Friday, April 30, 2010

Life in the Pink Tower: Stitch In Time

Embroidery has been a constant in the Pink House ever since Ruth was a preschooler.  It is my favorite "sewing".  One day this week the three girls were stitching together in the living room as I sat and read to them.  After some time someone knocked on the door and the spell was broken but while it lasted it was as if everything else just faded away and we were in a time all our own.  
I picked the kitchen towels up at Ikea and used a washable marker to draw a design.  I have a pen specifically for this task but the lid was left off and so it was dried out.  The younger the child the larger the needle I give them to assist in threading and keeping track of it.  I demonstrate a running stitch, which  I think they would do naturally, and let them go.  This particular day the little ones also wanted to fill in their designs with this stitch.  The biggest complications are pulling the needle off the thread and sewing the piece to their pants or getting another part of the towel caught in a stitch.  The child will learn to self correct this after a few times.  Sometimes frustration will get the best of them and I offer to help or suggest  taking a break.  Most of the time they come back to it that same day, but if not that's okay.  The key to remember is it is the process not the finished product that will bring the most satisfaction.
 My girls (I say girls because that is what I have) began stitching close to 4 years old.  The small pillow pictured above and the cross stitch were both done in their Montessori classroom.  As you can see from the pillow to the blue gingham table cloth Ruth's skill has grown with her.  Some great projects to get ready for sewing with a real needle are lacing beads, a sew and sew, and wooden lacing board.  


  1. Beautiful way to spend time with your children. Mine are all grown up. I wish for days like this again. Hoping grandchildren come sooner rather than later.

  2. This is a great idea. I have a 6 year old son and my daughter is 3 and a half. I really would like to try this with my children,but honestly never thought about starting them that early. What is a sew and sew? Should i start them both off with the same project?I love your blog by the way!

  3. Lavendarlemon, Here is a link to a Sew and Sew,
    In the classroom children would begin sewing on a small strip of burlap. about 3X5", and use a large needle with yarn, sewing a running stitch from one end to the other. I recommend starting them both with that and gauging where to go from there. My middle youngest always wants to do what her older sister is doing so we meet in the middle quite often.

  4. thanks so much! Im definately going to try it out with the kids. Going to have to go to the good ol walmart and get some yarn though cause i dont knit i embroider.

  5. 4 was about the time I let my son use my sewing machine (it's a treadle, and he needed help, so I was right there) and his first project was a bag. It always made for a nice day when he took an interest.

    Now he has no real interest in it, 7 years later, but he will occasionally do a blind hem in a garment for me and thinks nothing of reattaching his own buttons, although I did get him interested in needlework with zombie transfers. Too bad neither of us can embroidery that well.

  6. I have just discovered your blog and I feel I have found a kindred spirit. I too love vintage... I have two children 4 and 6 and I am very inspired by your latest posts on home schooling activities. I loved the letters in the sand... so simple and wonderful - I will be doing that with mine.
    Thanks again.... xx Lucy

  7. I am TERRIBLE at anything with needle and thread and I really don't enjoy it, but I have an eight year old daughter that LOVES all of that. I joke that she should have been my crafty sister's daughter. I tried to get cross stitch supplies and learn how (while teach) my daughter all of the counting each stitch etc. but could never figure it out. But we could definitely do this. I am going to have my daughter draw a simple picture on fabric and then stitch! Thanks for the idea.


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