Thursday, September 24, 2015

REDISCOVERING OLD SKILLS.

How old were you when you learned to embroider?
If you are my age you would probably say around 10 or 12 yrs of age.

Where did you learn to embroider, who taught you?
I had to learn how to embroider in order to earn a badge in Explorers, and my Mother taught me.  Some might say they learned in 4H, or Girl Guides or Brownies - taught by Mom, Grandma -  an Aunt!

Who teaches little girls to embroider today?  Do I even know any girls who know how to embroider?  I don't think so.

Organizations such as Explorers, CGIT, Brownies, Girl Guides are either no longer around, or are fast dying a slow death, which is sad because many times these groups were where young girls learned some of the fine arts attributed to women for generations and generations.  Not every girl had a Mother or a Grandmother at home to teach these skills, and so they learned them at community clubs, groups, or organizations such as these.

This has been on my mind of late especially since I have taken up the needle and thread and started to do some good old-fashioned embroidery again.  I am not talking about cross-stitch, although that certainly is a embroidery stitch - I am talking about running stitch, french knots, back stitch, laisy daisy stitch, feather stitch, blanket stitch... and on and on I could go.

I have taken on a couple of redwork pieces.  The first one I did was this one.  It was a free download from The Stitching Cow.  You can find it at www.stitchingcow.com

This is so adorable, and after I did this (in only a couple of evenings) I knew I wanted to do more.


There are a lot of patterns for sale on the net, but I decided to look instead to free colouring book pages.

I found this image on a colouring book site, and because I wanted to incorporate it into a small wall hanging, I decided to stitch it with a fall colour, and then embellish it with some crochet flowers, buttons and such.  I am adding a quilted border to add a touch of fun and fall to the hanging.


The stitching is complete on this piece but the quilting around it is in progress.  Isn't it going to be cute?

I am hooked now, and because I want even more of a challenge, I have started looking for even more detailed images in the adult coloring book pages found on the Internet.  By adult, I do not mean adult content - I mean colouring pages that are heavily detailed and much too difficult for young children.

So here's a hint.  If you are wanting to try this, find an image you want to work on, be it a download or a colouring book page.  Print the image and tape it to a window.  Cut your fabric ( should be a thin cotton) and tape it over the image taped on the window.  Make sure your fabric is taped securely so it doesn't move around on you.  I used a very fine tipped pencil, you can use a washable pen if you so desire.

Carefully trace the image on your fabric. Remove it from the window, place it in a frame or an embroidery hoop, and stitch.

The fun here is there are no rules - you can do whatever kind of stitch using what ever kind of colours you want...

Once you are finished your embroidery you can decide how you want to display it.  You can frame it.  You can turn it into a hanging as I am doing on my second one.  If the image is small you can frame it in a card... there is endless possibilities for these pieces.  The choice is yours.  Whatever you do, I guarantee you will have fun doing it!

So - getting back to my first questions... Isn't it sad to think that future generations will no longer do these crafts or learn these skills.  Creativity will cease to exist without knowledge of these basic childhood activities.  It is our duty to see that this does not happen. 

Next: 

I just found a image for my next project.  I am going to do this one in pinks and blacks for my bathroom.

Happy Stitching!



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