Sunday, July 12, 2009

New Stitchers

I've been thinking and talking to people and thinking some more about how we get younger stitchers comfortable with what we know and love - lots of stitches and lots of threads.

I'm not talking kids. That's a different group but what can we do to help the 20 - 40 year olds who are interested but overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of what's now available? Where do they begin?

I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday and she made some very good points that I think I'm going to try. She was thinking about a friend of hers who is semi-crafty might like to learn but wow, look at this pile of threads. Look at the price of the threads. She has a 6 year old son and is a single mom so we have to be smart with money and her time.

Step one select a canvas.

Step two, hopefully the canvas has a stitch guide so that once at home she won't panic. Otherwise the shop can help with this.

This is all good but even with a small canvas as a beginner you and I both know the cost of the project is mounting. Canvas, threads, stretcher bars. All that stuff that we need and love.....

We know she can buy her threads a few at a time but as a beginner, how does she begin to know that without agonizing over the stitch guide. Where to begin?

Lightbulb moment!!! Here's the suggestion. Write the stitch guide in segments. Okay, we do that. We as stitch guiders write the instructions a section at a time telling the stitcher exactly what to do where, but what we fail to do is tell them what threads they will need for just this section of the project. So, instead of here's the grocery list for the entire 4 course meal here's the grocery list just for desert. Wow, cool!

Encourage a new stitcher to buy just enough for this one section, make it easy and friendly and then invite them back with project in hand for the next segment of the project.

We can now break a stitch guide into more manageable bites and quickly learn what newbies are loving and what they may be struggling with. We make it fun and social. It's just a quick trip to the local needlepoint store to pick up a few things on a manageable budget.

I'm going to try it. Watch my new stitch guides and see what you think. We'll have a master thread list of all threads needed for a project along with threads for each section.

Looking forward to hearing from you on this idea.
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