Embroidery Kits

Hello everyone

How are you all?  I have finally finished the book and as we speak it makes its way across the sea to the publishers in Australia.  This is the 8th book I have published and although it is a lot of hard work, there is always something very satisfying about seeing one’s work in print.  I hope the book will be released before the end of this year and of course will keep you posted.  It did occur to me that many of you probably don’t know what is involved in putting a book together so I plan to do a blog post on this very soon.

Kits or sourcing your own supplies.

This week I wanted to follow up on Mary Corbet’s blog Post about whether to buy an embroidery kit or to source one’s own supplies.  She has covered the topic quite comprehensively so rather than repeat it you can read all about it here:  Mary Corbet’s Blog Post.

I have been thinking a lot about this lately and trying to decide whether or not I should provide full kits with threads or continue to provide kits without threads.  In fact I have spent the last few days updating my shop and changed the word KITS to PATTERN PACKS, to avoid any confusion.    You will see that the sections in the shop state either Needlepainting Patterns, Whitework Patterns or Full kits, click on the picture to go to the shop.

A Pattern Pack includes:  Fabric with pre-printed outline, 2 needles, instruction book.

A Full kit includes:  Fabric with pre-printed outline, 2 needles, instruction book, threads.

The difference in price is approx US$20 so you can decide if it is worth it or not?

etsy picture

I have received emails from many of you stating that you would prefer the kit to include thread, but on the other hand many of you have a stash of thread and prefer to provide your own.  It seems that there is a need for both?  Let me explain some of the reasons I don’t include thread in my kits:

  • Number of threads.  Needlepainting kits in particular include numerous colours – sometime as many as 45 – 50 shades.
  • Cost Prohibitive.   The cost of including so many threads is prohibitive to you the consumer,  and also myself as it means I have to keep stock of large quantities of thread.
  • Time consuming.  I run this business alone and there are not enough hours in a day, so I would have to employ part time staff to pack the threads.  It is very time consuming cutting and sorting such a large number of threads onto cards, so the answer would be to supply full skeins which would be very costly.
  • Import & export duties.  The threads are imported into South Africa, so incur  customs duties and taxes.   I am basically re-exporting them overseas again in kit form so it does not really make sense when you can order/purchase them in your own country?
  • Availability.  One of the main reasons I am hesitant to provide thread with the kits is that the thread colours needed are not always in stock with the supplier.  This has proved to be a huge problem in the past when I am preparing for workshops.  I will put in my order for 50 of each colour needed, only to find they are short 10 colours.  I will then order these 10 colours online, only to find they are short 2 colours………… and so it goes on.  At the end of the process I have had to pay additional costs on shipping and purchasing retail.  So my worry is that if I did decide to provide thread and could not source all the colours at one time the kit would have to be out of stock for several weeks until delivery.

Pattern Packs & Digital Downloads.  I believe, the answer is to provide all designs as either pattern packs or digital downloads, but I will also provide a limited amount of full kits for those who can’t source their own threads or would prefer to purchase the complete package.  The starter lesson kits will of course include thread.  I would love to hear your views on this, as it helps me to provide “what the people want” in my shop.

New Designs.  As always at this time of year I do a bit of spring cleaning – some of the older designs will be discontinued to make way for new designs.  The discontinued designs are always available as digital downloads so you will never lose out, but I like to keep you on your toes with new designs every year.  It would help me to know what designs you would like to see more of , either:

  • Needlepainting birds, flowers, landscapes or other.
  • Whitework with colour designs.

Please know that I always have your best interests at heart and my intention is for you to study the technique and then provide designs to keep you growing and stitching!  Till next time remember, embroidery forever, housework whenever.  Trish





38 thoughts on “Embroidery Kits”

  1. Hello Trish- my apologies for bothering you. .again. . (You have graciously helped me in the past with a few of your projects). Currently I am working on the little bee-eater friends from your color confidence book. In section 3..for the breast feathers the color key lists color 729 as both color “E” and color “G” …are you able to clarify that for me, please? Thank you very much. .sincerely-Amanda K.

    On Wed, Apr 6, 2016, 12:32 Trish Burr Embroidery wrote:

    > trishburr posted: “Hello everyone How are you all? I have finally > finished the book and as we speak it makes its way across the sea to the > publishers in Australia. This is the 8th book I have published and > although it is a lot of hard work, there is always something ve” >

  2. Hello Trish and congratulations on the new book! I am looking forward to seeing it coming out and having it in my library among the rest of your books 🙂
    Regarding the patterns, I definitely prefer having just the pattern since I already have a good number of threads. This is also the reason why I have purchased your books (also because both me and my 5 1/2 years old daughter LOVE to browse them). What’s worth though in the kits is not the threads but the fabric with the print design on it. I have never managed to transfer a design on my fabric in such a delicate way. But probably that’s because I haven’t found the correct way yet.
    About new designs, I am a great fan of the birds but I would also like to see more landscapes. A variety of trees may also be interesting.
    Hope you have a wonderful day,

    1. Thanks for the lovely comment Georgia. Lovely to hear that you and your little daughter enjoy browsing the books:) I have taken your request for more landscapes on board and will see what I can do. Trish

  3. Regarding the inclusion of threads, half the fun for us embroiderers is to go to the shop and pick out our threads. I’m in heaven when I’m choosing threads from among hundreds and hundreds of colors.

    1. Thanks Pamela. Yes we are like kids in a sweetie shop when it comes to choosing threads. There are so many beautiful options these days, I still get tempted:) Trish

  4. Hello Trish,
    Congratulation on your new book – can’t wait for it to be available.
    As DMC threads are readily available in Australia, the way you do your pattern packs is perfect; As are your digital downloads. Love your Birds, Birds and more Birds, but also like the whitework!! You have converted me!
    So sorry you aren’t able to make it to BATB this October – we will all miss you.
    Keep up your brilliant work.
    With kind regards

    1. Hello Beth its good to hear from you and thanks for your comment. There will of course be more birds in the pipeline am just trying to decide which ones to do. I will miss you all at BATB this year also but hope to be back next time:) Sure you are going to have great fun as always and keep an eye on that Hazel Blomkamp for me!! Trish

  5. Since I have all the colors DMC makes and most of Anchor (thanks to your needlepainting kits), I definitely prefer pattern packs (if the design is very complicated) or a downloadable PDF. I would prefer you spent your time and energy designing all your beautiful patterns. I also like it when you specify either manufacturer, as some of the colors aren’t quite the same in both.

    I agree with Elizabeth on the housework, although I do realize you say it in jest (you do, don’t you?). I like the needlepainting the best, they are such a challenge!

    1. Thanks for your comment Cynthia its nice to hear from you again. And yes I do say embroidery forever, housework whenever in jest! I actually keep my office and shop storage area neat as a pin otherwise I find my thought gets cluttered and I can’t work freely. Having said that my family have suffered a few burnt dinners when things get busy:)

  6. Hi Trish, I have three of your books thread painting and just love them! However I have to tell you that I want to push myself to learn new things. Therefore could you please come up with more scenery patterns for needle painting? I would especially like pretty nature scenes that are realistic. I have been looking for some but the only one who seems to have something similiar is Di Van Nie Kerk (not sure how to spell her name) and she is going out of business in a month. I would definitely buy such patterns if you came up with them.

    1. Thanks Gail. I have been searching for suitable landscape pictures for many years – However there is one landscape kit in my portfolio Provencal and the sister kit will be available very soon. Trish

      1. Hi Trish, Your Provencal picture is very nice and so colorful, but perhaps more impressionistic? I was hoping you would do something from a photo for thread painting… perhaps an ocean scene, a tropical scene or a mountain with a waterfall etc. I would love to find a pattern of such for TP. You mentioned looking for scenes to do… perhaps you could find something in a stock photo site?
        I also do want to try your white work patterns. I have two of your ww freebies and I definitely have them on my “to do” list.
        Thank you for responding. 🙂

  7. Thank you for the detailed response to “why” it is so difficult to provide threads in kits. While I have done kits for small local classes myself in the past, and even then thought it was SO much work. Your level of effort greatly exceeds anything I’ve personally experienced…the difference in having an international audience for sure. It was very candid of you to explain these restrictions and I so appreciate that from a shop owner. Your work is just masterful…and an inspiration across the globe. Thank you for the effort you put into creating beautiful designs for all of us! Hugs, Kathy

    1. Thanks so much Kathy I appreciate your comment and understanding of the challenges of providing threads. It is people like you who make it all worthwhile:) Trish

  8. All makes complete sense to me. I’m happy using my stash and find it frustrating that so many commercial designs I would just like a pattern pack/chart for are unavailable in that format (from other designers I mean.)

    Your whitework is very pretty and unique, but I love the needlepaintings best. 🙂

    PS My philosophy on housework vs embroidery is that the embroidery is much more enjoyable when done with a clean conscience. Therefore, clear all household chores before starting on the needlework. A little like our parents’ admonition to finish our homework before watching TV. 🙂

  9. Downloadable patterns with thread lists is my choice. I also vote for landscapes and things slightly out of the ordinary. I would LOVE to see you do a beach/ocean piece!

    1. Thanks Linda – there is a lovely ocean piece in the new book and the artist has given me permission to use more of her artwork so this is definately something you will see in the future. Trish

  10. Congratulations on your new book Trish. I look forward to its release as I am sure it will be popular – all your previous books continue to bring us very good sales, thank you!

    Kerryn Kerryn Lightfoot Allthreads Embroidery 122 McIlwraith Avenue Norman Park QLD 4170 Australia Ph 61 7 33985540 Fax 61 7 33985560


  11. Hello, When can we learn your messages in frensh ??? Je vous admire tellement. Amitiés. Marie

  12. Hello Trish,
    It’s nice to read you again.
    I prefer the kits without threads, as I live in Montréal (Canada) and it’s rather easy to find them, at least the DMC « mouliné spécial » and the pearl cotton.

    As for the designs, I’m anxiously waiting for the second provencal landscape you’ve promised a few months ago. I really want the two of them. And I love all your needlepainting kits or patterns (birds, flowers…).

    Thanks for your message,


  13. Perhaps I am misreading your explanation, but for clarification could you explain if the thread numbers are included in the kit without thread?

    Personally, I usually download the pattern and either roughly follow your colours or substitute my own choices. Absolutely love the whitework and have finished several!

    1. Hi Marjorie yes there is always a list of the thread colours needed included, in fact I have recently added the thread list to each pattern description in the shop, so you can purchase your threads ahead, while you wait for the pattern to arrive in the post. Trish

  14. Hi Trish. Greetings from Canada. In response to your question about what we would like to see, my choice would be 1. Landscapes (not too large), and/or birds..

    Regards, Audrey Ruskin

  15. Oh boy…did I relate to your “availability” section…Trying to get enough of a color of thread or other items for classes etc…has always created a “boondoggle” and rush at the last minute and then the cost…as a teacher you sometimes barely make enough to cover the costs of your kits. The best part about continuing on teaching despite some kit frustrations is the look of wonderment on the students faces when they see their accomplishments! Even sourcing here in the USA can be trying. I actually have searched then still find more from overseas.. but I am happy to find everything I need and pass it on just to enjoy the teaching…
    I prefer kits at times and other times I will just buy the digital pattern…Depending on the threads used for a kit will guide me in my decision as to whether to have a kit or just the pattern.
    Looking forward to your new book!

    1. Thanks Avis how lovely to have a fellow teacher to empathize with! Am so relieved that you have the same problem with sourcing thread in your part of the world thought it was just us in South Africa. Trish

  16. Hi Trish
    I really like your kits without the threads. I have easy access to threads here in the city. And It makes sense that its cost efficient that way. I also some times just download your patterns and do my own thing with fabric etc. But I can understand why some ladies need the full kit as they some don’t live close to a city that has the products. So its really a catch 22. But keep up the good work
    Love to hear about your new news. Looking forward to the new book. I have all the rest of them. Thanks again Have a great day

  17. I’m on a whitework kick, so I selfishly vote for more whitework patterns!

    As for complete kits (I gave my unabashed opinion over on Mary’s post), I think they’re important for materials that are difficult to find. If you’re talking about materials that are easily sourced, I don’t know that it’s worth your time and expense. But you have to make that call.

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