|Bucilla (or Plaid Bucilla)||Bucilla kits are the easiest to find, especially if you wish to purchase brand-new kits (as opposed to buying unopened kits off ebay).
[-] stitching directions are a little vague less clear than older Bucilla directions, and directions for each of the included languages are interspersed rather than split onto seperate pages.
[-] The directions are on folded 11×17 paper. This wouldn’t be a problem except that they are oriented as one large sheet instead of book-folded and have text and images straight across the fold requiring you to work with a spread out the entire sheet at once.
[-] watch out for “trim a tree” type kits that contain large numbers of ornaments(often as many as 75). Look at the picture carefully. There’s usually a significant number of duplicates of each ornament, and each individual ornament is typically smaller and less detailed (eg. 2″ instead of 4″). In and of itself, smaller and duplicate ornaments is not a problem, but the way they arrange the pictures on the kit it would be easy to not notice you’re getting a bunch of duplicates.
|Bucilla (older)||Older Bucilla Kits (usually identifiable by the font used on the brand logo) are of better quality than the newer ones.
[+] older kits are typically stamped with a dotted line rather than a solid line which makes it easier to cut out the shapes without getting any uninvited border
[+] directions are in English only but are MUCH easier to read and follow than the newer Bucilla Kits and are more clear as to the steps. Includes more text accompanying pictures explaining the important points of the images, and the stitching types are described much more clearly.
[?] Hard to find kits include Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz
|Disney (Bucilla)||Disney kits are sometimes difficult to identify who manufactured them because the words disney are identified in big letters and “Paragon” or “Bucilla” appears in small print in a corner. However, I have never seen any Disney kits not made by a brand I would hesitate to recommend. They’re good kits.
[-] There is a Disney copyright logo on the back of Pooh’s shirt, which in and of itself is not a problem except that you can’t tell this from the outside of the package
|Disney (Paragon)||[+] Quality is similar to other Paragon kits
[-] I have not been able to yet obtain a copy of a Paragon-Disney kit
[+] kits include fun designs like Disney and Care Bears
[-] Hard to find, I’ve only seen these on Ebay, I have not worked any paragon kits.
|Better Homes & Gardens||[?] Quality of kit unknown
[?] whether or not these are pre-stamped is unknown
[-] Hard to find brand, even on ebay
[-] I have not been able to locate a copy of one of these kits to evaluate
|Sultana||[+] Pre-Stamped (typically dotted rather than thick solid lines)
[+] Goldilocks & the Three Bears and the Little Old Lady who Lived in a Shoe are Sultana kits
[+] Directions include multiple pictures per ornament to show how to assemble more complicated steps (very helpful, especially if you’re a visual learner).
[-] Textual directions are a little sparse, and no text accompanying stitch guide
[+] Directions gives enough detail on needle-type (“Sharps No. 10”) to replace if lost or damaged
[+] Single-language english directions
[+] Stich guide is clear
[-] Step by step instructions are a little vauge with steps like “Attach appliques 1 through 14 for SANTA/S FRONT” leaving you to figure out for yourself the proper order of attachment.
|Titan||[+] Some fun and cute designs
[+] Include stuffing (though not enough for the entire kit)
[-] Are not pre-stamped
[-] Hand drawn/labelled patterns
[+] Detailed step by step instructions and includes tips that will help you avoid possible pitfalls
[-] Some of the pieces in the patterns say “cut 2” but include only a single copy of the pattern requiring careful foresight into how to lay out the patterns on the felt to have sufficient for all the pieces.
|Design Works Crafts||Outside of package in french and english. Rarely described by the brand name in Ebay auctions. Brand name is in small print on bottom corner of front of kit.
[+] Really fun and cute designs
Learn about types of stamping on kits, tips on where to buy and recommended supplies on my tips for beginners page.