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End of Summer Quilt Lessons

Our summer has almost come to an end.  My kids start school in one week.  After a few weeks of us all staying up WAY too late to watch the Olympics, it’s time to get back a semblance of order.  Even if I do have some withdrawal from watching Rhythmic Gymnastics (have you ever seen anything quite so amazing!), I am really happy to get some routine and more sleep.

My girls are trying hard to finish their 1930′s “Ruthie and Kit” quilts before summer is out.  Emma has never basted a quilt before, so she was really worried that her rows weren’t straight.  No worries, I told her, do your best, but these stitches are just temporary.  We will rip them out later.

Speaking of quilting, Emma is trying to decide whether to quilt on the machine or by hand.  It’s such a hard decision for her.  “If I do it by hand, it will look nicer…. but it will take me FOREVER.  The sewing machine will be so fast.  I don’t know what to do.”  We’ve talked about how sometimes when something is hard, you appreciate it more when it is done.  It’s more special.”  But in the end, it’s her quilt and her decision.

We’ve talked about labeling their quilts and how important it is, especially since this is their first quilt.  The labels will say something like this:

Made by Emma * age 10 *  For my doll Ruthie * August 2012

The quilts wouldn’t be complete without little pillows.  Emma stitched together some time tiny 1/2 hexagons into a flower for a decorative pillow for the bed.  You can see how much smaller the tiny hexagons are than the larger 1 inch hexies Lily is sewing together for her quilt.

Lily’s quilt is really coming along too.  She was worried that Emma is much farther along than her, until she realized that her entire quilt is hand pieced, Emma was able to machine piece her Dresden and then she appliqued it to her background fabric by hand.

Lily just needs to assemble her rows and add her borders so it won’t take her much longer either.

With a little luck, we should have bindings on their quilts before school starts, even if the girls decide to hand quilt, they can just work on them little by little.  They will be making pillow cases and finishing the decorative pillows too.

I’m not sure who is more proud of their good work, them or me.

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7 Responses to “End of Summer Quilt Lessons”

  • Ashley:

    Your girls are amazing! I LOVE each of their quilts. Good for them (and you for teaching them!) for hand quilting at all. I taught myself to sew by hand and love it. People think I’m crazy, but what an art–we can’t let it die! Thanks for sharing their progress : )

  • Liz:

    These are marvelous quilts and your girls are doing a great job! I have a question, how early did you start teaching your girls to sew. My daughter is 5 1/2 and is really wanting to start. I learned early and I want her to love it as I have. Your site is wonderful and your posts are always a highlight in the day. :)

    • Calli:

      Hi Liz, I started my girls with easy felt projects or embroideries when they were 6. I think if your daughter is interested, you could definitely start now. For their first projects, my girls were given a sewing box from Alex as a gift. It included easy felt stuffed animal projects- a dog, an elephant, a cat and a small bag. They loved making them. There is no need to buy a kit, you can definitely come up with an easy felt project yourself. Check out the little pin project I taught at an after school sewing club for 1st and 2nd grade kids: http://www.make-it-do.com/sew-it/first-sewing-class/ . I think sewing cards are a great way to teach stitches. My girls started embroideries when they had just turned 7. Here is the templates I used for their first embroidery http://tangarangblog.blogspot.com/2009/05/embroidery-download.html#!/2009/05/embroidery-download.html. Happy stitching!

      • Liz:

        Calli,
        Thank you so much for the suggestions! I think they are great and a perfect start for my kids and will make some great Christmas ornaments for our tree. I so appreciate you taking the time to respond to my question. I know how busy everyone is these days. I have not been near the computer in weeks. :)
        Have a blessed day!
        Liz

  • Lori:

    That is just amazing!!! I love these quilts and want to see them! Please have your girls bring them to show us all sometime soon. Tell them how very proud I am of them!!!

  • Who knew so many of life’s most important lessons lie in quilting? Also, thanks so much for the previous post on washcloths. I grew up with handmade washcloths and as an adult haven’t quite found a sponge that I like as much as the real deal.

  • My daughter is 6 and I want to teach her to sew this year. Do your girls have their own machine or do they use yours? If they have their own, what is the brand/model. I have a very basic machine, so I’m sure my daughter could just sew on that. Also, what is a good first project? I’m thinking a skirt or pillowcase or maybe even a doll quilt. Any advice?

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