Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Hanging on to summer by a thread


That was quick. I showed Isabela how to do a simple split stitch and she instantly sunk into a new favorite time eater. Then she chose her own fabric, requested an owl drawing and got to it. Only stopping for me to change her thread colors and an occasional 16 thread pile-up underneath.

She learns to split

Isn't she doing great? I think about what she'd be missing out on if she never saw me working on my own little weekend stitch-away. Reminds me of learning to use the sewing machine at about the same age. I could not wait to figure that thing out after watching dress after dress rattle through it by my mom. I also remember learning to embroider and choosing a kit at the store that was of a little girl bending over to pick some flowers. I chose it because her little bloomers were showing and the instructional photo showed them rendered in white french knots to look like lace. I was dying to learn french knots.


These are some of the little goodies I was playing with to keep myself out of the studio over the weekend.

It was with me on the patio, in the living room during the kids' Looney Tunes marathon, by the pool, at dance practice, at the dining room table, on Juliana's bed til 1am and likely more places I can't remember. Happy, happy occupation. I didn't know until about half way through that chickee what they would end up to be, but now I do. More on that later.

I told Jeff that Isabela will never see the world the same now that she knows how to do this. I think he believed me. I certainly believe me. I will draw anything for her to stitch, anything at all. Even Daffy Duck. I'd like to encourage her to stitch her own drawings too. I really had no idea what nimble little fingers she had. But how would I? We both learned something new.

xoxo, Anna


  1. I remember when my mom taught me to embroider. I was just little and I remember that my project was a mouse and a bird. I haven't embroidered in years and gave up cross-stitching in favour of knitting a while back, but seeing your wee girl working so hard makes my fingers itch to try it again.

    Isabela's owl is going to be beautiful. I just know it.

  2. I love to see kids doing crafts. Yesterday my daughter was remembering sewing on an old treadle sewing machine I had. And sitting and rocking on the treadle until she grew too big and got a big sliver in the top of her head. Maybe that explains what happened to that machine.

  3. Oh,what a feeling...seeing your daughter embroidering.I've tried to teach mine to sew, crochet, and embroider. They just aren't interested right now :{ I'm not giving up though. She looks so sweet sitting there, all content creating something w/her own hands. Takes me back to my 1st time when I was 8. I'm happy for you...they inherited your talent.

  4. So lovely, i hope my daughter love embroidering to.

  5. Isn't it great when they actually want to learn how to do something we do? LOL My 7 yr old son just learned how to use my sewing machine and made a tote. Now he wants to make bags to sell and has already sold 2! So cute. Here is a link to his first ever sewing project:

  6. AM- I know what you need to do!!!!: You should write a book for children on handcrafts!!! You would be fabulous. Plus you have lots of "guinea pigs" at home to try things out on. My daughter first stitched last spring with her girl scout troup and then went on to sew little things on her own (she's 10) and she definately felt a sense of empowerment over creating her own things! There aren't enough "cool" books for kids though... so think about it!!!

  7. That is one of those moments that every craft mother waits for, "Mom can you show me how to..."!

    The other day my almost 3 year old decided that she wanted to do stitching like her mommy. I stretched her some fabric and helped her hold the needle safely, but she decided where each stitch went. She loved it. I wonder if there are stitch kits for toddlers.. Maybe lacing cards would work.

  8. How exciting! I need to come on over and take some lessons, too! :) What fun! I can't wait to see what you do with the chick and flower! So lovely!

  9. She does look content stitching away like Momma :) I get excited, too, when my lil men want to paint like me, having hobbies that can turn into life long passion is a seed we should water every day in our children.

  10. How wonderful is that. She had to be quite pleased with her little masterpiece.

  11. some of my favorite things have been embroidered by little hands. you are right, she will never see the world the same way.

  12. That is so wonderful and what a precious gift to be able to pass onto our children. How can anyone ever be bored if they have skills such as embroidery? :)

  13. very sweet....
    I have had an embroidery marathon of little girls here at my house.
    Two neighbor girls were over and seen my 7 and 5 year old daughters embroidering and who wouldnt want to pass that onto little girls who may never get the chance in their own home...very quickly i found myself detangling and threading thread for four little girls...YIKES. LOL

    cant wait to see her owl...my girls favorites right now is a frog sitting on a lily pad. :o)

  14. Love your embroideries, Anna. And I can't wait to see the completed owl!

  15. How lovely.
    : )

  16. what great memories! My little one is starting to show an interest in sewing as well and it's fun!

  17. how sweet! :-)your daughter is doing great!

  18. jennifer Paganellli5:51 PM

    like mother like daughter..love this..Jennifer

  19. Tracy6:57 PM

    Isn't it wonderful when the world of thread & stitching opens to our little ones? My daughter (5) has taken to embroidery this past year. She draws her own designs & then stitches them and we have our thread pile-ups too...mom to the rescue!

  20. How fun! I remember being her age to do something mom does well always gives out such a sense of accomplishment.

  21. She certainly is doing great! Don't you love those thread pile ups on the back?

  22. That's amazing AM- how cute is that first picture too! What a blessing that you are able to share your talent, not only with the world, but the ones dearest to you. She will never forget that her mother taught her how to embroider- NEVER!

  23. That's so awesome! How old is she? I wonder when to let my daughter try somethings. She's just little (4) but already interested.
    What a wonderful bonding experience. I remember that my older sister taught me to embroider and my mom and Grandma taught me to crochet. I love projects that you can take around with you!

  24. Oh what a great picture! I'm just starting to teach my daughter the same thing but we are just working on stitches for the moment.

  25. This is so wonderful. I remember doing exactly what she is doing now...not that long ago really. :*
    But it is so good that she is interested in what you do. My neice is ten and still doesn't really have the patience to sit down and sew.

  26. DeerDominique12:33 AM

    You must be SO proud. I think it is so awesome that you stitch on patterned fabric, I never think to do that, silly me. Thanks for broadening my embroidery horizons. I can't wait for my daughter to get crafty, she already loves to play with yarn (she's one)!

  27. I love seeing this - what a cool thing to do together. I loved showing my daughter beginning embroidery stitches, and I love to embroider with my mom. It's such a great connection. Fantastic! :)

  28. I am so excited for you both. How wonderful. I am proud of her. :)

  29. You are so right. The world is no longer the same for her. She's going to see everything now outlined in a split stitch. She looks so peaceful curled up with her handwork. I had a discovery like this too. That my two-year-old can string beads--seed beads! This opens up some serious co-crafting possibilities.

  30. What a great job she did! You are a wonderful mother for giving her such a gift!

  31. that is so great!! my just turned 4 yr old can't keep her hands off of my machine . . . i'm so excited to pass down the lessons like my mom did for me!

  32. Nothing pleases me more than to see kids learning a craft and their appreciation for handmade items. Kudos to you for encouraging her gifts of patience and creativity.

  33. Jennifer at pink ric rac10:53 AM

    Very very cool. This is something I want to teach my niece, but she's only 5 and a bit impatient. :) What a great craft to start her off on and what a great age to be exploring all the things her imagination can make and dream of!

  34. ... and everything beautiful you learn informs you of the beauty you find in other places as well. beautiful post.

  35. I'm not going to wish away my daugther's toddlerhood -- but I can't wait for the day when my little one sees me knitting or sewing and instead of "honey, don't play wiht that" as she says "I do that, I help" and starts tugging on what I'm working on, I can say, "do you want to learn how?"

    Isabela is doing a fantastic job, and no, she will never look at the world the same way.

  36. How awesome is that!! I remember when I started teaching my niece to sew- you should SEE the stuff she's making at 7 years old (posted on my blog for those of you interested..) What a great way to start out national sewing month!

    A great job she's doing AM.

  37. Anna,
    This just made me smile. It was so ironic. On the day you posted this I was teaching my 11 year old embroidery. I'll post a picture of her unicorn next week. It's just such a joy to see them doing the things we love, isn't it? And, so nice to just sit down with them and be quiet.
    Take care!

  38. Found you via the prolific Fifi, and am so glad I did! I too taught my daughter to stich and sew, and she continues to love it! Your life seems so wonderfully happy and full of color and smiles! I will be back to visit soon!

  39. Hello - I just found your blog via Fifi's. I have to tell you that this picture of your daughter embroidering is precious. I learned when I was about her age. Love your blog and will be back for more reading! Becky

  40. OK, I need you to tell me how old she is... I am itching to get my daughter (flighty, runaround the yard all day, climb the tree in her dress-girl) to take up stitching so she can do things along with me instead of sitting there next to me all the time watching. I tried some simple cross stitching on plastic canvas, but that was too much I guess. She wants to try it again... I would love to try some simple embroidery instead. Email me sometime? Emandmikey@aol.com Em

  41. Carla in Louisville1:45 PM

    Anna, I love these photos of your daughter embroidering! I found Olivia hand sewing a little purse the other day and it brought back memories. Speaking of memories, I should send you the story she wrote about getting her finger sewn in my Bernina this summer. It is a hoot! Of course, it wasn't a hoot when it happened...Anyway, just catching up on your blog and enjoying! Take care!

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