Needle and ThREAD

It Takes Just One

Besides “how do I finish my bookmarks,” another question I often hear is “how can I get involved?” Just as there are a gazillion answers to the first question, there are a gazillion answers to the second.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to give you my gazillion answers here. Instead, I’m going to introduce you to some people who have found their own answers to that question. Each of these people single-handedly set a Stitching for Literacy ball in motion in his/her community. You can do what they’ve done or something else that suits you better. Really, it takes just one person to reach out.

Colleen from Loose Thread Stitchers kicked off the Needle and Thread: Stitching for Literacy 2011 Bookmark Challenge year last fall with a monster bookmark project: she single-handedly (meaning she used her own two hands) stitched bookmarks for every child in her son’s class.

Stitching for Literacy, Colleen's monster bookmark project

I asked Colleen about her monster project.

What possessed you to stitch bookmarks for your son’s class?

I actually had no intention of stitching the bookmarks. Deane actually volunteered me to read for his class. Once he picked the book, he went into school and told everyone I would stitch bookmarks to go with the book, then came home Monday night to inform me I had till Friday at 2PM to get 29 bookmarks stitched. No pressure.

How did you come up with your design? Did you choose the design to go with the book you read, or did you choose the book to go with the design, or was it just serendipity that they went so well together?

Again, it was the little guy. He picked the book and told me he remembered that I stitched some cool monster bookmarks for his class last year (his school closed at the end of last year so this was a whole new group of kids) and he thought the book and the bookmarks were a great giveaway. He saw other moms come in and bring cupcakes with a book about cooking, or toothbrushes for a dental hygiene book so he just put 2 and 2 together. Obviously, at 7 you don’t realize that it is much more time consuming to make 29 bookmarks than to bake 29 cupcakes or buy 29 toothbrushes.

Stitching for Literacy, Kreinik's robot bookmarks stitched by Colleen

How did you finish your bookmarks?

I was obviously in a hurry (29 bookmarks in 3 days) , and if I had more time would have finished them better but I happened to have felt on hand that had a sticky side. It was really easy to trim and back the bookmarks on the felt. The little guy picked out the colors for each of his classmates and they were all excited to not only get the bookmarks but to have them in their favorite colors.

What did the kids think of them?

They were so funny! They wanted to know how in the world I was able to make the monsters. I explained that I worked from a pattern provided by Krienik and showed it to them. A quick tutorial ensued and the kids are very interested in me coming back in during the 2nd half of the year to teach them how to make their own bookmark. Hopefully I will get more notice form the little guy than I got on this project so I can better prepare.

Stitching for Literacy, kids with Colleen's bookmarks

Will you ever do this again? If so, would you do anything differently?

ABSOLUTELY! I already started on bookmarks for the girls for their classes this year. Gracie has about 20 in her class and Emma about 18 or so, so I should be pretty busy during the bookmark challenge stitching those for their classes.

I am also interested in making it more interactive. I know the girls are too young (3 and 5), but Deane’s 1st grade class (6 and 7) was able to grasp the concept and I think it will be great to see them all complete their own bookmarks in 2011. I want to design small motifs they can choose (for boys and girls) that are easy to stitch and something that is interesting to them. I’d love to partner with a bookstore to get books to the kids that correlate with their chosen designs. I know lofty goals, but just taking it one step at a time and see how it turns out.

Way to go, Colleen!

You can stitch Kreinik’s bookmark pattern, too. Kreinik has been helping to promote Stitching for Literacy since Day One. We love Kreinik!

And you can get all sorts of stitchy info on the Loose Thread Stitchers blog. Colleen keeps her finger on the pulse of all things stitchy.

If you’re setting a Stitching for Literacy ball in motion, we want to hear about it. Drop me a line at mail AT funkandweber DOT com.

Categories: Needle and ThREAD

5 replies »

  1. Thanks Jen! I am in the middle of bookmark craziness for the girls classes. Should be interesting few weeks. I totally underestimated the class counts…..60 bookmarks due soon ,hahaha

  2. I wish I were there to help, Colleen. Someday, I’m going to do that bookmark-marathon thing you, Mare, Bev, Maureen, and others have done.