A asked if I had a winter hat. She first verified that in addition to her own hat, O had a hat and Daddy had a hat. My explaination that I have lots of hair just didn’t compute because she loves her winter hat. “Mama, I make you a hat when I big.” Such a heartwarming tiny promise. I bet one day she does.
She’s tactile like me, her little hands linger lovingly on fuzzy things and explore my stitching. She wants to turn yarn into fabric though her hands are too small yet to hold a crochet hook. Often enough have I heard “Mama, I stitch when I big?” We’d just selected some embroidered quilt blocks for me to take to the local games store with me for national Stitch in Public Day and she was fingering the flosses and looking at the pictures. This time she said “Mama you teach me stitches?” It was a quiet morning. We’d had a tea party and were thawing blueberries to make pie later. We would take Daddy out to lunch rather than cooking for all of us at home. I thought of something a stitcher in my EGA chapter told me. She used to put her kids/grandkids on her lap and let them stitch a piece of fabric. She’d push the needle up from the bottom and they would push it down through from the top. They enjoyed working with her and liked picking out colors. She kept the items they stitched and finished and framed them for them as pillows or pictures when they were grown up.
If you want to try this with someone little in your life, below I’ve listed what materials we used and why some of the consideration that went into their selection and an extension idea.
Hoop- any size
Fabric, not too tightly woven so that the needle will go through easily. We used muslin which worked very well and allowed me to sort of see where her little fingers were when she decided to help me hold the hoop and relocate them to the edge if they moved into finger stick territory.
Needle-easy to thread as you will be rethreading it often. A 22 or 24 tapestry needle works well for muslin and isn’t as sharp as a sewing needle (sharps).
Floss/thread-We used 3 strands of DMC (327 because purple is A’s favorite color these days), which provided excellent coverage.
A loved this she would push the needle down just as far as she could and when I would take it and pull the thread through she would giggle and giggle. It was like a magic trick to her. As soon as the needle popped up a bit she’d grab it and be off again. To encourage the feeling that the project was hers I had her indicate where she wanted the needle to come up again. It turns out she is very particular and being off a by a millimeter wasn’t acceptable. She was so proud of this project she took it with us to Daddy’s office, insisting on showing everyone what she had accomplished. She’s already decided that she will make a valentine for Gramma. For that I will trace a large heart-shaped cookie cutter and then let her fill the image with stitches.