Thursday, April 7, 2016

In the Art Room: Embroidery with Third Grade

When I was a kid, I spent two weeks of my summer in rural Indiana with my two grandma's. One grandma had a pool, my aunt and cousins and a freezer stocked with enough White Castle burgers to last a lifetime (my record for those wee burgers was 5 in one sitting. You better believe I was proud). The other grandma had no A.C. or no kids to play with and pretty much only hot dogs to eat (she liked to eat them cold {insert dry heaves}). Now all y'all might assume I dug stayin' at Pool Grandma's house better and, well, I'm not gonna lie, you'd be right. However, the one thing that Cold Hot Grandma (Grandma Rosie, that is) and over Pool Grandma (Grandma Marilyn) was that she was super crafty and loved to teach me. One summer, she taught me how to embroider and it was just about the best thing ever. 
With that memory, I thought I'd share embroidery with my third graders. Last year, they created these little embroidered hearts for our mural. This year, with my new third graders, I thought I'd give them the opportunity to really explore embroidery. Here, lemme talk you thru it since I'm super good at jibber-jabberin'.

Now, I'm sharing with y'all their unfinished pieces as many still have embroidery they want to do. I truly am having a hard time stopping them, they love it so! Not gonna lie, some kids have decided to move on. For them, I'm going to offer some puffy paint as an alternative to stitching more designs. Once complete, these bad boys will be framed and embellished with a metal tooled frame. I'll be sure to keep y'all posted. 
Here's the video I shared with the kids. Having a video for something like stitching is great because you can replay it for those that missed the directions the first time. 
Like I said in the video, we used stencils to create our initial design and stitched that the first day. From there, the kids were able to use chalk to add more details to their design like little fish, bubbles and stars as seen above. 
Many kids used hoops but some preferred to just go it without. I wanted them to have the experience and learn how to use the hoops. 
I found the colorful burlap at Joann's. Tapestry needles are the best way to go. You can score a dozen of the metal ones through any of your art supply catalogs.
As you can see, sharks and dolphins were the most popular stitched creatures. Having a ton of choices made it so every child found something of interest. We also had turtles, toucans, crocodiles, tropical fish, lizards, frogs and parrots.
 It made me so happy when kids wanted to learn another stitch. I have a giant embroidery sampler in my room that I made years ago that have satin, running, flower and star stitches that serve as inspiration. 
 Love those flower stitches!
Love this toucan with the satin stitched beak.
"Look! My lizard is a Love Lizard!" This was after we all agreed it looked as though it'd fallen in love. 
Not gonna lie, this has been a long project...but one that the kids have enjoyed. I hope they have happy memories of stitching one day as I did with my Grandma Rosie. If not, then they can go eat a cold hot dog (juuuuuuust kidding)! What are some of y'all's fave embroidery projects for kids? For more fiber arts art class fun, go here
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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Love, love, love this! Great directions! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Silly question here . . . Is there a certain size tapestry needle that works best . . Looking at the catalog #13 or 18 ?? What is the difference

    1. And did you use yarn or embroidery floss ? What weight? ok I think that is it . . . :)

    2. Hey buddy! I used yarn, not embroidery floss. For the needles, I buy the metal blunt tapestry needles thru the art supply catalogs..they usually come a dozen to a pack. I like the ones with the smaller eye as they fit buttons easier. I hope that helps!!

  4. I have taught some wall hangings made of yarn to my kids. Do you have some knowledge about it?

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  5. Great embroidery project! Excellent for motricity :-)
    I made pot pourris sachet with my grade 5 students; they cross stitched the initial of their Mom (or a person of their choice when they had no mother). It was always a great success!

  6. It seems all participants have unique creative ideas.
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  7. Anonymous9/11/2017

    Wow this is awesome, thank you so much for sharing! I just started embroidery a few months ago and want to start with my students. I will definitely be using your videos. Do you use regular chalk to mark the fabric? Does it come off easily? Could you give more details on how you mounted them? Do you have pictures or a link that would help me understand how to do this step? Thanks!

  8. I really like your blog it contain very informative information about Flags Embroidery Designs thank you for sharing it.

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  10. I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked your site to check out the new stuff you post. Embroidery Digitizing and Vector Art Service

  11. You have a fantastic work Cassie. As you told above that you are in interested in embroidery digitizing since your childhood; its really a good job and great efforts. Thanks.

  12. Just curious how you "finished them off"....did you have them trim the edges or frame them out somehow?


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