Our darling B has been learning to sew and embroider, and this fall she caught the handwork bug in a big way. Before Christmas, when I first heard that Sharon B was going to be running the Take A Stitch Tuesday challenge again in 2012, I asked B if she wanted to participate with me. To my delight, she said yes, though she did dither quite a bit on what, exactly, she was going to stitch. The idea of a sampler didn’t appeal to her, so she decided to stitch a little white teddy bear that she had made. However, once stuffed, we discovered that the fabric and stuffing the bear was made with are most definitely not felt-like and forgiving, and in fact are nearly impossible to force a needle through. She had figured this out while stitching the edges with blanket stitch, but in typical childlike fashion, she concluded that it must be something she was doing wrong, since fabric is fabric, isn’t it?
Oh no, darling girl, not all fabrics are alike when it comes to hand stitching. Some are lovely to work with, some are not, and some are downright terrible. The bear most definitely fell into the terrible category, and since there was no way to improve upon it, we concluded that a new object to sew was in order. But what?
After digging through Mama’s stash of fabric, she was uncertain of what to do. She dithered this way and that way, pondered this option and that, and in the end, just about gave up on the whole idea of participating in TAST.
But she didn’t.
Eventually, it occurred to her that she likes to simply take random pieces of felt and sew things on them, so we pulled out some plain white evenweave fabric, stretched one end in a hoop, rolled up the rest and secured it with a safety pin (it is about 3 feet long and 8 inches wide), and voila! A freestyle sampler that suits her style and is easy to work with and has no expectations of anything but fun.
And work, she did! She played around with basic fly stitches in a lovely blue just to see what they could do, and giggled away while chanting “short ones, long ones, fat ones, connected ones, and even upside down ones!” Once she had sewn her fill of basic fly stitch, she announced she wanted to make a leaf like I had done, but in the very palest of pale greens. A bit of instruction and a few minutes of stitching later, she was tilting her hoop this way and that (to better admire the leaf, of course), and was oh-so-proud of herself.
And then she asked a question:
“Mom, why is it so scary to start something new?”
Good question, darling girl. I wish I knew the answer.