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Lawrence, KS 66049
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What's new in various product categories; monthly update.

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Duplicate a Model or Create Something Unique?

If you're teaching a newcomer....

by Bruna Jones, Easy Street Crafts (September 6, 2010)

(Note: CLN has recently been the site of a discussion about new and older generations of crafters. To read the previous articles, read “The Future of Needlework”  HERE and “Attracting Younger Consumers” HERE.)

In your last newsletter you asked for our thoughts on attracting younger people to needlework.   You mentioned that the decline of cross-stitch was due, perhaps, to the necessity for stitchers to duplicate models and that younger consumers wanted to make something unique. But duplicating a design is a learning process, and the stitcher will at least have learned to cross-stitch. A cross-stitch design that has taken time and patience to complete is unique to the person who has stitched it.

I’ve taught many youngsters and can acknowledge that valuable skills developed through cross-stitch are learning to follow directions, reading a chart, transferring that pattern to their stitching, concentrating on accuracy, and accomplishing a task from start to finish.

Our company, Easy Street Crafts, produces square embroidery hoops and kits that are designed to teach youngsters to cross-stitch. Shopowners have told us that we have the best beginners kits. These kits include six-count Aida cloth (easy to see and quick to stitch), a needle, floss, good instructions, and unique Square Hoop-Frames for both stitching and framing. Parents appreciate the kits because they include everything needed from start to finish. Retailers appreciate the kits because they are pre-packaged and perfect for their classes.

My enthusiasm for our beginner's cross-stitch kits was confirmed one summer as my husband and I cared for our grandchildren. I taught our six-year-old, tough, and rascally grandson, Trevor, who was going into first grade, how to cross-stitch. Within two days he finished two designs (Whale and Bear) and started on his third (Taxi). When I drove his older brother, nine-year-old Spencer, to his swimming lesson, Trevor came along and insisted on stitching in the car. He stitched while we waited during Spencer's lesson and continued stitching as we walked quite a distance to our car in the parking lot!

An eight-year-old neighbor boy came over to play with the boys. He also wanted to cross-stitch. As he was stitching, he said, “This is fun.” Trevor replied, “Yeah.” And, Spencer completed stitching his design of an ice-cream sundae that day. I was amazed at their concentration and determination to finish their designs. They worked at it all day with just a few breaks. AND THESE WERE BOYS!!  (For Trevor, I separated the floss, and on his stitchery, secured the floss for starting and then ending.)

For five years, my husband and I taught crafts on Holland America's World Cruises. Most of the passengers were over 65 years of age. But they too, enjoyed learning to cross stitch by using our beginner kits with 6-count Aida cloth. We had at least 50 people in the class, including a few men. They all stitched the same design (easier for us to teach). Then we graduated them to slightly more complicated designs and cross-stitch Christmas ornaments. They were so pleased to have learned to cross stitch and to have projects they were proud of to take home.

I think the real reason for the decline of cross-stitch and decorative painting is that they were so popular that nearly everyone was participating. A surplus! There was no more space on walls for display. And that's the truth.

(Note: To see the Easy Street products referred to in this article, visit www.easystreetcrafts.com.)

xxx

 

 

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