Needle and ThREAD

Teaching Tool for Stitchers

As most of you know, Outreach is an important branch of the Needle and Thread: Stitching for Literacy program. In addition to collecting bookmarks from stitchers during the Bookmark Challenge, we aim to teach people–adults and kids–to stitch, using bookmarks as an introductory project.

Shops and guilds–even some libraries–all over the country are offering learn-to-stitch events, and some Stitching for Literacy stitchers, like Heather, are single-handedly reaching out to anyone interested in learning.

For those of you interested in teaching, I have a tool you might find useful. It’s especially good for teaching large groups when it’s impossible to have everyone gather around to watch a demonstration.

I call this my teaching board. It’s a piece of peg board about 4′ x 3′. I spray painted one side white; the other is the natural brown. So far, I’ve always used the white side, though I still think the brown side may come in handy someday.

I think the board is a good representation of aida cloth.

It stands upright on a tabletop in these small feet, 2 x 4 scraps which have a dado (notch) cut through the center. The board won’t stand up to a strong wind without assistance, but the open back makes stitching on the board easier.

I use brightly-colored bulky yarn and a large, yarn-sized tapestry needle to demonstrate stitches on the board. It’s easy to flip the board around to demonstrate how to finish off thread tails. It allows many eyes to see the process from a moderate distance.

This teaching board is simple to make, inexpensive, and easy to transport and use. It’s perfect for teaching nineteen Brownies how to stitch!