicraft.  I bought it from ebay for £5.99.

I've seen these kits around for a few years now and finally decided to take the plunge and try one out. I picked the bat kit for a couple of reasons. The first is I've written a children's book about a bat and this little guy looks just like my main character Dingbat. So much so that I just couldn't resist him. The second is because he looks so cute. As regular blog followers know, I have a huge soft spot for all things cute.

Anyway, the kit is pre-cut and comes with instructions on how to put it together. The only things that you need to supply are the stuffing and a needle and thread.

It's nice and easy to sew although it is a little fiddly around the face, ears and nose section.  Once the body is stitched together and while it is still inside-out, the eyes are fitted.  I must admit I struggled with the eyes as I haven't used proper toy eyes before.  I had no idea which way round the little washers go onto the eye stems and the instructions don't say.   Fingers crossed I got them the right way round.

It didn't take long to complete, just a couple of hours one evening.

It's a great little kit for a quick finish but does have a teensy negative. I was a little disappointed with the fur as it sheds easily. The fur falls out in chunks leaving bare patches. It is a cheap quality fabric which lets the kit down. Although the bare patches can be covered up by gently brushing the remaining fur over, it does mean that it would be totally unsuitable as a toy for a young child.

Having said that though, I'm happy with the finished bat. If you are looking for something quick and easy and fun to stitch then this kit fits the bill.

And he still looks cute.

Bye for now