So, on Monday, I launched Octoberfest! An Embroidered Kaleidoscope, and along with it, the news that there is a specialty thread pack available for those interested in stitching the project.
Now, this was a learning experience, to say the least!
In the past, I’ve never worked with a manufacturer to get any specific embroidery supplies out to go with a design. But I started toying with the idea this year, because I figure some folks might want access to specific threads.
My brain has been working around the muddle of excitement on one hand, maybe a tad touch of disappointment on the other, and lots of thoughts in between. I figure your collective minds can help me sort ideas, so I’ll tell you what’s in my head and then open it up for your feedback!
I made some assumptions when preparing Octoberfest! to make it available for you.
Based on this conversation we had a bit ago, I assumed that the general consensus was that you’d prefer a combination of pattern and stitch guide for projects like these kaleidoscopes.
I assumed that the project itself would be the bigger draw, but what I think I’ve discovered is that it’s the materials that really resonate with stitchers.
The Magic Draw of Threads!
It seems that threads always resonate! The thread packs prepared by House of Embroidery for the project sold out really fast, well beyond the corresponding sales of the stitch guide.
The stock of 100 specialty thread cards was actually my fault. I recommended even fewer than that, because I figured folks would be more interested in the stitch guide and would likely make stash substitutions and whatnot to stitch it. Still, I was pleased that the threads would be available for those who wanted to use them. Yet I didn’t want the folks at Global Artisans (formerly Akonye Kena) to be stuck with overstock, so I went really conservative in my estimate. Fortunately, they didn’t go quite as conservative on the initial round of stock.
Interestingly enough, though, the opposite happened! People jumped on the thread packs – they were sold out in less than three hours – but the stitch guide didn’t prove to be quite so popular.
I’m not sure what the moral of this tale is. I’m still trying to process it! This has been an experimental endeavor for me – I need to work through the pros and cons of the experiment and see what it’s taught me.
Two Things about Thread
In any case, I wanted to share two points with you, in case you’re hesitating about Octoberfest! because the threads sold out.
1. The House of Embroidery threads will be restocked, and they are taking pre-orders on the next shipment, so if you want to get your name in on the next shipment, you can do that here. If you’re planning on stitching Octoberfest! with those threads (it’s fine if you’re not!), you can pick up the project guide here, so that you can have all your supplies lined up when your thread arrives.
2. The project is not dependent on the threads. You can make substitutions with any six-stranded floss in any colorway you prefer. You can use standard DMC, variegated DMC, any of the myriad overdyed stranded cottons – or even stranded silks – out there. You can change the color scheme completely. Maybe you want purple leaves and turquoise branches? Hey, that’s the great thing about surface embroidery – you can adapt any design to suit your fancy! No embroidery project is absolutely dependent on specific threads. But if you definitely want to work with the same threads in the same color ways, you can still order them.
A Wee Video
I like to produce a little overview video when I publish a project guide, to post on my YouTube channel.
Here’s the one for Octoberfest! – it’s short:
These are the questions that I’m always asking myself when it comes to Needle ‘n Thread:
What do people want or need?
What problem can I solve for them?
How can I make them successful in their needlework pursuits?
I would love to hear your thoughts! Please feel free to join in the conversation below!