Saturday, 17 January 2015

Getting Crafty in the School Holidays - Long Stitch

Samantha has been badgering me for ages to have a go at sewing a tapestry.  Olivia has been working on one for a while, and Samantha was keen to try it as well.  I had a look at Hobby Craft to see what kits were available.  All the tapestry kits were a bit big for a five year old, and I thought she would get bored with the endless little stitches. Instead I went for a nice long stitch by Anchor, with a picture of a horse on it.

I wanted to put the fabric in a frame, to minimise the chances of Samantha pulling the yarn too tight and causing the fabric to buckle.  I used a heavy piece of poster board and cut a hole in the centre, slightly larger than the image.  I then used staples and masking tape to secure it to the board.

I threaded a piece of yarn onto the needle, tied a knot in the end and showed Samantha how to get started.  She found it a little difficult at first to find the right place to poke the needle through from underneath, but after a while she was able to work on her own.  Some of the techniques I showed her included:

  1. Pulling the yarn until it is taut.
  2. Pinching the yarn and needle between your fingers as you pull to prevent the needle slipping off the yarn.
  3. Stitching from top to bottom across a section to fill in all the colour.
  4. Choosing which hole to sew through to follow the printed pattern. 
  5. Making sure you sew through the same hole where two colours meet, so there aren't gaps.

Here are a couple of shots of the work in progress.

She worked on it in bursts.  Sometimes she would fill in lots of sections in a day, then she would leave it for a week.  In the end it probably took her a month to complete the whole picture.

Once she was finished, I removed the tape and staples, and took the picture out of the frame.  I then trimmed it, and mounted it in a simple IKEA box frame.  Here's the finished picture.

I think she did a fantastic job.  She is delighted with the picture, and it is now displayed proudly in her bedroom.


  1. Love this! Your blog is full of interesting ideas!

    1. Thanks Jennifer. Always good to know that someone out there is finding all this nonsense interesting!