A couple of hours of peace

A few weeks back I spotted some monk's cloth* in the fabric store. I never knew what it was called, but I did recognise it from some embroidery that I did, well, decades ago, while I was in primary school. I think that this peach one was supposed to be a place mat:While this one was a pencil case (complete with an ink stain):
I bought quarter of a yard of the monk's cloth, thinking that it might buy me quarter of an hour or so of peace from my son. I was wrong. Just a scrap of it has already bought me a couple of hours of peace. He keeps asking if he can do some more stitching. Ok, he is bored while his sister is at summer preschool and the alternative is tidying his room, but still...
Monk's cloth unravels, so I did a zigzag stitch around the edge (the unraveling bits in the photos are outside the zigzag line) and put it through the wash (to preshrink it). I gave him a blunt yarn needle to use and I think that the thread is No. 5 Perle cotton (it looked like it would be easier for him to thread than the 6 strand stuff). All it took was a couple of demonstrations of the different stitches, then off he went.
The only thing that I would hear from him before he reached the end of a row was the odd cry for help if the thread got all tangled.
To be honest, I had low expectations of his skill and interest level, but I think that he would easily handle more complicated stitches. Still, some cross stitch, threaded running stitch and back stitch seemed a good place for a beginner to start.
I'm going to sew some fabric on the back and make a bookmark out of it.
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Now I just need to think of some more stitches for his next project.
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Translation of the day:
UK English: primary school / junior school= elementary school in US English
The school I attended from age 4 'til age 11, which was, ahem, decades ago.
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*PS. Look's like Monk's cloth is aka Binca in the UK - thanks!

21 comments:

  1. I don't think I've ever seen fabric like that, but it looks like the perfect fabric for early needlework!

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  2. Yay for crafty sons. That fabric and stitching kind of reminds me of Native American designs. I hope your summer is full of fun crafts with your kids! :D

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  3. Excellent!
    I think we called it Binca at my school, which was also decades ago ;)

    drawn thread work? Hemming stitch?
    http://www.needlenthread.com/2009/02/hemstitch-in-drawn-thread-embroidery.html

    Cheers,
    AJ

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  4. So cool! I want to run down to Joann's right now and get my kids started. I totally remember that stuff.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Ooh, cool. I think we used to call that stuff Binka when i was at school. It was always dead starchy and stiff until my sweaty little paws had been working with it for a while.

    I'd forgotten all about it!

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  6. Oh I remember making a placemat out of that stuff. I loved doing it! Although I had no idea what it was called so thanks for that. I'm going to have a go with my son. He's only aged 5 so a nice, blunt tapestry needle should be the safest don't you think? He's itching to do some sewing with me so a good project to start :)

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  7. Wow, that's taken me right back to primary school! Your son's stitching is great. It's going to make a lovely bookmark. What a treasure!

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  8. Very sweet. I started doing some embroidery with my students this year (4-5 years old) and they all loved it.

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  10. Such a great idea! Can't wait until my boys are old enough to handle this. Think I may take on a few embroidery projects with it now. You could even make a cute pouch to carry in your purse and show of your sons talent.

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  11. Totally love your site! You are a talented lady. I'd love for you to check out my blog and follow me@http://www.MarjorySteeleSkousen.blogspot.com

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  14. I thought it was called Aida. At school I made a placemat for my Dad with his portrait on it ( a rather square rendition). I think he still has it...

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  15. What a wonderful way to keep him entertained! I also love all of the other projects you've been making lately. :)

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  16. Oh, I remember that stuff! I made a few placemats myself! I think your son has done a great job on the binka (that's what I called it).

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  17. Gosh, your son's needlework is amazing. You've inspired me for what I can do with my children this week - thank you so much!

    Florence x

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  18. It is called Aida in Canada
    ~amy

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  19. Binka! thats what the brits call it though Ive no idea why, its a daft name that.
    I love your dolls house and barn by the way!
    I will make an adaption or two and make them up for the visually impaired pre schoolers we have on our caseload. Diff textured fabrics that kind of thing so it can stimulate tactile skills and also stimulate conversation.
    It would work for any child but can se eit would be great for our special needs, VI and hearing impaired (HI) too. Thanks so much for the tutorial!
    Lyn

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  20. Aida has 14 holes per inch and Binca has 6 holes. :)
    Love reading your blogg!

    Nicola x

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