Not-Enough-Supplies Syndrome

I’ve gotten into this problem more times than I care to admit. Usually it’s my fault because I didn’t look at the yardage for a project and didn’t buy enough yarn. This time, I was working with the supplies provided in a needlecraft kit that a friend gave to me. As I powered through adding sequins and beads yesterday afternoon, I ran out of the green beads I needed for the green sequins. I am also running low on a few colors of embroidery floss.

Some of this might be user error. I tend to like leaving longer tails than necessary just in case, and this klutzy crafter could easily have spilled a few beads now and then without realizing it. No matter what the cause, I need to find more supplies to finish the project.

The kit in question is a vintage 1970s Bucilla Christmas Needlecraft Kit. Kit #8043 is titled “Partridge In A Pear Tree.” It features sequins and beads sewn onto felt pieces that are then sewn onto a green burlap background. The end result is very sparkly!

You can still find unopened kits for this project on sites like Etsy and eBay for anywhere from $30 to $80. Buying a new kit would be a sure-fire way to get the right supplies, but isn’t really cost-effective when all you need are a pack of beads and a few skeins of embroidery floss.

The original kit doesn’t provide any color numbers like you’d expect from many of today’s cross-stitch kits. I did some research and discovered that Bucilla is now a part of Plaid Enterprises, but I couldn’t seem to find a place to buy individual skeins of embroidery floss or packages of beads on their site. I then sent an email to customer service asking if they happened to have records of which supplies would have been included in their old kits. I knew it was a long shot, but it was worth a try.

What I learned a few days later was that the kit was discontinued years ago and they had since purged their records. They only keep records on kits that are currently in publication or have been discontinued for less than a year. Good to know for future projects, and I’m happy I got a quick response.

Time to raid the craft supplies closet! Mom and I both enjoy cross-stitch, so we’ve got an abundance of embroidery floss from past projects. I also have several bags of beads from middle school and high school. I didn’t expect to find an exactly perfect match for the supplies I needed, but I wanted to come so close that it would be hard for anyone to tell the difference.

I had a partial success! I found very close matches for the gold, salmon, lavender, lime green, forest green, and brown embroidery floss. There are some green beads that are the right size and style but a few shades of green too light. We have some turquoise sewing thread that is the right shade, but I want to see if I can find some embroidery floss in a similar color first.

Off to Stitchville USA! This is our local specialty needlecraft store. They have a huge supply of beads, embroidery floss, buttons, frames, notions, and just about anything else you’d need for your needlecrafting adventures. I knew I’d have better luck here than at a big box store like JoAnn Fabrics or Michaels. The turquoise options we found were either too bright blue or too green, so I’m sticking with the sewing thread I found in my stash. I did find a close match for the green beads, which I’m thankful for.

On Friday, I finished attaching the last set of sequins and beads. I’ve also got most of the partridge’s wing sewn together, minus the gold thread that will embellish the edge of the wing. All the other felt pieces are cut out and laid out, so now all that’s left is lots of sewing. I’m really excited to see the finished product, and to display it this Christmas.

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