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At the Craft Gossip Fork & Talk I attended recently, one of the activities we did was to start working on one of the embroidery kits that was included in our goodie bags. This is a Dimensions Crafts Java Coaster/Cozy, which the company’s website tells me retails for $14.29 but I think I saw the leaf ones (which I think are cuter) at Jo-Ann last week for cheaper than that.
In any case, I didn’t take any “in progress” shots but you can get the idea. The coaster and cozy are both made up of black background pieces and brown borders, then use red and orange accents to make a coffee cup (on the coaster) and the word java (on the cozy). To cover up the mess and make the coaster flat, there’s a round of sticky-backed cork. The mess on the sleeve hides when you sew up the side seam.
The instructions were really easy to follow, mostly line drawings with few words. That doesn’t mean I didn’t mess up. The outside line of stitching on the coaster was supposed to be done with two threads, and I only used one. I used two on the cozy but wasn’t supposed to sew up the short sides, so I have an extra line of stitching where I sewed the sleeve closed.
No matter. They still came out pretty cute, even with my limited embroidery skills.
Which is, of course, the point. These kits are designed to make it easy for beginners to make something cute. My stitches aren’t even (I called it “rustic” at the Fork & Talk) and my coffee cup on the coaster is off-center, but it’s still a cute project that I will probably use (I’m actually using the coaster right now, under a glass of water).
The one complaint I have about the kit — well, no, there are two. One is that the needle is pretty small (and was in a really random place in the package, inside the printed instructions, so that some people couldn’t find theirs) for working with two strands of thread. I worked around this by threading a single strand and folding it in half so when I made a stitch there were two threads at work even though it was just one strand of thread.
The other complaint is that this cozy sleeve doesn’t actually fit very well on my reusable cups. As you can see in the picture, it’s down at the bottom where typically I’d like it further up (it’s a moot point with this particular travel mug, since it has a handle, but that’s what I was drinking from today). It fit a paper cup just fine, though, so if you’re only partially eco-sensitive you should be just fine.
All in all, this was a simple craft, fun to put together and ended up with a nice result. The kit has everything you need to complete the project other than scissors, so that’s nice, too. And there was plenty of thread left over that I’m sure I’ll have to come up with a use for in a future project!