on learning to breathe {embroidery with children}

This afternoon we got all my fabrics out (from the big piles of boxes that I brought home from the studio, in anticipation of sorting and organising and culling), to decide which ones we would use to make this little project. While we were planning what fabrics to mix&match, and how many girlish or boyish types ones we would need, we also talked about what gift we may make for the teachers. 

I had originally suggested I would make some hand-cut-stencil screen printed tea towels, from the kid's drawings. Well, I ran out of time for that - with only two days left of the school year. We eventually decided on some little embroidered coasters for them to use in the classroom. (That's after Ash looked through my crafting books and presented me with numerous day-long, one yards' worth of fabric  projects). 

So, all afternoon we had the embroidery threads and some large eyed needles for the kids, and little embroidery hoops. And some lovely designs. I must say that I was totally amazed and impressed with how all three of them had changed since last time I embroidered with them (which I must admit was too long ago). 
Ash got straight into it, threading his needle, and only needing help to tie knots and separate the six strand threads into three strands. He quickly finished one - a beautiful spiral - and set about putting his other fabric into place on the hoop, and then completed his next one with even more thought and concentration - a bird with mountains in the background.
Ari decided that he didn't want to make coasters; instead he made a piece to hang on the wall, that will stay in the wooden hoop. He needed help threading the needle and tying knots but no help at all with the size or length of his stitches. Straight away he knew what design he wanted, and thought carefully about the colours and placement of stitches. Last time he sat and did embroidery he continued to loop the thread around the wooden hoop, meaning lots of work for me to have to unstitch the errors and keep fixing it; and lots of frustration from him. This time there were only two times that happened, and Ash managed to fix it each time, with no frustration from Ari. 
Mishi took it upon herself to make a wall piece as well, and happily stitched little blops of colour and threads around her fabric, and sometimes around the hoop as well. At one stage I looked over and noticed she had new colour on her needle - she had cut the thread to length and threaded the needle all on her own. She kept on happily the whole time, cutting and rethreading the colours she wanted, telling the boys 'just do it like I am'.

I only wish I could have had a few more moments of sitting and enjoying it with them, rather than being constantly asked to snip threads of change colours and rethread the needle or  get more fabric, and some other thing. It was a noisy afternoon indeed. But, much more relaxing than any other activity we've done for quite a while, and with wonderful looks of concentration and thought about what each teacher would like. Learning to stop and breathe, to not worry about the things I'm not doing, and enjoy what I am doing. That's my constant lesson - if I only have one moment in each day that is more than nothing.

I didn't, of course, actually get the time to start cutting the pieces for the school kid gifts. And so declared to Ari that we would not being giving any of the kids gifts, as I would prefer to spend my time making something for him (or another family member) than for 25+ school kids. {What a mean mumma I am! Or perhaps one who is thinking a little more sensibly than the one who offered to make such gifts with only 2-3 days left of school term....}.
{no embroidery session would be complete without Barbie and a kid-made plane}

So, anyway - I will be turning Ashey's little pieces into coasters, and Ari's will need backings on them to use as wall hangings. If I get up early enough in the morning, they may be able to give them as gifts tomorrow. 

PS - this fabric arrived today in the post. What fast service and beautifully wrapped little piece. Oh, I can't wait for the rest* to arrive (tomorrow??). I'm so excited about the quilt making.... think I will really have to make one for myself as well. 

* I just noticed that they have my absolute favourite Fucca in aubergine and teal. It is taking every ounce of will power to not click on the buy now button, as I know these sell out quickly.