Embroidery With Kids

6 Feb


The last ten days have been a little rough around this household.  A few kids caught an evil virus and were laid up with high fever for over a week.  I don’t remember the last time any of my kids were so sick.   And I had forgotten what it’s like to be house-bound for OVER A WEEK.  But we survived.  And we had some lovely moments together over the past ten days.


At a certain point I was fed up of playing Connect Four, Phase 10 and Ingenious so I went and started rummaging through my sewing room for some ideas of something creative to do with sick kids.  I found an old box full of wooden embroidery rings, a roll of old burlap, large needles and some colourful yarn and thread.  A perfect activity for kids who don’t have the energy to get off the couch but are bored and in need of something to do with their hands.


Using burlap to teach kids embroidery is ideal because it’s so easy to get the needle and thread/yarn through the largely woven fabric and even possible to reverse if a mistake is made.  And the contrast of the earthy textured brown material with brightly coloured thread  is absolutely lovely.  One little piece of advice would be to always zigzag the edges of the burlap beforehand to reduce fraying.


I quickly showed the kids the basics of embroidery and then left them to create whatever pattern came to mind.  We all sat around the living room with the fire blazing and listening to classical music playing in the background.  So cozy and slightly Little House on the Prairie-ish.


After the designs were done we made them into little miniature pillows using different coloured velvets for the back.  The kids are so proud of their creations.  Their mama as well.



26 Responses to “Embroidery With Kids”

  1. americanmominbordeaux February 6, 2013 at 11:50 #

    Wow, so creative & cute! I think I’ll have to call you next time my kids are sick.Hope all are better now. Have a good week.

    • Jillian in Italy February 7, 2013 at 07:35 #

      They started back at school and are slowly starting to feel normal again. And I can finally leave the house!

  2. muddledmom February 6, 2013 at 13:51 #

    Those are great. I’m not sure my kids’ would turn out quite so lovely, nor my own for that matter! But I’ll stow that idea away for a day when we have cabin fever. Glad you are all feeling better.

  3. Nicola February 6, 2013 at 14:48 #

    These are gorgeous. Almost worth being sick if this is what you get at the end of it! Hope you are all feeling better now.

    • Jillian in Italy February 7, 2013 at 07:37 #

      Is the nasty flu going around France as well? I hope your girls were spared.

  4. Judith February 6, 2013 at 20:45 #

    Awww so sweet! I would almost wish to be sick at your place when I see this 😉 Hope you all feel better now?

    • Jillian in Italy February 7, 2013 at 07:38 #

      Yes…we’re slowly all feeling better. And I hope it stays that way because we leave for Morocco in three days.

  5. GrammaO February 6, 2013 at 23:46 #

    Gorgeous – great gift for a Gramma !!!!

  6. genericmum February 7, 2013 at 11:00 #

    Jillian, do you have any photography tips? – your photos are always wonderful. I have just opened an Etsy shop and could use some pointers.
    Thanks, Kathy.

    • Jillian in Italy February 7, 2013 at 11:50 #

      Thanks for the compliment but I have to admit that I struggle with photography on a daily basis. I usually end up erasing about 75% of the photos I take! The only tips I can give would be to take advantage of any natural light you have for shooting anything and maybe think about using a fixed prime lens. I often use a 50mm fixed lens and I love the light it gives the photos. You might want to try it out for your etsy product photos. Best of luck!

      • genericmum February 20, 2013 at 09:04 #

        Thanks, Jillian – I’ll give that a try – I am still in the process of understanding just how important good visual content is on the web ( my new challenge is Pinterest.)

  7. joanabarbosa February 7, 2013 at 21:47 #

    Reblogged this on devaneiosdolhar.

  8. julia [lifeonchurchill] February 18, 2013 at 03:06 #

    such a good idea! I’m wondering if my preschoolers are big enough to try this yet..thanks for sharing!

    • Jillian In Italy February 19, 2013 at 18:12 #

      I think it would be great to do with preschoolers. Get the biggest and thickest needles and some yarn and let them go wild. I’m sure they’ll come up with some great designs. Let me know how it works!

  9. susgus April 3, 2013 at 04:39 #

    Stumbled here from your comment on Design Mom. I love what your kids did. Totally inspiring for our next bout of the flu or overly rainy weather. Must go buy burlap now!

  10. trixi December 23, 2013 at 10:42 #

    What a fantastic idea and they look so so amazing!

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