Tips and Tools Tuesday – Sewing and Quilting With Children

Take advantage of teachable moments.

Since I’ve been a mom for over 38 years now, I think this would be one of the best nuggets of advice I could give to anyone who has or is around children.

No matter the task, concept, or bit of knowledge to be learned, take any and every opportunity to expand their universe.

Last April, our grandchildren came to spend the weekend with us. Oh, how we treasure this one-on-one time with them. Well, actually it’s two-on-two. 😉 Anyway, my sewing room remodel had not been completed for long, and the kids wanted to get another tour of Grandma’s sewing room.

I was explaining how I have two stations, each with it’s own sewing machine, one for stitching the pieces together and one for the machine quilting. “Can you teach us how to do that, Grandma?” , one of them asked. I wrote about this in my blog post, Make Your Own Fun. There, you can read about their first machine quilting adventure.

Over the Christmas holidays, our daughter, son-in-law, and our two grandchildren came to spend a few days at our house. One of the things on our granddaughter’s “List of Things to Do” , was “Sew something,” When her brother heard this, he, too, wanted to sew something.

Yep, you guessed it, straight to the sewing room we went. You know what they say, “Strike while the iron is hot.” We decided that their first “real” sewing project would be a pillow case that they could take home and use on their own beds. After the project was decided upon, it was time to go fabric “shopping” in Grandma’s fabric closet.

It was so much fun watching and listening to them, “Oooooh” and “Aaahhh” over the various colors and patterns from which to choose.

Granddaughter chose horses in a pasture with a soft blue for the hemmed opening of her pillowcase.

Grandson said that he wanted Alabama fabric because he is, “A Bama fan just like Daddy”. There are some Half-Square-Triangle units left over from the quilt that I made for his dad, so we will incorporate them somehow into the hemmed open end of his pillowcase.

Grandson got a toolbox with several tools for Christmas from his sister, so he used his measuring tape (yes, the construction worker’s kind) to measure each piece of fabric. My dear friend, Barbara, had gifted me with a marvelous cutting ruler and it was perfect for the children to use to cut their own fabric.

The rotary cutting blade is attached directly onto the ruler and does not touch the fabric until pressure is applied to the top. The blade is not completely enclosed, so, I positioned and held the ruler in place. Then each child (with hands flat and one on top of the other) took their turn pressing on the cutter and moving it along the ruler to cut the fabric. They thought that they were so cool, cutting fabric just like Grandma.

Choosing the fabric, measuring, and cutting it took about 30 minutes. Grandson said, “I want to go play now.” Granddaughter said, “Me, too.” That was was fine. On to something else. My mind was thinking, “The hardest part is done now. You could have a finished pillowcase in about 10 more minutes.” But, I didn’t want to take a chance on this fun project then becoming a drudge. I want sewing to always be fun for them. So the pillowcases will wait patiently for their next visit.

As Kenny Rogers used to sing, “Know when to hold “em. Know when to fold ’em.” It’s true in cards and in teaching children.

Do you have some children or young people in your life who may benefit from your sewing and quilting knowledge? Perhaps all they need is to be asked.

Today is a great day to share your knowledge with someone.

And, if you haven’t already done so, it’s a great day to check out my blog post, UFO’s and Orphaned Blocks, there is still time to enter the giveaway. You have until midnight on Thursday, February 20, 2020 to leave a comment and enter. I’ll draw early Friday morning, February 21, 2020, and announce the winner.

Check out our Facebook group and join the conversation!

Have a great day and I hope you can take some time for yourself to be creative!

Diane

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