Planning Backwards Model

Teaching Artist Practicum

Name of Project: Cross-stitching Objects

School/Teacher/Classroom or Arts Organization/Mentor: Melodee Strong, Franklin Middle School

Grade Level or Age of Participants: 6th grade

MCAD Teaching Artist:  Eli deVries

Number of Students: 27

Visual Arts Content or Standards

Grades 6-8

2. Artistic Process: Create or Make

1. Create or make in a variety of contexts in the arts area using the artistic foundations. Visual Arts 1. Create original two- and-three-dimensional artworks in a variety of artistic contexts.


Overview of Project

Students will create a 3” cross-stitch using cross-stitch fabric, embroidery DMC floss, and design their own pattern. They will start by choosing an image of their object and translating that to graphing paper, and then transferring the pattern to the fabric. The project will allow for both an introduction and a focus to embroidery and the importance of creating small, intimate work.


“Big Ideas”/ Essential QUESTION(s)

Is craft art?


Student Outcome Objectives

Students will:

1. Learn how to pixelate an object using graph paper

2. Learn how to transfer and cross-stitch their design onto fabric

3. Finish their piece and discuss the importance of small works

-focusing on detail/persistence


Prior Knowledge

No prior knowledge is necessary.

Examples of Artwork


Wone and Youa Vang, Mo Money Mo Problems, cross-stitch, 2018


Wone and Youa Vang, (Not) Your Grandmother’s Cross-stitch, mixed-media installation, 2018 – Minnesota Museum of American Art


 Rebecca Ballinger, embroidery including cross-stitch, linen and silk, 1830


Additional Resources

Assessment *

Quality work will be finished with even stitching (top stitch facing same direction).



-       14 ct. AIDA cross-stitch cloth, 5 x 5 pieces (9 pieces/packages)

-       DMC embroidery floss

-       3 in. embroidery hoops

-       embroidery needles

-       colored pencils

-       1/8-inch graph paper

-       scissors

-       paper bobbins


Learning Activities and Timing

Day 1

  1. Introduce project via powerpoint – 5 min.

  2. Show examplers (with both graph and finished cross-stitch) - 5 min.

  3. Begin and finish creating design for pattern (search for images on ipads if need be) - 40 min.


Day 2

  1. Brief reintroduction, overview – 3 min.

  2. Students will pick colors and cut their string. - 5 min.

  3. Show students how to thread their needle and how to begin their cross-stitch – 5 min.

  4. Address questions as they arise during work time – 35 min.


Day 3

  1. Continue working on project – 50 min.


Day 4

  1. Finish cross-stitch – 30 min.

  2. Discussion – 20 min.

  3. Prepare cross-stitches and install – about an hour


Teaching Artist Reflection


Problems anticipated:

-       Students may not finish on time

-       Some students may not be engaged because of embroidery/stitching


Melodee wanted to include an embroidery project.

Students work will be installed and on view in the school.

Feedback when having discussion about the work.