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Honour the Child

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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Friday, 17 December 2010
Time flies! It was last March that I first hooped some fabric for daughter Rowan (then age 4) to try her first stitches (you can read that post here). And we just got back to it again.
Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern; it will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that - one stitch at a time taken patiently and the pattern will come out all right like the embroidery. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
Again, at Rowan's insistence, we broke out the thread, hoop and blunt tapestry needles.

Having misplaced the aida cloth, we snagged some 'monk's cloth'~ perfect with its silkier texture and wide open weave.  It does however unravel rapidly from the edges. Next time I will put a running stitch around all four sides to reduce the loose threads entangling in the stitch work.
We talked about possible images for stitching and while I could not convince her that a T-Rex might be too tricky, I did get her off that particular path by sharing my recently acquired Woodland Cuties collection by Annie Oakleaves. She chose a mama and baby bird.

I drew the shapes onto her cloth, freehand with pencil,  although a lightbox, transfer paper and so on would be more suitable for more complex designs!  For this outing we worked on running stitches and Rowan did very well.
 The sense of accomplishment and pride was palpable~ and much needed after a difficult fall with troubles at school. She felt confident and capable, a wonderful combination.   While working, she was able to discern when stitches were out of line, and to ply the needle in both half and full stitches to create the shapes. A little help on tangles was about all she needed, and I finished the piece with french knots for eyes and sewed up a quick pillow and applied the blanket stitching.

Rowan sat for nearly 3 hours working on her piece without flagging or losing interest (!!) (even as the winter afternoon grew dim and evening came on). I worked beside her on my own embroidery endeavours, practicing some new stitches in the spirit of shared learning! Lessons about patience, attention to detail and care for our work unfolded as we talked about clean hands, smooth stitches on back *and* front and preparing and tidying our materials.  Throw in some wicked fine motor skill development, a sense of personal pride and this project was a delight and a productive adventure.
(And I have a sweet little pillow that I will cherish and someday share with my grown daughter as I recount the pleasure of those hours stitching together).


sarah in the woods said...

This looks like the perfect project for my daughter. Thanks for sharing.

Seaside Siblings said...

How beautifully perfect.

Tan Family said...

I love this! Thank you so much for sharing. :) Beautiful pictures.

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