Quilting 101 - Teaching kids to quilt
Last week we had our family over and I had planned to make a doll quilt with my 9 year old niece. The boys (5 and 6 years old) love their legos, so it dind't even went through my mind to invite them too, but that didn't stopped them. They heard "make a quilt" and it was like ants on a picnic blanket. I was surrounded (by three) and then we were all choosing fabrics from my stash. I had to enroll their dad to help us with the cutting and pressing and their mom to help at the second sewing machine.
The kids had a blast! It's hard to take good pictures on a dark, unfinished basement, but here is a round up with planning their layout, cutting, piecing and quilting.
I learned some things about sewing with kids which will help me in the future.
First, be prepared. When I planned to sew with my niece, I thought it would be okay to shop from my "nice" fabrics, but when the boys decided to join it was hard to not let them select their "special" fabric also. Next time I will set some fabrics apart that can be used on their projects or get some charm packs and avoid the cutting alltogether. This way I can limit the mess and save me from having one of my precious (Liberty of London for example) being picked for their 101 projects. Also, have tools that can take a beating out for use. Accidents happen. One of my rulers was knocked over and got chipped and one of my rottary cutters too, and it got nicked.
Second, set up a lower station. I had a second machine on a lower table that they used also (not pictured here), but the Juki turned out to be easier for them to sew on, however it was set-up a little high for them.
Third, give myself more time. I didn't plan for my project to triple, so that added up on the work a bit, but anywyas, things take longer than we expect when sewing with kids. I also had to sew their binding, so there was a little of late night sewing on this.
Updated: Fourth: Think small. This project doesn't look much for an experienced quilter, but it can be a lot for little begginers. They are still learning to sew a straight seam, so less seams, the better. I had this planned for my 9 year-old niece, but when the boys joined I wished I kept their project a little easy with just rows and not squares - because matching seams is hard, even for us sometimes. :)
Nonetheless, it was really fun to see them putting colors and patterns together, making changes, thinking about sizes and quilting design.
Such a nice, random patchwork here - quilted by their momma.
She's proud because she did everything from start to finish - except the binding.
He was very through and specific of what he wanted. from the fox in the center and bears to the side, to the blue squares and brown binding. Great job!
Overall we had a great time. Their quilts turned out great and they love their visit souvenier.
My three year-old also wanted to make a doll quilt and she did it yesterday.
She even did the quilting. I can tell she is a natural. The only thing with her is teaching her to keep her eyes on her hands and fabric and not wonder around or look at her foot while pressing the pedal. But again, she is three, so all things considered, she did a great job! I'm so proud of her!
Have you sewn with kids? Do you have any tips or stories? I would love to hear it!
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