Stitchy Santa

B has been watching all of this crazy quilting with great interest. She has discovered that embroidery is about more than just pulling thread through fabric, and that you can create more than just pillows and poppies with your embroidery.

As she’s watched me digging up stitches I haven’t worked in a while, such as herringbone and stem stitch and outline stitch and chain stitch, she’s been curious. As she’s watched me try my hand at stitches that are entirely new to me like cretan stitch and ribbon embroidery, she’s been absolutely fascinated.

Learning something new is somewhat contagious, after all.

Seeing her so interested, and seeing her start to get frustrated with her own unfocussed explorations (which she had been enjoying greatly up until very recently), I brought out some heavy ammunition: Santa.

Yes, the big man himself, in three different flavours, with two copies of each version in the kit so she could stitch one and I could stitch one.

This side-by-side Santa stitching has been an absolute joy. B has been learning new stitches and new techniques, and how to follow a pattern and put Santa together in a very precise and orderly way. With two identical Santas in progress at the same time, I can show her what to do next for each step of the process, and then she can do it herself, without me having interfered with her work. Here’s Mama’s Santa:

And here is B’s Santa:

It has been so much fun to watch her sewing skills blossom. She struggles with backstitches, but her detached chain stitch was flawless right from the very first time, and her love of beads and bling has no equal (witness Santa’s belt buckle).

At first, I thought we might gift these Santa ornaments to an admiring grandmother or two, but it turns out B is so proud of her work, she wants to hang it on our tree so we can look at it whenever we want.

To be honest, this proud Mama doesn’t mind that idea one bit.


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