Kate Sproston Design

Behind the scenes at Kate Sproston Design, making beautifully embroidered textiles for the home.


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Little Chicks for Easter

Little Chick embroidered Easter collection by Kate Sproston Design
Little Chick collection including egg cosies, napkins, reusable gift bags and Easter egg hunting bag

Following the launch of our new Little Chick range this Easter, I thought I would give you a look behind the scenes at the design process and how the collection was created. After the popularity of our Rabbit collection, I wanted to add some other little spring animals to the bunch, and started to research traditional Easter motifs. I have always been inspired by Beatrix Potter characters, and was particularly drawn to vintage Easter greetings cards.

Vintage Easter cards showing chick motifs as found on Pinterest
Some of the vintage Easter greetings cards I found on Pinterest for inspiration

I started to sketch some outlines to create the basic shapes of the chicks, before scanning the four final drawings into the computer. Using the embroidery program PE-Design, I converted the outlines to stitch, and embroidered a mock up to tweak any rough areas and adjusted each motif to the right size.

The little chick design process from sketches to embroidery mock ups by Kate Sproston Design
Drawings, embroidered outlines with biro tweaks, and colour experiments from my sketchbook

Once I was happy with the outlines I started to fill in the design to make the chick as fluffy as possible. I added definition to the wings and created shadows to bring each chick to life. Filling in the motifs can be quite time consuming as I place each stitch one at a time. I have found this is the best way to recreate feathers and fur, and shows the direction of growth against the body of the animal. Although this process is time consuming, overall it cuts down embroidery time as I can remove any unnecessary extra stitches.

Little chick embroidered motif created using PE-Design embroidery program by Kate Sproston Design
Chick motif as seen in PE-Design embroidery program, with each square showing where a stitch will be sewn

After some final tweaks, and colour experiments to get exactly the right shades of thread, I added the new chick motifs to the products. I used scrap paper to make templates to get the placement of the motif just right on each item, then I went ahead and made the samples to photograph.

Little Chick egg cosy sample being made with paper templates.
Creating samples with paper templates

As well as a reusable gift bag and an Easter egg hunting bag, the new designs can also be found on napkins, egg cosies and a new luxury gift set perfect for the Easter table. I am particularly pleased with the Easter egg hunting bag as now there are a few designs to choose from if you have a couple of little hunters in the family on Easter morning.

With all the new life appearing and Spring well and truly in the air, I can’t wait to set up the table for Easter Sunday this year with these cheeky little chicks taking centre stage. You can view the whole collection on our website, and if you have any questions I would love to chat. All that remains for me to say is have a lovely Easter weekend!

Kate x

Little Chick egg cosy on the Easter table by Kate Sproston Design.
Little Chick egg cosy ready for Easter Sunday


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Woodland Crackers Finalist in Gift of the Year Award 2019

Just before Christmas we entered two of our products into the Giftware Association’s Gift of the Year Award 2019. After being shortlisted last year with our Rabbit Egg Cosy, we were delighted to be shortlisted again this year in two categories. Firstly our Embroidered Dog Christmas Stockings in the Pet Gift category, whilst our Woodland Reusable Christmas Crackers were shortlisted in the Festive and Occasional Gift category.

Embroidered Dog Christmas Stockings by Kate Sproston Design

Our Embroidered Dog Christmas Stockings Shortlisted in the Pet Gift category in the Gift of the Year Award 2019.

With over 1,100 entries, it is safe to say we were absolutely delighted to have gotten this far, and after making up product samples, we sent them off for the live judging day to be viewed by a panel of industry experts. Having been judged on several elements including design, innovation, originality, quality of manufacture and WOW factor, it was with much excitement that we read the email a few days later telling us that our crackers had made it through to the final. This means that they have been either highly commended or have won the category.

Woodland Christmas Crackers in Gift Box by Kate Sproston Design

Complete set of six Woodland Reusable Christmas Crackers in gift box.

The award ceremony will be held on Sunday 3rd February after the first day of Spring Fair at the NEC, Birmingham. We are over the moon to have been considered for such a prestigious award and will be keeping everything crossed for the final. Now we are off to celebrate with a big cup of tea!

Woodland Reusable Christmas Crackers by Kate Sproston Design

Our Woodland Reusable Christmas Crackers are finalists in the Festive & Occasional Gift category in the Gift of the Year Award 2019.