As a busy mom of 5, I prefer simple, portable artistic pursuits able to be picked up for 15 minutes or so and put down quickly. Photography, knitting, and embroidery fit my busy lifestyle. I think it’s natural that my kids are usually the subject or the beneficiaries of my creative pursuits.
Since children’s artwork can be short-lived, despite my efforts to save their best efforts, I started using their drawings as a basis for my embroidery projects. I picked up the idea from Amanda Blake Soule of Soule Mama who shares how she incorporates her children’s art into permanent pieces of art in her book The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections.
To transfer your child’s drawing to a piece of fabric for embroidery, on a bright day, tape the drawing to a window. Make sure you have plenty of light coming through the window. Tape a piece of fabric over top. I prefer to use white cotton or linen. Trace the lines of the drawing gently with a washable marker or pencil. You need to use something that won’t rub off as you work on the project yet will be light enough not to be seen when you’re finished.
I had fun imitating the marker lines drawn by my oldest son who drew this pumpkin when he was about 5 years old. I wanted to add the words in too, but they never made the cut. Here they are:
“Pumpkin falling on the table. Well it is falling on the table.”
(He drew the pumpkin over a table. model was a pumpkin sitting on the table.)
If you decide to transfer your child’s drawing to fabric, I highly recommend checking out Doodle Stitching by Aimee Ray. It’s a good starting book for beginners, plus you’ll see how to use the different embroidery stitches to imitate your child’s pencil and marker lines. About 20 embroidery projects are included in the book. This Embroidery Pocket Guide (Leisure Arts #56019) looks like a handy reference if you decide to expand your embroidery stitching knowledge.
To imitate the wiggly lines of my son’s drawing, I used the Chain Stitch for his coloring of the inside of the pumpkin. Back stitch worked well as an outline stitch.
Once I was finished embroidering the pumpkin drawing, I used an existing pillow form to create my pillow. I found the shiny orange fabric for the back of the pillow in the remnants section of JoAnn Fabrics.
Have you tried turning your children’s art into permanent art for your home?
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