How ironic that the greatest material for beginning stitching is burlap... I think I might have some of that lying around! The loose weave makes it very desirable, but if you have a hard time getting your hands on some, any loosely woven fabric will do.
A little starter bucket or basket should include:
- scraps of loosely woven fabric, as well as some tighter fabric (like cotton)
- tapestry needles with a blunt edge
- pin cushion that is user friendly to blunt needles (such as one made out of burlap)
- embroidery floss/thread in assorted colors
- small embroidery hoop
Tips to teach (might be obvious to us, but not to them):
- always begin at the back
- the needle goes in on the same side it just came out
- pull the thread taut each time
- stop stitching well before you get to the very end of your thread
If you begin embroidery with an older child, the steps and tips remain fairly similar, but you can start with a sharp embroidery needle, three strands of floss, and tightly woven fabric. Ask your child to draw a simple design on paper and then transfer to desired location on fabric. There are many schools of thought around the right way to embroider. I am in no way an expert. As in everything I do... I just find the way that works best for me. I did, however, enjoy teaching with Laura who learned to embroider in a college class (she has a degree in textile design)! She never knots her thread and teaches how to weave in tails of thread into the back of work. I liked this version with older children, as both sides stays tidy. We taught the children the back stitch as a good first stitch. I can't begin to tell you how enthusiastic they were. They couldn't stop!
Kid's Embroidery is a wonderful book I've taken out of the library several times... and is now on our wish list. Doodle Stitching is another fresh and fun book for beginners.
Embroidery makes the most heartfelt gifts! If you are looking to encourage your child to make something special for a loved one, this could be just the answer. From an elaborately designed picture to wild free stitches, embroidery makes a gorgeous keepsake. Frame it directly in the hoop by trimming away excess fabric and gluing the raw edges to the back.My son was one of those 50 big kids, and he's taken to embroidering every surface. He came home from school the other day with his black ski hat embellished with cartoon faces in thread! Both children have the embroidery bug, simultaneously! I can't tell you how amazing that is for me. Each afternoon this week they worked, side by side, quitely stitching their own surprises for their Dad's birthday, Shh... that''s all I can safely say for now, although he was told not to read today's post... yet.
One last bit of embroidery history... I fell in love with that sweet Birthday Daddy, when he embroidered one of his shirts with a moon and flowers for me 17 years ago. And on the collar, where only I could see... a little stitched heart. I really do equate embroidery with love. Happy Friday!