Sofia and I decided that for the rest of the summer she could spend Thursday afternoons with me and it would be our "studio day." Today was the first and I decided to teach her some embroidery stitches, explaining that embroidery was part sewing and part drawing with a needle and thread.
In preparation I purchased two embroidery hoops; an assortment of colored perle cotton; tapestry needles, which have large eyes and fairly blunt points, but still small enough to easily sew through cotton fabrics and a blue marker that disappears with a spritz of water. I used the marker to draw a simple smiling sun face on two pieces of white cotton fabric. I thought it would be good for each of us to have our own practice piece. I could demo the stitches on mine and she could copy them on hers. I wound the perle cotton onto plastic bobbins—skeins get too tangled in my opinion.
I started the lesson with an explanation of all the tools and materials and a quick bit of tool management and safety—keep scissors closed, pass them handles first; when not in use keep the needle pinned through the fabric; how to put the fabric in the hoop. Then we were ready to stitch.
Back to the studio to learn the lazy-daisy stitch, proclaimed "easy and fast!" I thought she might find that stitch a bit more difficult, but I was wrong. I told Sofia she could stop for the day at any time. The first rule of Studio Day is that when it isn't fun anyomore that's the time to quit. But she was into it and wanted to finish it. And she did.
I bought perle cotton instead of floss because I thought it would be easier to handle for a first project and it was a good choice.
Threading the needle was a challenge and I ended up threading needles for her. I need to find a needle threader that will work with the perle cotton. My threader with the fine little wire loop wasn't up to the task.
White Kona cotton fabric was perfect for stitching with the blunt tapestry needle. Not too tightly woven.