Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Quilting with My Kids

I have four children. This is certainly not new information to y'all, though sometimes I admit that I'm still a little surprised by it. (I have FOUR children? When did that happen?) And as y'all can probably imagine, keeping four littles entertained/occupied is a challenge, especially if this mama wants to sneak in a bit of sewing.

Enter: The Design Wall. I grab my carefully color-coded, super fancy ziploc bags of scraps, dump out a bag or two, and let them go wild designing. We've made a handful of placemats in this fashion, and let me tell you, scrap placemats are a great FMQ practice canvas. :)

And while I have been doing the sewing while the kids have been the design team, my second son told me a few months ago that he would like to make a quilt. My oldest heard this request and decided that he too would like to make one. I searched through my stash and secured our supplies, and we went to work. (For the record, I did not let my five- and seven-year-olds cut the fabric. I can imagine them brandishing my rotary cutter as a pirate sword with disastrous results.)

Since this is really their first major foray into sewing, I kept it simple, and we just did row quilts. The nesting dolls is my five-year-old's offering. (He sat on my lap and guided the fabric as I controlled the foot pedal.

And after he helped me sew a row or two, my seven-year-old did all of the fabric guiding, though I did control the pedal still, but only because his legs aren't long enough.

So far, they've helped with every aspect except the cutting, and I intend for them to help with the remaining tasks. However, we've had a hold up in the basting stage that is all my fault as almost every single basting pin I own is currently keeping my Patina quilt in a yummy quilt sandwich. Speaking of that Patina quilt, I should really give y'all an update on it! Soon, lovely readers, soon.

Do you sew with your kids? Any tips for me? I never realized how difficult a beginner could have sewing a consistent 1/4" seam!


  1. I have moved away from a 1/4" seam with young kids and tried a 1/2" seam allowance. I think part of the issue is that the 1/4" mark falls so near the foot they lose site of it. Once they are more comfortable and consistent with a 1/2" seam allowance, then I modify them back to a 1/4" seam allowance. This has really helped the kids I've worked with in the past. I look forward to seeing how they finish their quilts!

  2. I didn't know a 1/4" seam was a thing until about 2 years into quilting. I just used the edge of my standard foot (which turned out to be more of a 3/8"). I always just figured I did something wrong, and trimmed all my blocks to be the same size, and then sewed them up. It wasn't until I started trying to follow real patterns with HST and the like that I finally figured out 1/4". :D Have fun!!!


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