Thursday, January 19, 2012

Native American Totem Stones and Pouches

Our fifth grade artists have become excellent at stitching. They learned the blanket stitch to construct these finely crafted pouches. Each student chose a color of felt and a contrasting color of warp string to show off their beautiful stitching. 

The first class we talked about fabric arts and I demonstrated the blanket stitch. Many of the students got about half of their pouch stitched. The following class they finished their pouches added a bead for a button and made a stone out of indian red clay.

Some of the students chose to keep their clay stone smooth so they could draw on it or paint it after it was fired in the kiln. Others chose to carve their totem in the moist clay. Others chose to make their clay the shape of the totem they chose.

I am always very pleased with the quality of their stitching. Many of the boys are some of our best stitchers. This is the first experience most of our students have stitching. I feel that this a very special first that I have the opportunity to share with them.

Each stone and pouch has a special quality of it's own. The students really enjoy this project.

I would like to thank Tresa a retired colleague of mine for sharing this project as well of many others with me.


  1. oh wow, i love this idea. I am kinda new at teaching sewing/stitchery but i'm getting better and this looks within my ability level. thanks for sharing!

  2. What a great idea! I did Story Totem Poles with my kids this year. They were able to make them interactive with moving parts & they loved that. I had never heard of totem stones, but I know they would be a hit along with the little pouches! Thank you for the wonderful idea--I'm definitely trying it! Mrs P (

  3. did this and the children loved it! check out the results on my blog:
    thank you for the post. mrs. p