My First Embroidery – Featuring a Hawthorn Handmade Kit

Last year I decided to take up cross stitch again.

On researching patterns and designs I inevitably came across embroidery. What I found was beautiful! There’s much more flexibility in what you can do with embroidery and some of the stitches looked complicated but fabulous.

Naturally, I then lost an afternoon to Etsy, trying to find a beginners kit that would have everything I needed to try out some embroidery. After seeing a gorgeous kit from Oh Sew Bootiful that I deemed too complicated, I found some simple kits from Hawthorn Handmade.

I settled on a cute squirrel kit for my first embroidery project.

Inside the well presented box was pretty much everything I needed to complete the squirrel design. All I needed was a pair of scissors and a comfy chair and I was good to go!


These were really easy to follow. The stitch guide made it pretty easy to learn all the new stitches. There was only one that I had a problem with and needed to consult a You Tube video for. Obviously as the pattern is printed onto the fabric following the design was much easier than with a cross stitch. I only needed to refer to the pattern to work out which stitch to use on which part (each part was colour coded to signify the difference stitch types), and the picture on the front of the box to check which colour I should be using.

Onto thread colours. These all came bundled together with no way of knowing which was which. Given this is a kit of bright, bold colours this isn’t an issue for this kit, but is a general bug bear of mine in sewing kits. Also, because the picture on the box is the only way of knowing what colours are supposed to be where some of the colours in the finished item aren’t correct. The kit does say you shouldn’t feel constrained to the colours used in the picture but I wanted to try and stick to them.

Overall though, the instructions were very easy to follow. With good old You Tube on hand to help with the trickier stitches if needed, even someone who’d never stitched a thing before could follow this.

Finished item

This hasn’t been completely finished off as I still need to get the excess fabric tidied up at the back. Aside from that, the piece is complete! I love how it looks and the eclectic array of colours mean it’ll probably work in any room. I think I’m probably going to keep it in the hoop and hang it on the wall of my craft room.

It’s clearly not perfect. The French knots were definitely hit and miss as I got used to the doing them and the stitch I struggled to learn (feather stitch) doesn’t look too great. However, I’m really happy with it as my first piece. After completing this I’d definitely feel confident moving onto something else a little trickier.

I’d definitely buy more kits from Hawthorn Handmade but the designs are also available as a PDF for anyone with lots of supplies already to hand.

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