Saturday, December 12, 2009

Cross Stitch 101

One of the things that I enjoy doing is teaching, especially children and teens, how to do needlepoint, embroidery, cross stitch, etc.

I've been doing this informally to anyone (friends, family, scouts, etc) who would sit still long enough to hold a needle. I've also been teaching more formally at two different events during the year.

The first event is a mall lock-in which is held every year in early Spring. I updated and now maintain the needlepoint and cross stitch kits. We estimate that these two stations are visited by apx. 225 to 350 girls, teenagers, and adults each year. I've "talked" about this event in earlier posts. If you are interested in reading the earlier posts go down to the labels and click on teaching_children.

The second event is an older girl weekend event which is held in August every year. I coordinate the needlework area where we offer knitting, crochet, hardanger, huck weaving, cross stitch and embroidery. For each session the girls pick which needlework technique that they want to learn. Many times we also have adults who are not busy for that session participate or they stop by to see what we are doing and talk about their needlework hobbies. We've even had the girls sign up for two sessions so they can learn two different needlework techniques. We've also had a girl or two over the years who was having so much fun learning that they did not want to go to their next sessions activities!

We not only give them instruction, but we also give them the materials/tools so that they can continue with their new hobby. This includes additional cross stitch kits, knitting needles, crochet hooks, needles, and sometimes scissors. As volunteers we are always using our craft store coupons to pick up items. Yes, we can receive a set dollar amount for this station but this is one of our "gifts" to the program. Our time and our donation of the materials.

For the first few years, I was able to purchase a beginning cross stitch kit of an owl by "Designs by Gloria and Pat" at my LNS. This kit worked out really well for several reasons. The first was it was a well done kit and included the Aida cloth, needle, and floss. The second reason I used this kit was it only cost $1.00. Okay, this was a real bargain especially since the instructions were so well done. The third reason I liked this kit, is it taught how to cross stitch, back stitch, and how to make a french knot. Three of the most basic stitches for cross stitch designs. The fourth reason is that the wise owl has special meaning to our program.

Unfortunately, the kit was discontinued so for several years I've been teaching each girl using a cross stitch kit that they picked out from all of our donated kits. Of course, this made the teaching adventure a bit more interesting and more challenging for me. :-)

After several years of trying to teach more than one girl using very different kits, I decided enough was enough. So earlier this year I started searching online to find a beginner project that was a free pattern that could be used for the class. If I didn't find one, I was going to make up my own!

After searching for a while, I found the "Designs by Gloria and Pat" site. I started looking at all of their free designs when on one of the later pages I saw that they had posted for anyone's use the Owl chart. Wahoo! I had my chart back!!!

Of course this was a duh-uh moment as I should have started with their site first but oh well I got there eventually. :-)

You can find the online picture of the owl here;
http://www.gloria-pat.com/webpages/free_charts_toc2.html

And the chart and instructions here;
http://www.gloria-pat.com/Images/Owl.pdf

I thought you might like to see a picture of the owl that I stitched that I use in the class.



Thank you for visiting and I love reading everyones comments!

I'm hoping that you are finding time to stitch or to do your favorite needlework activity at this very busy time of the year. :-)

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

6 comments:

Siobhan said...

What a wonderful thing to do, spreading the love for stitching. Good for you!

Anonymous said...

Love that you host these "teaching" activities for children, teens, and adults! Glad you were able to find your pattern and directions! Good for you!

Robin in VA

Lisa said...

What an awesome activity. Another website to check out is DMC because they have a mentor program. If you sign up, they actually send you a little kit that contains 4 small kits (a pattern, some DMC floss, a needle and a small piece of Aida). I know that 4 kits aren't enough, but it is another outlet to look into...I don't know maybe they will donate a few more kits if you tell them what you are doing.
Take care
Happy Holidays!

Beth in IL said...

Thanks for the great site. My church is interested in me teaching a general stitching class. That will be a great place for me to look.

NCPat said...

Cyn, do you need some DMC or Aida? If so let me know and I will check with the group and see what we could send you!

Rosie Rose said...

Awwwww, you really brought back a memory with the little owl cross stitch kit. I bought a kit also when they first came out! I think I still have my little owl that I stitched somewhere in my sewing room!!! Thanks for the memory! Rosie