Daily Archives: December 11, 2009

Soft Toys with SHYM

A few weeks ago I started some soft toys with my group at Supportive Housing for Young Mothers.  I wanted to give them a chance to do something a little different, and since I’ve recently been doing some sewing, it seemed like a good idea. I tried to make the experience as accessible as possible and success a good possibility. Above is my example. I cut out some very simple templates of a bunny, cat and bear for the soft toys. Each person got to choose and had to trace and cut out the shape. The only real detail to the toys is whatever face features they chose to embroider. I should also say that I provided a sheet with some embroidery ideas for noses, mouths and eyes. Normally, I would let people just use their imagination, and of course, some of them did anyway, but because I was pretty sure the whole embroidery thing would be new to them, I thought it was ok to include some examples.

By chance, it was a group of only four, so we had a nice intimate work session. I think they enjoyed it, though there were a few frustrations. I think it would have been really good to have embroidery hoops but as this was our only embroidery project, and I was expecting 9 people, I didn’t feel we could buy them. Only one person finished on the first night, and then I took it home to sew it up on the machine. She did a really nice job! I also liked how she picked the pink embroidery floss with her daughter in mind, and the cat template because her daughter had just started saying “cat” . I’m a bit disappointed that I didn’t get a photo of her daughter with the toy, but there is always so much going on at the sessions.

Last night we had another session but as there were new people and some of us were starting on a Christmas project, the dynamics were such that only one other person finished the embroidery. (She had a few problems with it, so I’m really glad she stuck with it!) So 2 out of 4. But you never know, I may be able to persuade them to do a little bit each time and get them done.

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Filed under art classes/workshops, making