Alyssa’s New Pincushion

Last week I started teaching my youngest grand-daughter Alyssa to embroider.  We spent a couple of hours together with me sitting right next to her.  She had my full attention and loved it!  This weekend she came over to finish her first project. 

There’s a lot to embroidery you probably don’t even think about!  Alyssa’s learned the quilter’s knot, how to thread a needle, which end of the thread to put through the needle, how to put the embroidery in a hoop and how to end her embroidery when she runs out of thread.  These are big steps for an 8 year old. She’s pretty proud of her results!

We’ve been working on the stem stitch. Getting those stitches small and even is not easy and it’s something that comes with practice.  It takes awhile to learn it all!  I drew 3 hearts for practice.  She picked out the floss colors and when she was done we decided to turn it into a pincushion!  The backing is the little tiny dog bone print from “Pampered Pooch” by Moda.  For the filling we used ground walnut shells.   She sewed the front and the backing together on the machine. 


Eight is the perfect age to begin teaching children to sew, and embroidery is quick and pretty easy.  They can have a finished project in no time at all.  Once you have the first lesson completed, it’s important to have a second lesson within a week.  You don’t want them to forget everything they’ve learned.

 Alyssa’s been looking through all of my books for something to trace for her second project.   She found one she likes in one of my “Dover” copyright free books.   Much to my surprise it’s a “rat” in a little tea pot.  We’ll enlarge it on the copier and make it the perfect size.  Perfect size for what I’m not sure.  I wonder if she’ll  like rats in tea pots when she’s older!    Children really do  know what they like and it’s important to let them lead the way.  :>)  Bet you can’t wait to see this one!

Pick up the latest issue of “Quilter’s Home” magazine and you can see the sewing room I’ve created for my grand-daughters! 

Happy embroidery day everyone! 




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  • brigette - look at those darling little hands!!
    her pincushion is just perfect.ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - At times I believe there’s a crafting gene. How wonderful to be able to teach your grandchildren to sew/craft and spend special time together. Alyssa did a fantastic job on her pincushion.ReplyCancel

  • cheryl in kansas - ah sweet memories for you and her! My mother taught me about that age….after a time she became very “picky” about my stitches and would make me start over sometimes….oh how I hated that BUT today I am so thankful as it shows in my work!

    Don’t you wish more girls that age would learn to do handwork??

    Have a great week!ReplyCancel

  • Mary Ann - I am starting a little page in my journal with all these hints Ann, my DGD Annika is 2 1/2 so it’ll be a few years. And you might want to look at a book by the fabulous Kristin Nicholas called Kids Embroidery. Great pictures so when Alyssa can’t be sitting right next to you she has a place for a few hints!ReplyCancel

  • Jean Mello - Hi… She has the right to be so proud…. What a wonderful job she did… before you know it she will be quilting…She sure has a great teacher… You must be very proud of her… :)ReplyCancel

  • Teach a young one to stitch · Needlework News @ CraftGossip - […] Anne of Bunny Tales proves that teaching a young one to do needlework is as rewarding for the teacher as for the student. In this photo, her granddaughter Alyssa, age 8, shows off her first project. Beautiful! You’ll enjoy Anne’s tips for helping children learn to stitch. See her blog post. […]ReplyCancel

  • Sue - Thank you for sharing ideas for teaching young children to sew and do needlecrafts. I have been working with my granddaughter also. Keep those ideas coming. And, I have just got to get a copy now of Quilters Home and see what you have created. Thanks again for all the info.ReplyCancel

  • Sinta Renee - How fun is that… for both of you! What a lucky girl to have you as a teacher!!! That is going to be a very special bond. And that is a very sweet-heart of a project to start her out on!ReplyCancel

  • pam seaberg - I got “Quilters Home Mag” last night, and couldn’t wait to tell you what a great article it is. I love all your collections. I am glad they included pictures of your animals too. Congrat’s!!!ReplyCancel

  • Mary on Lake Pulaski - What a special time teaching your granddaughter one of your passions Anne! I dream of the day!
    I’ll look for Quilter’s Home tomorrow.ReplyCancel

  • Julia - Alyssa did a great job – congrats!
    It’s great to have a loving grandmother who teaches you crafts…I wish I could have learned from my grandmothers, too…ReplyCancel

  • Mary T. Salmon - Anne:
    You and Alyssa are creating memories that will last a life time!
    What a fortunate little darling! Life is sweet, isn’t it?

  • Vicky - Alyssa’s pincushion is fabulous! Does she give embroidery lessons? I’ll be her first student!

    I was so excited to find Quilter’s Home at Albertson’s last night. Your spread in there is wonderful! But how dare they call our Chelsea plump and our sweet Bitsy elderly!! There happens to be a lot about plump and elderly that I like (and can certain relate to)!!

    Congrats on a great article!ReplyCancel

  • mimi'sdarlins - Alyssa should be very proud of her accomplishment, this is so precious and beautiful stitched! I love ground walnut shells for filling, it’s all I use now for my pincushions. I’m just waiting for my 6-yr old granddaughter to be old enough to use a needle, she is impatient to learn to make quilts and loves fabric! How lucky am I?ReplyCancel

  • Kim - Oh you lucky grandma……..what a great memory for you both.
    I only wish my daughter in law would let me visit my little granddaughter more than twice a year. Maybe one day we will be able to sew together…….I can dream right?

    Happy sewing and congrats to Alyssa for a job well done :0)ReplyCancel

  • Bumpkin Bears - Such precious moments to share with your Granddaughter, times she will always remember I am sure. I love animals in tea pots as you would see from my Blog/Etsy store. I am planning on making embroidery patterns from my drawings too one day.. Can’t wait to see her creation. Catherine xReplyCancel

  • Jean - I picked up a copy of Quilter’s Home last night. What a wonderful article about you!!!! Your home is just beautiful and I love all the special touches. What a good grandma to have a designated sewing room for your granddaughters.ReplyCancel

  • gkpatch - bonjour
    j’ai appris à ma petite fille le premier bloc de patch, c’est un bloc nine patch, elle à 12 ans elle ne s’en tire pas mal. Il n’y a pas d’âge pour apprendre gkpatchReplyCancel

  • Chris - I’m just loving all of the comments in this Blog & the patterns/pics are outstanding!! I, to, am a Grandma & am teaching my 2 grandsons to quilt (7 & 9). I believe in starting at a young age if they are eger to learn & they Love it. J has had his quilt in 2 quilt fairs & E is learning. I guess the closeness we share & the fact that they see me all the time doing this helps a lot. I would encourage other Grandparents to do special interests with their grandchildren & who knows, someday when they win big they’ll appreciate all that you have taught them.