Sunday, May 4, 2008

Entry for April 13, 2006

The other kit that I maintain for the mall sleep-in is a Cross Stitch kit. When I took over the Cross Stitch kit it was in a bit of a shambles. There were different copies of stitching projects that weren’t related. The kit also contained tangled up fibers and 18 count Aida. Now I don’t know about you but I definitely can not stitch on 18 count Aida at 3:00 in the morning!

It took about three years for most of the original contents of the kit to be used up. I changed the tangled up floss for DMC which had been wound on cardboard bobbins for the 2005 mall sleep-In. I was also able to replace last year the needles, scissors, and the needle threaders.

This year I was able to complete the Cross Stitch kit. My goal was to create a more user friendly kit for the volunteers. I also wanted to be able to replenish the kit each year in less than 30 minutes. I also wanted to create a new Cross Stitch handout for the kit as I had done for the Needlepoint kit. I also wanted to give the girls several simple charts that they could select from to stitch a small Cross Stitch design.

Please note that our intent is to give the scouts an introduction to Cross Stitch, not to make them experts!

For the simple Cross Stitch charts, I was able to reuse the Ladybug chart (mall sleep-in mascot) from the Needlepoint handout. I then created a nesting heart design and a design that is meaningful for Girl Scouts.

Needlework designer Linda Reinmiller, was gracious enough to help us with the charts. Thank you Linda!!!!

Now that I had quality charts I was able to finish the development of a Cross Stitch handout that the girls could take with them at the end of the activity. The handout gives a brief explanation of what materials are used, how to do Cross Stitch, and the designs. I also included general information as to where they could learn more about Cross Stitch.

This year I was also able to replace the 18 count Aida with 14 and 11 count Aida. I included a questionnaire for the adult volunteers asking them which was easier to use. The overwhelming response, 11 count Aida! Once the 14 count Aida is used up, the kit will be replenished with 11 count Aida for future years. The 11 count Aida will be easier on the eyes in the middle of the night and with the dim lighting in the mall.

Now that the Cross Stitch kit has been redone, I estimate that it will only take me about 15 - 30 minutes to refresh the kit every year. Now, that’s an improvement!

I wish I had pictures to share with everyone but we can't publish pictures of the scouts without their parent’s permission. But there is usually a cluster of 5 - 8 scouts around the Cross Stitch and the Needlepoint booths throughout the night.

I'm also pleasantly surprised to talk to the girls and to hear how many have already done Cross Stitch. I'm also even more amazed at how many know what needlepoint is and have already been exposed to needlepoint either through friends or family or through school.

Many of the public schools in this area, through the Art classes, introduce all (boys and girls) fourth graders to embroidery. It's amazing what the kids can do at that young age!

Especially when they are allowed to pick an object to stitch that they are comfortable with. Such as our state symbols, flag, animals, reptile, and we even have a state dinosaur! What fourth grade boy wouldn't want to stitch a turtle or a dinosaur! Many of the schools then have art shows in the local malls that showcase examples of the different techniques. The embroidered projects are included in addition to the more conventional and expected art pieces.

If you get a chance to see one of these public displays, please take the opportunity. It's amazing what these children can do!

Originally Posted: April 13, 2006

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