As much as I’d like to completely immerse myself in the goldwork embroidery project that I started last week (when I laced up the frame I told you about on Monday), the fact is, there’s still quite a bit to do to prepare for the kids’ embroidery classes coming up in July.
In the back of my mind, this floral corner embroidery design for the flour sack towel project has been nagging me. I wanted to whittle it down a bit, so that it wasn’t quite as busy. While I like the version I showed you in the link above, it is a bit much for younger kids.
There’s just too much going on in the design! And it would take too long for the younger classes to complete it – even though the projects are meant to be taken home and worked on away from class time.
To settle the problem, I quickly worked up a Lite Version of the floral corner design and then hastened to stitch it. You can see both versions in the photo below.
The top version is the lite version.
It incorporates the same basic stitches the kids will be learning, but on a much lighter scale. And while it’s certainly less balanced, I like the non-symmetrical look of it. With both designs, I tried to avoid too much symmetry.
Backstitch, whipped backstitch, chain stitch, stem stitch, daisy stitch, French knots – they’re all pretty basic. The most advanced stitches we’ll be tackling are the French knot and the fishbone stitch.
This flower has been completely cut from the design, even though it incorporates only backstitch, stem stitch, and French knots. It’s the scope of the flower that’s the problem. That’s a lot of backstitch (and a lot of French knots).
I’ve had varying results, teaching French knots to children, by the way. Since some of you sent in feedback suggesting that French knots are too advanced for little kids, I thought I’d mention this point. I’ve had little children (6 & 7 year olds) pick up the French knot without a problem, and I’ve had little kids and older kids struggle with the French knot, too.
In my experience, the main source of the struggle with French knots for children has always been the problem of speed. Kids are generally in a huge hurry to see a result, to finish a stitch, and so the notion of pulling the thread through slowly takes a little getting used to.
But, in the end, I haven’t taught a kid yet who didn’t eventually “get it.” So I’m not too worried about the French knots. And if there are kids who struggle with them too much, we can always make easier substitutions.
I snipped these flowers out in the Lite Version of the design, too. Again, not because they’re exceptionally difficult, but because there are just so many of them!
The twiggy bits have also been cut away, and the larger flowers have been simplified considerably.
I got rid of the buttonhole wheel centers in the larger flowers because they’re a difficult element to get right. The flowers aren’t filled with French knots, either. The lines between the petals are gone, too. So the large flowers are much simpler and, I think, a lot cleaner looking.
The Lite Version of the towel will be the second project for the younger kids, so by the time they get to it, they will have worked on their own little sampler / doodle cloth to learn the stitches, and they will have applied the stitches they’ve learned in a small, simpler project which I’ll show you next week. (It’s pretty sweet!)
The floral corner designs will show up here on the website once the classes are in progress. That way, if you want to stitch along, you’re most welcome to do so!
Any questions, comments, or suggestions? Feel free to chime in below!