‘Tis the season some might say, or ‘tis that time of year. We start to settle in for the winter, get our needlepoint pillow kit ready for cosy crafts nights by the fire. Or we go out in search of needlepoint stocking kits for the grandkids, in time for their Christmas morning.
But finding, selecting, and working a needlepoint project is for many of us a year-round delight. And one of my favourite parts of the needlepoint process is shopping for new kits, finding the perfect challenge of a beautiful new design, picking out all the additional threads or yarns, and opening the new packages to start on the blank canvas with the promise of pure perfection.
While perfection, prettiness, and even price are subjective, relative to each one of us in our own ideal needlepoint kit worlds, there are some top contenders on the market. Here are some of my and my friends’ and family members’ favourite picks.
Bucilla Needlepoint Kits
Bucilla is a popular and highly available brand which offers some beautiful designs, both as ironed-on patterns (on pillowcases, table cloths, and more) with accompanying work charts and as kits with the blank canvases, work charts, and appropriate required threads.
Some of my favourites are the Bucilla embroidery kits with pillowcases with a vintage flower and heart pattern; and the “Celestial Picture/Pillow”.
Dimension Needlepoint Kits
Dimension is another brand easily found in crafts and other stores. It is also one of the most popular, likely for its range of offerings—from vintage country scenes to mystical creatures, the designs are challenging enough to keep the avid needlepointer engaged but not so overwhelming as to discourage her from completing the project at hand. I have yet to tackle the gigantic Dimensions “Elegant Cats,” but I am excited to do so.
Anchor Needlepoint Kits
Anchor carries a selection of beautifully detailed, artistic designs of premium quality and appearance. Included in the kit is the requisite Aida canvas, the floss assortment, and the work chart, which is busy but worth it when you complete a piece such as Michael Jackson’s “Grace and Danger” or Francis Lennon’s “Our Rainy Manchester.”
Sunset Needlepoint Kits
Sunset offers a variety of workable kits that ranges from cutesy to contemporary. The more current designs are done in bold and vibrant colours and include readable patterns that are easy to follow and take relatively little time to complete.
Kooler Design Studio Needlepoint Kits
Some of my favourite kits of all time have been those intended as beginner needlepoint kits. Among those, I would put many of the quickest working pieces of the Kooler Design Studio collection. These may be simple, with just a few colourways and requiring just a few hundred stitches. I did one Kooler Design Studio piece designed by Sandy Orton that was of orchids embracing the Chinese symbol for flower. Fast, fun, and a great gift.
Janlynn Needlepoint Kits
I hadn’t done any Janlynn designs until my mom—who is a brilliant needle craftsperson herself—learned I was into embroidery and needlepoint and sent me a whole box of Janlynn embroidery designs and kits that she had started and offered to me to finish. I finished “Night Dancers,” modern art tulips, and am working on “Cottage and Gazebo” and “After Church.”
Royal Paris Needlepoint Kits
Royal Paris kits are supreme. Besides Mirabilia (which offers gorgeous design and chart without the floss or Aida, and hence is not listed here as provider of needlepoint kits, per se), Royal Paris is my favourite to work with. But that’s just me, of course. The top-of-the-line of designs include conventional images—doggies and whatnot–but also reproductions of classic paintings like “Blue Boy,” “Girl Reading,” and “Charmes de la vie champetre” (Charms of Country Life).” The canvases are large (or, in every size, from small to tapestry), the work charts and legends clear, and the quality is truly royal.
Glorafilia Needlepoint Kits
Stunning, vivid, popping flowers on pillows are one central theme to Glorafilia designs. But the collection doesn’t stop there: you can find great cats, dragonflies, and frogs, as well as ethnic and other abstract designs with these classy embroidery kits that are accessible, affordable, and great fun to work.
While Elaine Magnin is based in San Francisco, California, the company is fully online and offering brilliant deals on a delicious and generous selection. There you can find the most unique contemporary designs, classic and traditional scenes, and modern abstract images to work in several possible sizes. I still have a number of Elaine Magnin pieces on my wish list.
Needlepoint Stocking Kits
If it ‘tis the season and you are looking for a needlepoint Christmas stocking kit, several of the above designers offer beautiful and workable selections. Bucilla, Dimensions, and Anchor, for instance, all offer ornate, detailed, and/or simple and quick patterns. And Elaine Magnin offers stocking kits in two sizes as well as needlepoint kits for Christmas ornaments, mittens, scenes, and accessories.
This Top 10 Needlepoint Kits list should surely keep you busy and happy well beyond the season. Happy needling, friends!