Local Heart, Global Soul

March 25, 2010

Teaching Kids to stitch… Starting at the very beginning(Part 1).

Filed under: Craft — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m taking on teaching basic embroidery stitches to children.  Our local  Saturday Scouting group  kids to be more specific. I’ve taught adults embroidery a few times, mostly those have had previous stitching experience and been quick to learn. The Scouts will not only be a far younger group but also one with zero needle and thread experience.

Although I am not a fan of Aida Fabric, I have bought some for the kids to use as their first  test piece simply because I think it’s the fastest way to overcome any initial fears they may have and boost their confidence. The large holes of 14 count Aida will help the to “get” the alinement  of stitches in a more practical way.

However, I’ve also decided to leap away from Aida Fabric as soon as possible. I think that as soon as they have mastered the principle of a stitch they should practice it on a finer fabric …. too many times as a cross stitcher I have encountered people who started on Aida and were just never quite brave enough to try a linen or even-weave fabric, even though they liked the background look of them more than Aida.  Apparently eyesight had nothing to do with it,  these stitcher’s had no problem seeing the work. Then Why?  …because  “It just looked harder to stitch on” …

Usually in these circumstances I found that a quick introduction to linen, coupled with some one-on-one tuition whilst they overcame their first feelings of quiet panic, as they vault the mostly mental hurdle, resulted in the phrase: “this is so much easier than I thought, Why wasn’t I brave enough to do this years ago?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

If little girls 100 years ago were capable of producing beautiful, intricate designs on linens in the forms of decoration or samplers, then why should we  not assume that todays children are also perfectly capable of working on linen after some practice to master the basic stitches  first?

I’m going to work on the principle that if they don’t realise that some people fear linen, and they are taught by someone who isn’t afraid of it, then they won’t be either.

I have an eight year old daughter. She’s my willing “guinea-pig” for my Teach-Kids-to-Stitch-Trial.   She’s very keen. I want to see what bits of the work enthuse her, which bits she finds too easy,  struggles with and which of the “experiment” projects she likes best.

We will then transport this information into my learning curve, edit, expand or delete as appropriate and bring the result into the Scouting Group.

It will be a long term commitment, moving  slowly step-by-step over time as they fit in handcraft into their regular Scouting Program.

I have a small assortment of size 5 Perle cotton threads of different brands in my stash, I will be using these initially because they will stitch as a single thread and I shouldn’t have the  problem of the kids constantly splitting the threads as they would with 6 strand embroidery thread.

Thus, I shall be adding yet another “Series” of posts to my Categories List, and posting updates to the series in the future when appropriate.

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