Tag Archives: sewing with kids

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Two years ago I made class quilts with the kindergarteners at school when my son was in kindergarten. Last year another parent took the reigns and and this year it was my turn again, since my daughter is in kindergarten this year.

I decided to do something a little more complicated this year. Since I was really enjoying seeing all the Village quilt blocks on instagram I ordered a copy of the pattern for the kids to each sew a house block. They made fingerprint art a la Ed Emberley on the doorway fabric with their teachers and I led them through piecing their blocks. (The maker's names are on each doorway as well, but they have been removed for the blog post.)

The kids are at a montessori school, so sewing has been part of their curriculum for the last three years. By kindergarten they are all comfortable using needle and thread. To help them with their piecing, I use a frixion pen to mark the 1/4" seam on the wrong side of each fabric to help the kids keep their running stitch in a straight line. I pin together the two layers of fabric to keep them organized. Some kids take tiny microscopic stitches and some take 1/2" long stitches, but it all gets the job done.

Aren't the blocks adorable!? Once each child finished hand piecing their quilt blocks I brought them home to give them a good press, sew them together, and finish the quilts.

I was sure to get a good shot of the quilt sandwich before I added the binding. When I taught the kids about the parts of a quilt they got a kick out of the phrase "quilt sandwich." I told them that the top and bottom fabrics were like the bread and the batting was like the... whatever you like on your sandwich. One student asked nearly every time I saw him if I had added the peanut butter and jelly yet. ;-)

I opted for echo quilting bordering each house and my daughter helped me pick the zen chic blue dot fabric for the binding. These adorable quilts are about 16" x 15". They were finished and hanging on the classroom walls in time for Mother's Day Tea.

 

Just for fun, here I am with the portrait of myself that my daughter drew for the Mother's Day Tea on Friday.

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Summer break from school is approaching. Among other things, this means a little more time for my kids to sew. I was discussing summer sewing plans with Sarah of Berry Barn Designs and she suggested that we co-host a kids round robin. This idea sounded great to me. We’ve gathered a group of nine young quilters from around the United States to participate in our Kids Quilt Round Robin. (We have one team of sisters sewing together, so eight quilts will be made. The round robin will have two groups of four.)

A round robin is a group of people participating to contribute to each other’s quilts, where the entire project is passed around the circle, with each person contributing. In each group of four, the kids will sew one section for their own quilt and one section for each of the other three quilts. When the project returns to them, they will have four completed units to put together a 40” x 40” quilt top.

Officially starting May 1, the kids will each sew their first 20” x 20” block or 10” x 40” row in May. (Of course parent help is allowed!) Then the first of the month in June, July and August their project will be passed to the next person in their group. September 1st the package will return to them so the quilt top can be put together and quilted.

My kids have each decided on the theme for their quilt. My daughter, R, will be making a cat quilt, and she’s chosen a geometric block featuring Tula Pink’s Disco Kitty fabric. She’ll be sending some extra Tula fabric along in case the other kids would like to include it in their blocks. My son, G, has decided on a sports theme for his quilt and is featuring baseball in his first block. He’ll be piecing his first inset circle and using applique in his design.

I’ll be sharing our KQRR sewing each month, and in November we’ve planned a blog hop to show off the finished projects.

If you have a young quilter, we’d love for you to sew along with us at home. Tag Me @sarahmgoer and Sarah @berrybarndesigns on Instagram with your progress shots.

My biggest tip for sewing and quilting with kids is to work in small chunks of time (and to take a break if either of you get frustrated). One block or row a month is a good, slow pace in my opinion. When sewing with my son on his first quilt, sometimes it would just be one or two seams that we’d put together in a sewing session. All those little bits add up!

I look forward to sharing what we create in the round robin and seeing what your young quilters create. Happy sewing!

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Some weeks I look back on what I accomplished and I am surprised that I did so much. This is one of those weeks. Kids being back in school and a mostly unscheduled long weekend led to a lot of sewing progress for me.

 

Mysterious Things

Last Thursday the first sewing instructions came out for the Meadow Mystery quilt, by Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs. I managed to finish up my cutting that day, but I haven't yet started the piecing. I have all month to get it done and still be on track, so I've been working on some other projects first. Instagram and Facebook are filled with beautiful versions of the first blocks.

 

Things I Put in the Mail

Yesterday, on the sixth day of the month, I shipped all my bee blocks for the month! This is unheard of. I sent two for my Do. Good Stitches group and one for Shirley in my Bee Hive swarm. Plus the two bonus blocks that I showed you on Monday for my friend Mary. It's so nice to have the monthly commitment already checked off. Sometimes I get them sewn early in the month, but then I usually don't manage to get them out the door until the end of the month.

 

Kid Things

My daughter is making progress on her second quilt. Just like my son's second project, she chose to make a doll quilt. Her's is for a friend. I love that she has been coming into the sewing room to play with her fabric, neatly arranging it on the floor. Over the weekend, I consulted with her on her plan and cut her strips of fabric for her. She pieced them with supervision from me and is so proud that she finished her quilt top in one day. ;-) She raided my remnant binding box to choose something for her quilt and settled on a purple, with a scrappy low volume white to go with it since the purple piece isn't big enough for the entire quilt. She's pinned the purple up on the design wall with her quilt top. (In the first picture you can see a peek of the kitty fabric she's chosen for the backing.)

 

Slow Stitching Things

I get up at 5:30am now. I'm just over a week into this new routine. It means I go to bed at 9:30pm sharp these days, but the kids don't get up until 7:00am so I get a fair amount of time to myself in the mornings. I am not inherently a morning person, but I think this is working. Over the weekend I kept up my schedule, since I figure that's easier than sleeping in on some days. This meant even more time to myself since nobody else in the house had anything to get up early for. I've used this time in a variety of ways, but I spent one of those weekend mornings making progress on my La Passacaglia project. I was halfway through connecting the pentagons, and I finished that step and attached them to the center section. 20 pieces down, 70 to go in this first rosette. Now I need to prep a bunch of itty bitty triangles to make the ten stars that go around this section.

 

Things I Can't Really Show You

Secret sewing is exciting, but it's so hard not to share. Luckily, I have a few friends who I can text pictures to when I'm itching to share but can't post publicly yet. The first project is a quilt that I've finished the top for. I'll be able to show it off once I've given the gift. The second secret project is my Nine-Patch Challenge quilt for Quilt Con that I've finished drafting in Illustrator (with Daisy's help). I've actually designed two versions. I think I'll piece the easier one first and then I'll decide if I want to try to tackle the harder one. My next steps on this project include deciding what colors I want to use and  how to go about piecing the trickier parts.

 

Things That Are Colorful

I love color and I find inspirations in a variety of places. This week presented two color palettes that stood out to me. First, as I'm working on chipping away at pre-washing and putting away my summer fabric acquisitions I stumbled across this palette of solids that reminds me of a vibrant sunset. I have some improv piecing in mind for these lovelies.

My second palette came from a more surprising location, my dishwasher. I opened the dishwasher to find these colorful cups in a line in this order. Deciding I liked them well enough to keep the colors in mind for a future project, I snapped a quick picture. (Don't you just love that awesome 80's tile!?)

These palettes are both particularly interesting to me, because I generally gravitate to the cool colors. I'll have to finish a bunch of other projects before I can dive into these, but I'm keeping them in mind for when I "need" a new project.

Thank you for visiting! I'm linking up to Midweek Makers, Let's Bee Social and Needle and Thread Thursday.