Friday, May 1, 2009

Sublime Stitching Review Part 3: Stitchable Stationery and Giveaway!

Day One, I introduced you to the new Sublime Stitching Journal. Day Two was the adorable Bib Kit (which, by the way, is part of our Friday CRAFT pattern podcast - you can get two of the designs from the kit for free!) and today I'm sharing my favorite new Sublime Stitching products - the Stitchable Stationery.

The kit comes with six 5X7" note cards that are printed with adorable embroidery designs on nice, heavy paper. There are also coordinating envelopes, embroidery floss and two needles.

I have had more fun with this kit than I'd expected I would. The cards aren't pre-punched, so I thought it would be frustrating to have to punch the holes myself. It was quite the opposite. Punching the holes with the included needles took 5 minutes for the simplest designs, and just under 10 for the more complicated ones. Here's my tip: Lay the card on the arm of your chair or couch and quickly punch each hole. You don't have to take the needle all the way through this way, and it makes things go muuuuuch quicker. I didn't have any problems with needle marks on my chair, but you might want to test one or two punches just to make sure this will work for you.

Stitching on the cards was also a breeze. The paper is nice and thick, and once you've punched your holes, it's a dream to stitch on. I also like that, since the stitch dots are already marked on the pattern, your stitches end up looking super even and clean. It's strangely satisfying.

The accompanying envelopes are also adorable. They come in a variety of muted colors (white, yellow, beige-ish) and have little stitching designs on them.

And, of course, since this is a Chronicle Books product, the packaging is impeccable. The folder in which the stationery is stored is actually stitched across the top and bottom. Cards and envelopes are in one side, and floss and needles are on the other side. The folder is sturdy enough that you could reuse it once you've stitched and sent all your cards.

As I was tweeting about stitching these cards at my son's tee ball game last week, someone asked if stitching on cards wasn't something I could do on my own, and did I feel the kit was worth the money. To this, I answered, "Yes and Yes." There are loads of tutorials around on the web for hand-stitching on paper cards. It's certainly a project anyone can tackle. I also think, though, that this kit is great because it gets you stitching within moments of opening it. I have stitching-on-paper tutorials bookmarked, and designs in my head ... but I've still never jumped on the project. This took some of that guesswork and planning out of the process so I could just get to stitchin'. Plus, I really like how the dots are already on the design, giving a very clean look to the stitching. Lastly, because it comes with the supplies needed to stitch (and brief instruction on using the back stitch to complete all the designs) I think it would make a great gift.

In short, there's room for both. These sweet little projects could absolutely get you even more inspired to tackle the project on your own.

Finally! The giveaway part! I have two things up for grabs:

  1. A Sublime Stitching Stitchable Stationery Kit - thanks to the Sublime Stitching gang
  2. A hand-stitched card from the kit - stitched by me, with some kind of witty, crafty message inside and mailed to you! Who doesn't love getting *real* mail, right? I've stitched a card that I'll mail to one lucky winner. You can cut it in half and toss the side with the message, or keep the whole thing in hopes that some day I'll be "famous" (ha!) Whatever you choose.
To enter: Leave a comment on this post and tell me when was the last time you sent an actual hand-crafted card (stitched, collage, painted - whatever!) in the mail to someone, and why you might be inspired to send one out soon. I'll close comments at 9AM CST on Thursday, May 7th and will notify winners here on the blog by Monday, May 11th. Enjoy, and pass it on to friends! :)


  1. Wow, awesome giveaway!!

    The last time I sent a hand-crafted card in the mail was just last week--a thank you card to my in-laws. :)

    I have a good friend who I know would ADORE receiving a hand-crafted card in the mail, and if I were to win this giveaway, she would be getting a 'just because we're friends' card from me! :):) It would be icing on the cake that it's a Sublime Stitching card, for she is a huge fan.

  2. Admittedly, I haven't sent a hand-crafted card probably since I was 10 years old.

    My niece is turning 5 this month. Her birthday gift from me is going to be her first ride in a small airplane. This is not something you can gift wrap so I have been hunting high and low for ideas to make her a hand-crafted card. I think these Sublime Stitching cards would be perfect for that.

  3. Hi Rachel!

    I just want to say thank you for posting such wonderful, well written reviews of the newest Sublime Stitching products. I can't think of a better person to review books and craft products. You're ACE, m'lady!

    I have NEVER sent a hand crafted card in the mail to someone! Can you believe it? But I love stationery, so this product is really up my alley.

  4. I think this is the first time I comment your blog... gotta love contests! ;-)

    Okay, so the last time I made a card was for Christmas... 2007. Shame, on me! It reminds me I need to craft a little bit more in 2009.

    I was thinking of making a card for mother's day to my mom and grandma! I don't often take the time to do this because of my busy schedule.

    Your review was great, thanks!

  5. I don't think I've sent a hand-crafted card since I was in high school. So...ten years? I'm bad. But that's why I need this, so I have incentive to do so! My mom and mother-in-law both have birthdays in mid-June, and I think they'd both appreciate one.

  6. I did some hand-crafted cards for the holidays, I really like making my own cards for just about every occasion, although I'm terrible about getting them in the mail on time!

    My next reason to make a card will be US Mother's Day but also I'm moving two days after that and am making (and then printing) some postcards with our change of address.

  7. I sent a handcrafted card to my friend for her b-day. I will admit I have never stiched on a card before. I may have to buy this kit. I am an avid SS supporter. Thanks for the review.

  8. I send hand crafted cards all the time. I'm a broke graduate student, so I am relying on the thoughtfulness to count! :)

    I live too near my mother to mail a card for Mother's Day, but I have plenty of far-flung friends who have birthdays coming up!

  9. This kit is so cute, I love it!

    I send my dad a handmade birthday card every birthday and Christmas. He's kept every single thing I've made him since I was a child. Usually it's painted but occasionally it's cross stitch. His birthday is on June 12 and I would love to send him something made from this kit. Nothing is too cutesy for him!

  10. Another awesome SS product! Love the review as well! Found it via SS's Twitter post, and I'm bookmarking your lovely blog now. (: The last time I sent out hand-crafted cards was for this past xmas. I love getting vintage photos from thrift stores/antique stores, photocopying them, and with a bit of collage work and often glitter, turning them into quirky stationary. I've thought about doing embroidery work in my card-making, but hadn't gotten around to it yet, and this kit seems like a great way to get inspired to start! I have a lot of birthdays coming up and would love to send a handcrafted and embroidered card out to my peeps.

  11. I've never sent a handmade card. Ever. The only handmade paper goods I've made are gift tags (mostly for Christmas). I'm just now getting into more paper crafting. I love the idea of a hand-stitched card.

  12. Hi,
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    As much as I love email and social media and all things online, I still send letters and make cards.

    The last time I made a card was for my friend's daughter, who was pregnant and due last October. I knit her a blanket for the baby and made a card with vintage baby images I found online and hand-colored.

  13. What a neat idea!!

    The last time I sent real crafty goodness in the mail has been so long ago that I should be ashamed!!

    If I would, I would send a card allllll the way to NYC to a dear friend of mine that I miss entirely too much!

  14. Absolutely beautiful work, and great product review!

    I primarily work with fabric, so papercrafting comes in spurts for me. Two years ago I randomly made a bunch of cards with patterned paper and some ribbon trim with adhesive backing. They were very simple and I thought lovely. I think I gave the last one almost a year ago; I had lost my teaching job to the budget, and was responding to one of the many supportive comments from colleagues.

    Currently, and this is the absolute worst reason to want to send a handmade card, I would like to send a handmade card to my aunt. She and I are both very creative, and we seem to one-up each other constantly! An embroidered card would be something neither of us had yet tried, so I say I did it first! :)

  15. I just made a thank-you card for my grandparents-in-law for some furniture they gave my husband and me.
    And I would be making cards for my mumsy for mother's day. It would go perfectly with her hand-embroidered tea towels.

  16. The last handmade card I made was for my stepmom's bday towards the end of April, and, ironically, it was one I drew on and then embroidered!! That was my first time to embroider on paper, and I loved it.

    I love to send people cards, whether it's for a specific reason or just because. I also like to include them in craft swaps. I know several people who would be tickled to receive a card out of this kit "just because" :).

    Thanks for the review of the kit, by the way -- it's always nice to see action photos of the goodies that come in kits!!

  17. My MIL loves making handmade cards and inspired me to start to make my own cards...i love sending a handwritten card to my friends and family as often as i can remember. The last card i sent was last week to my wonderful sister!

  18. I love this. The last card I made was for a baby shower last month! I'm going to make another one soon for my friend's birthday!

  19. ATCs count? Hmm I guess all the home made valentines. I made 20 for my class and 4 for home.

  20. The last handmade card I sent out was some thank you cards for our recent wedding. I also love hand-stitched cards too like this one I made for a friend's new home:

  21. I just sent hand made thank you cards to all of my family that just spoiled me while I was visiting in Chicago. They turned out really cute. I am a very good correspondent and I must have gotten this from my almost 90 year old grandmother. I love sending cards to friends and family. It makes me happy.

  22. Oh man, I don't think I have sent a hand-crafted card since I was a kid. It was all about the glitter back then.

    I am definitely inspired to send one one soon because I have to try a stitched one after seeing the ones you did. Is there any design Jenny doesn't rock at?

  23. I'm not sure I've sent a hand-crafted card to anyone since I was about 7 years old...many, many years ago! But I have a friend who always sends me the most wonderful cards, and every time I get one I say to myself, "You really should send one to her that shows just as much time, love, and creativity." This kit would definitely take away any excuses I could come up with!

  24. the last time i sent a handmade card was last year, i embroidered a card from a kit i bought at craft o rama, and it was to my mother for mother's day. i was so pleased at how it turned out.

    now, since ive taken a hand enbroidery class and have been practicing a lot lately, i'd be nice to have another card to show off my new skills...and i know my grandmother would really appreciate a hand-stitched card from me, because she is a great embroiderer herself.

  25. The last time I sent a hand crafted card in the mail was Valentine's day. I wanted to teach my kids how to embroider but we were having a hard time with fabric and hoop. So I got online and found the Card kit by Sublime stitching and wouldn't ya know the Kids busted out loads of them for their friends! I got in the act and took just regular patterns and traced them on cardstock and connected the dots! I sent them to my husband at work, my grandfather. Everyone! I have been dying to get that new book! I absolutely LOVE her stuff!

  26. It wasn't in the mail, but this past holiday I gave my fiance a handmade christmas card. I used old paint chips to make the trees and presents, a piece of embroidery floss to make the bows on the presents, and all of it was on a dark green piece of cardstock leftover from another paper project.
    Before that, I'd made my fiance an anniversary card. I watercolored the outside front, and pasted a wordsearch with words about our relationship on the front. Inside, I used colored pencil and a goofy rhyme I made up.

  27. I *love* this project! I have seen hand stitched cards in craft stores before and I think it is such a great idea. I have never sent someone a hand crafted card, in fact, I just got back from Hallmark where I bought my Mom's Mother's Day Cards... I should have given myself time to stitch a card for her. She loves that kind of thing as much as I do. :)

  28. I haven't sent a handmade card in years; I don't think I've actually posted any kind of card in a while, though I keep meaning to start again.

    After university my friends and I sent each other letters for a few years, each and every one laboriously, if not always beautifully, decorated and illustrated. Thanks to the internet, I've started reconnecting with them, but perhaps it's time to start sending each other letters and cards again.

  29. I have never sent a hand made card before but i would love to!

    I have friends that i send letters to regularly. i think they would really like a hand made one.

    thanks alot.

  30. The last hand crafted cards I sent out must have been the Christmas cards I made a number of years ago, made of a card-size picture frame showing a small piece of Christmassy quilt fabric.

    I love the idea of sending something that shows you've spent time and creativity on, before sending it.

  31. Rachel, you make these card kits sound like the most fun thing to do on the planet! And now, I am eager to make a bunch of them!!!! Please add my name to the give-away!

  32. I make handmade cards all of the time. My daughter and I do them together, thank yous mostly.

  33. I design cards that are digital designs printed from the computer, but a few months ago i hand drew some cards for my best friend that were illustrations of some of my favorite song lyrics

    I'd love to incorporate some hand stitching into the mix! I love Sublime Stitching!

  34. Christmas 2007 -- I sent out cards with a rubber-stamped snowman on the front that I then colored in with pencils. The paper was like brown kraft paper, so the pencil colors really popped.

    The only thing better than getting real mail is getting something someone made. :)

  35. I actually just sent a hand-crafted card to my mom for Mother's Day! I hope to send out some more for my friends who are graduating from college. :)

    Cool giveaway!

  36. The anniversary card I made for my wife. I took a photograph of my son and hand wrote my note to her over top of the photograph. We make cards for each other every year.

    I will probably make a card for my mom for mother's day, I haven't made her a card in a long while.

    Thanks for the contest.


  37. Meaghan CorcoranMay 6, 2009 at 2:04 PM

    I would love to give this kit to my sister Annie (corky) since she is getting married on Saturday, May 16th. She is always into sewing and this would be awesome.

    Plus, I can tell her that it came from you and will mean that much more.

  38. I send (and sell on Etsy) sewn cards frequently, most recently attached to a wedding gift for my cousin. They're so pleasing to touch and unexpected for the recipient. And I'm a big fan of Sublime Stitching already!

  39. Uhm, I don't know the last time I sent a hand-crafted card. BUT one time in college I took a giant scallop shell and wrote a poem on the inside (about finding seashells in the desert) and wrote an address on the outside, stuck on a stamp, and voila! 2-4 days later it arrived in New Mexico.
    I have a stack of handcrafted cards sitting on the dining room table waiting to go into envelopes.... they're thank you notes and they're only (ahem) six months late!
    But the last time I made something from sublime stitching kit I gave it to my friend who is about to have a baby and so obviously I need to send one of these to her.

  40. yesterday I sent out mother's day cards. I love these they are beautiful...and that you were tweeting and t~ballinag and stitching , woman you are amazing...which brings me to tell you I gave you an award today on my blog(the adorable blog award) should be the multi~ armed craft queen award, smooches

  41. I mailed out some hand crafted 2nd birthday invitations just yesterday. but stitching on paper just look so fun and i'd love to have this kit. thanks for the give-away!

  42. I had made baby announcements for both of my daughters. Of course my youngest is now 4 and that was the last time I did anything like that! LOL I would love to make something beautiful as teacher appreciation gifts. I love the idea that it is a card, but could also be art. School is almost out so I better get stitching! :)

  43. That's a wonderful giveaway! and the cards look fun.
    The last real card I sent was a sympathy card last week - but I didn't craft it myself. I'm not sure I've ever stitched on paper. I made paper (from paper) years ago and I stitched a tea towel just a couple of months ago, but stitching paper? This would be a first!

  44. Handmade cards are the only crafty thing I actually do regularly. I just use regular papercraft/scrapbooking techniques usually, though we have done a few painting and collage and I even stitched a tiny bit of one once by hand. I have used my sewing machine on a couple, but it has been a while.

    The last time I sent a homemade card was this week for Mother's Day. I almost always make one when I need to send a card, even if it is a just a simple one due to time restraints. The next one will be for my Mom & Grandmother's birthdays next month. But I would love to make some stationary too... I was rather surprised to discover last week when I wanted to send a note to a friend along with a check that I didn't have a single sheet of stationary in the house-- only "occasion" cards or plain paper.

    Thanks for the contest and the great review!

  45. what a great review! the cards look awesome, and you've definitely convinced me that they're worth getting! (thanks for answering my questions via twitter too!)

    um, i can't remember which was my last handmade card. my valentines were all handmade, and i sent out over 50 of them (SO ridiculous!), but i think i've sent cards to friends since then. so probably thank you cards, made with glitter vinyl, stamped using stazOn ink, and then sewn onto cardstock.

    i'd love to win the stationary, i'm so excited by the idea of it! thank you so much, for both the review AND the giveaway!

  46. Oh wow, I hope I get in on time... just a moment to spare...

    The last time I sent a homemade card was a few weeks ago. One of my bridesmaids is in Bulgaria on a religious mission for her church. I like to decorate her letters with my thrifty version of fancy stationary... stickers, drawings, "captions", cartoons. I usually decorate the envelopes too. I know she believe in what she's doing, but one can't help but be homesick. She tells me that everyone knows when one of my letters arrive for her, because all the kids like to look at my little drawings, even if they can't read what I've written. :-)

    I would love to win this giveaway! I can't imagine what they would think of a hand-stitched card!!!

    *fingers crossed*

  47. Very cool! Actually I send a handdone postcard out for a postcard swap not too long ago.. it was fun!


  48. I send cards out all the time, but the last one was for a birthday last month.

    I love to send mail and I have friends I haven't heard from in a while that I'd like to send a little note to.