For this review, I tried out a fun and surprisingly modern Self-Finishing Needlepoint Coaster Kit in the knotwork pattern from Jenny Henry Designs. Consider yourself warned: this is definitely NOT the kind of plastic canvas project that your grandma gave you as a kid!
According to the Jenny Henry Designs Etsy Shop:
This kit contains everything you need to create a set of four needlepoint coasters.
10 designs to choose from.
5 – 4″ x 4″ plastic needlepoint canvases (one extra for practice)
4 cork backs with adhesive
3 balls of cotton thread (more than you will need)
1 basic stitch guide and charted coaster pattern
The kit retails for $25.00.
What I loved:
1. The kit contained all materials needed to make the project. I only needed to provide the scissors.
2. The pattern was completely charted, as were the stitches needed to create the pattern.
3. An extra plastic canvas is included with the kit so you can practice or fix mistakes.
4. The plastic canvas is easy to stitch through.
5. The stitches are easy to count and the pattern is easy to transfer visually to the plastic canvas.
6. It’s easy to pull out mistakes. (As long as you notice them when they happen.)
7. The edging stitches covered the edge of the plastic canvas completely, giving the coaster top a nice finished look.
8. The cork bottoms are self-adhesive, making them quick and easy to attach.
What I didn’t love:
1. I wish the pattern chart had been in color—it would have made it easier to follow along at a glance. (A color photo of the project was provided on the back of the pattern.)
2. When working with basket weave and continental—the two stitches included in the instructions—I was a little bit confused by the stitch chart. What you need to know: You don’t have to make the full shape shown in the chart —the chart is simply illustrating the order placement of the stitches.
3. The instructions didn’t indicate where each different type of stitch should be used. Stitch suggestions on the pattern would have been helpful.
5. The instructions didn’t mention how to change color. (I generally approach needlework on plastic canvas a lot like cross-stitch. If you’re working a row with a lot of color changes, you can trail the color you’re not using along the back by stitching over it until it’s ready to be used. White is the active color in the photo above.)
How I stitched it:
1. The instructions didn’t indicate how long the working lengths of thread should be. I found two arm’s lengths to be a good starting point.
2. Since the instructions didn’t say which stitches should be used for each section, I chose to do all of the outline work in continental stitch, so I stitched those parts first.
8. To fill in the large space in the center, basketweave stitch worked perfectly.
I loved the fact that the pattern in this kit had an interesting modern look. It’s really hard to find plastic canvas patterns that are cool without being too kitschy, but this one really hit the mark. Because I was already familiar with needlework techniques, I didn’t have a problem using the kit and following the pattern. However, to make this kit accessible to true beginners, additional instructions for things like color changes and stitch placement would definitely be helpful. That said, I had a great time stitching my coasters and am really pleased with the look and quality of the finished project.
Disclosure: Samples provided for review, but my opinions are honest and my own!