As early as the 1600's, American children were learning to sew. The cloths that they practiced upon were called samplers, as they showcased the alphabet, numbers, and other practice stitches. It has become a tradition in America for a family member to stitch a sampler for a newly wedded couple or for the birth of a baby.
antique sampler from rubylane.com
We learned how to thread a needle using a paper strip. I just learned this trick myself and it is truly a handy thing to know:
We began using the running stitch with yarn to outline our initial, then we used a thinner embridery floss for the decorative stitches. The students created their own designs for the decorative stitches, imagining how to "draw" the lines the way they want them to go, using a needle & thread rather than a pencil. This was so much easier this year than last, because we used wooden embroidery hoops to keep our cloth stretched and flat. The kids loved it! The ones who had sewn before were proud to show off their skills,and the beginners caught on quickly and told me they were happy to know this skill. Click here for the post on our beginning stages of this lesson.