Friday, January 16, 2009

Embroidered Kid Art

Here’s a way to preserve a child’s drawings: embroider them onto fabric. Then you could make a quilt from a group of your favorite drawings.

Cotton Fabric

Embroidery hoop
Embroidery needle

Embroidery floss
Writing utensil

If you’re new to embroidery, pick a drawing without much detail. The supplies you need are basic. Any craft store and most crafty friends or family members will have them on hand. Keep the drawing with you as you gather fabric and embroidery floss for the project and stay as true to the colors your child chose as you can. **Note: The embroidery hoop pictured is WAY too big for the project. It is much easier to keep the fabric tight enough to work with a 5" or 6" hoop. I have since purchased one, but I was working with what I had.

Familiarize yourself with some basic stitches through these video tutorials: Split stitch, French knots, chain stitch, and satin stitch . Put scrap fabric on your hoop and practice each stitch until you are comfortable.

Look at the drawing you’re about to stitch. Try to figure out which direction the strokes were drawn, so you can work in the same direction.
Decide what stitches will work best for the strokes on the drawing. If the drawing was done with a fine point marker or pencil, the split stitch may work well (I did most of the picture above with the split stitch). If the picture was done with crayons, try the chain stitch.

There are several ways to get the image onto the fabric. I recommend putting the fabric on top of the drawing and tracing it. I use a pen with ink that disappears within 72 hours, but you could use pencil or anything washable.

If the fabric is hard to see through, make an improv light box with a window during daylight. Tape the drawing to the window. Then tape the fabric on top, leaving the bottom unattached so that you can lift it and look at any lines you cannot see through the fabric.

Remember that the child created the picture and resist the urge to leave out even the fourth extra arm. Relax and think about the uninhibited way children draw as you stitch.

Embroidery tends to be something that people hold onto. Someday someone is going to be curious. At the very least, stitch in a year. You could also include the artist’s name, age and any title the child gives the drawing.

1 comment:

Travelbunny said...

I have gotten tons of inspiration for projects from reading your blog, so I'll be adding it to my blog list if you don't mind...