My set came from ebay with out the thread. I have seen 2 kinds of thread with this set: one where all the threads are fastened together in a whorl and one where the individual colors are separated into little bundles wrapped like miniature embroidery thread. I think I would prefer the separated thread. I embroidered the apron with my own design, loosely based on the stencil, and I love it! I used red, green, and black and it looks great with her Christmas dress. I give this set a B+ for quality. Everything is an A except for the lamp "glass" and the paper needle book which also doesn't impress me. Why oh why is the needle book not fabric!