My daughters’ spring break projects

Alia's stuffed velour bunny

As a result of the extremely cold and wet spring break we’ve had, my daughters and I have spent a lot of time indoors. Luckily, they all love to draw, write, and sew (along with a lot of other creative – and very messy! – crafting projects) so we kept busy (there was a fair amount of chocolate chip cookie baking going on, too). Alia, my six-year-old completed her first sewing project, a “snuggle bunny” made out of soft, fuzzy fabric that she begged me to buy during a foray to the fabric store. It was the perfect first project for her – I saw the pattern in the store and knew that even I could do this one without a store-bought pattern, so she and I drew out the bunny shape, then she cut out the pattern. I showed her how to pin the pattern onto the fabric, and how to cut out the fabric pieces. From there, it was a simple project on the sewing machine, and she learned how to turn the pieces, stuff and slip-stitch closed the opening, sew on the ears, and add the final touches of tail and ribbon. She kept the pattern pieces and took the whole shebang to 4-H to show.

embroidered alphabet animals 1

embroidered alphabet animals 2Bella, my eight-year-old daughter has taken up embroidery with a vengence, and is doing amazingly well – I was somewhat reluctant to get her going, because I feared she wouldn’t have the manual dexterity to make the tiny little stitches, and I would constantly need to assist her, pull out mistakes, do the embroidery myself in difficult areas, etc. Not so – her stitching was near-perfect from the get-go and, what was even more impressive, she demonstrated a real stick-to-it-ness that I value even more than her technical skill. She taught herself to tie off when she ran out of thread, to re-thread the needle and tie a knot at the end, to back-stitch and satin stitch, and to keep the fabric taut in the embroidery hoop.

embroidered alphabet animals 3embroidered alphabet animals 4We’ve purchased the animal patterns (Penguin and Fish Alphabet Embroidery) one by one off of the Purl Soho website, and so far she’s completed the yak (Y), alligator (A), hedgehog (H), cat (C), and pig (P). She’s almost finished with the koala (K) and has the lion (L) and viper (V) queued up next. One key has been using better quality embroidery thread than the stuff I usually buy at Joanns – she’s sewn them all in Valdani Pearl Cotton Embroidery Thread, and the thread is so much nicer, higher quality, and easier to work with (doesn’t break, tangle, etc), that I’m really sold on it. When she’s done all 26 letters, she plans to sew them together to make a quilt.

My oldest, ten-year-old Emmersen, leans toward a little more creative and esoteric projects – her latest is a creation of an entire “zoo” of animals made entirely of aluminum foil. How these even occurred to her is beyond me, but I’m amazed by the ideas she comes up with and executes, without any directions or patterns.

tin foil zoo animals

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