Thursday, July 28, 2011

Teaching children to sew

Last summer, I started a new tradition with my grandchildren who live close. I let each one come separately to spend a full day and night with their grandparents. They get to go out to eat for one meal wherever they want to go and we chose (free) activities that we can do with them. They get our full attention.

This summer, I determined that I would teach my granddaughter to sew. She did a little embroidery and machine-sewing. It turned out well. I thought about taking pictures, but I didn't.

When my 5 year old grandson came, he asked to learn to sew also. I told him that I would teach some hand sewing to him, not machine sewing and he was okay with that. He asked if he could make a light saber pillow and we did it! (Though you need to use your imagination to realize that is what it is.) Pictures came later with him also, but at least I remembered eventually. I started out by cutting a 6" wide strip of red felt approximately 3 feet long. I also cut out a 6" wide strip of grey felt about 8" long. He said that a red button was necessary so we went through my stash and found one. He sewed that on to the grey felt. He sewed the red piece to the grey piece along the width and then sewed the entire length of the saber leaving about 5" open so that we could turn and stuff the pillow. He hand sewed the entire thing. Then he stuffed it.

I used a chopstick to stuff the stuffing in better and whipstitched the opening closed. Here are the results. I am so proud of him! He did a great job!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Redwork Pillow

I should be at the Summer movies today. It is a program presented by our local theater. It costs $7 to go to 10 movies one each week in the summer. The movies are kid friendly and are usually kid movies that have shown in the previous year (though never Disney movies.) I go with my sister, my DIL and my grandchildren. My DIL opted out because one child was super fussy and she thought it might be too intense for another. We eventually got into the movie and found it was too intense for another of the grandchildren, so I left the older children with my sister and took the other grandchild to my house. As he watches a movie of his choice, I will share this, my latest project.

I have always loved hand embroidery probably because it was something my mother enjoyed. In fact, my sister and I were married in a wedding dress that had hand-embroidered roses all over. Each of the women in the family spent weeks embroidering those roses.

I have never tried redwork but have wanted to. I decided that I needed to try it and, of course, a pillow is always my favorite item to sew. I have wanted this pillow for my sewing/craft/guest room.

In doing this redwork, I have found that texture becomes very important. You will notice that some areas of the redwork stand out. It is because I used different stitches. When I first started, I just used the stitch that was easiest. Later, I started paying attention to the end look.

I did just a little patchwork and because I did and because I am horrible at figuring that stuff out, my 14" pillow is really about 12 3/4". I don't really care. I was able to make the 14" pillow form fit inside and that was all I cared about.