Fiber Art Center in my TAB classroom
We started with stitching. The first two things that I taught the children was the two basic stitches they were going to use the running stitch and the whip stitch PLUS how to thread a needle and tie a knot.
I have instructions hung up for the girls who were not paying that much attention when I taught it or if they need a refresher.
I learned from the great art teacher Cassie Stephens the best way to thread yarn and that is by making a small piece of cardboard into what she calls a hot dog bun.
They put the thread inside without it coming out, push the cardboard through the eye of the needle (another vocabulary work they learn) and then voila! the thread goes in as well.
They then have to tie a knot near the needle and at the end of their yarn. I do not tie it for them I just teach them how to do it. They know that if they don't learn how to do this on their own then they are not ready to use this center.
Since my point is for them to learn the whip stitch which wraps around edges and the running stitch that is your standard in and out I started them off by using Styrofoam plates.
This way they learn to do the whip stitch around the edges and then they draw a picture in the middle and do the running stitch in the middle.
The plates tend to rip as they pull too hard but, I just give them tape to tape it up in the back.
After they draw their picture in the middle I have them trace it on the back so they can have an easier time when they have to push their needle up from the back.
Some of the children that wanted to do another one after the finished used styrofoam trays.
The older children have started stitching on burlap after they drew pictures with white chalk. They learn that stitching is "drawing with a needle"
Another activity we are doing in Fiber Arts is sewing. From third grade and up (and some second graders) are sewing their own pillow sor stuffed dolls. They choose 2 pieces of felt and have to learn how to thread with smaller eyes of the needles. (we are using chenille needles and learned how to use regular threader)
They also are learning that when sewing they have to make only one knot after they double the thread.
Many of the children chose to make rectangular pillows so they didnt have to deal with having a shape cut out.
For the shapes I had them draw it on a paper the same size as their felt and then I cut it out for them since it is really hard to cut the felt.
Some of them are also learning how to sew buttons for decoration onto their pillows.
This child below added a bow with a piece of flannel, buttons and she used thread to make whiskers for her Hello Kitty pillow.
Burlap stitching is being worked on (I will post pictures when I have them) and weaving is the next type of fiber art that they will learn even though stitching and sewing is available throughout the year.