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Reaching Teens Through Needlepoint

Posted By TNNA HQ, Thursday, August 10, 2017
Updated: Thursday, August 10, 2017

Reaching Teens Through Needlepoint

 By Janet M. Perry

Needlework is often associated with math; there are even books and websites on mathematical knitting. A project developed by a math professor has been one of the most popular Internet needlepoint projects ever. However, few of us think of that connection as a way to reach teens.

In 2015, Jenny Huff, a math teacher in Los Angeles, decided to share her love of needlepoint with her students by starting a needlepoint club in a school where 75% of the students qualify for lunch subsidies. Here is how she described her goals: “By introducing Needlepoint to my students it would create a new type of environment for them to relax and de-stress.”

Today the club has over 70 enthusiastic students who stitch, talk to each other and share their successes, including pictures and posts on Facebook. Yamile Morales Perez, the Vice President of the club for next year, recently shared pictures of a Jack O’Lantern she’s stitching this summer using a donated canvas. 

“It has made my summer more enjoyable and I am going more places with it looking for a quiet spot to do it,” she said. Her comments are typical of the club members.

The students have an enthusiasm for needlepoint that is infectious. The projects they stitch and share are beautiful, and everyone in the club is excited by the possibilities and grateful for the donations.

The club has spawned a Facebook group, Needlepoint Millennials. Its mission is “to bring the art of Needlepoint to the youth nationwide.” Adult members of the group are often looking for ways to create similar clubs in their areas.

The needlepoint industry has taken the club to their hearts. Local shops donate supplies. Stitchers and designers who are decluttering donate lovely hand-painted canvases. Others donate finds that are used to pay for finishing. One shop, The Wool & the Floss is Grosse Pointe, MI. had a garage sale and donated the proceeds to the group.
      
The generous donations allow these students to work with materials and designs that are out of their price range while, often, encouraging them to try new stitches, threads and customization.

Not only do the students have fun stitching the needlepoint, the results often become gifts as well. Last year a donation of Stitch & Zip coin purses were stitched and donated to the school’s annual toy drive.

If you’re interested in getting involved with Needlepoint Millennials and encouraging needlepoint to grow among the younger generations find them on their Facebook page. 

Please note: Because the school is closed until September, they will not be accepting donations until school reopens.

 


About the Author


Janet M. Perry is a needlepoint educator, creating print books, ebooks, on-line classes, stitch guides, and blogs that provide great information for stitchers at all levels. She has 13 books in print currently including Bargello Revisited, the most comprehensive Bargello book in print. Her Nuts about Needlepoint blog, nuts-about-needlepoint.com, is the leading needlepoint blog. Her Needlepoint News blog provides news to all stitchers. She welcomes folks to contact her (and contribute news) at napaneedlepoint@gmail.com

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