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Thread: Advice for Kids' Quilt Project?

  1. #1
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    Advice for Kids' Quilt Project?

    This summer, my DH and I will be hosting a mini "summer day camp," for my 9 yo DGD and a couple of 6 yo girls. I thought it'd be fun to introduce the girls to quilting, so decided to let them each help make a small quilt. My idea is to have each girl help make a small (kid-sized - about the size to cuddle under, on the sofa) quilt. I'm thinking something VERY simple, like large blocks, for which the girls will choose fabrics (which will already be bought and cut) and order of arrangement. Then they can draw simple shapes (on fusible paper-backed web, with or without templates) and choose fabrics for those shapes to become applique. I'll iron the pictures onto the applique fabric, then they'll cut out the shapes. I'll iron and then stitch them onto the blocks, then do the rest of the machine stitching. The quilts will be sandwiched and turned, then I'll just SID the blocks and outline the perimeter. The next day(?), the girls can go back and add ties.

    Okay! My question is - in your opinion, which type batting would work best for this project? These little quilts will likely end up being washed a lot. Is there a batting that's sturdier than others, with minimal quilting? Any I should avoid? Needless to say, I don't want to spend a fortune on this. I have Warm & White and some of the lower-loft poly batting. I haven't yet used any of the higher-loft battings but am thinking it'd be more "fun" for the kids . . . but then I'd have to hand out the long needles. Maybe safer to just stick with the W&W. Opinions? If I use the W&W, the ties may not be needed, depending upon the size of the blocks. Okay, I've just about talked myself out of the higher loft. LOL

    Another question - what is THE BEST marking pen, for the girls to use to write their names? I've heard the Pigma eventually fades and I'd hate for that to happen!

    Also, any other ideas? I want the girls to be able to do as much of the work as possible BUT need to keep it simple, as a 6 yo's fine motor skills are generally not yet well developed. I want the quilts to showcase THEIR work, not mine. Also, I want the quilts to be something they can USE and not worry about ruining.

    Thanks, everyone!

    Well, I'm off to WalMart again, this time in search of a variety of girly fabrics, on sale! Such a worthy excuse, to buy more fabric!

  2. #2
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    I like the charm packs for kids to sew. They even make a sudoko quilt kit.

    I would suggest having the fabric cut before hand so all they have to do is sew.

    Put a pile of post it notes with a large rubber band or tape them down so the seams are all the same. The kids butt the fabric up against it and the seams are. My 6 yr. old son says put the stack next to the right side (1/4" inch seam) then let her sew at the slow speed, not to fast or she could get hurt.
    He likes the cotton batting- spray baste and let them quilt in straight lines.

    Nessie: Have fun.

  3. #3
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    I really like your ideas. Do you plan on having the girls piece the blocks together? By hand, or machine? I'm working with my 9 y.o. DGD with sewing projects, but the machine really intimidates her. I don't think a 9 y.o. hand pieced quilt would hold up to washing, but I want her to feel that she really has made this little quilt. Suggestions??

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    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    I really like your idea! You are going to be a very popular grandmother. I have taken yarn and instead of sewing it through the quilt, I've sewn in on with my sewing machine...tacked it in place and then tied it. Might be easier and you could use the high loft. A very simple applique pattern could be a heart. The kids could simply draw their heart the way they want and it would be easy to cut out. That just what I would do.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  5. #5
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarenR View Post
    I like the charm packs for kids to sew. They even make a sudoko quilt kit.

    I would suggest having the fabric cut before hand so all they have to do is sew.

    Yes, I plan to already have the squares cut, so that they can arrange them, in the order they want. Just got back from WalMart, with a bunch of pretty fabrics. Still trying to decide on the size of blocks and finished quilts.

    Put a pile of post it notes with a large rubber band or tape them down so the seams are all the same. The kids butt the fabric up against it and the seams are. My 6 yr. old son says put the stack next to the right side (1/4" inch seam) then let her sew at the slow speed, not to fast or she could get hurt.

    Great idea! Thanks to you and your son! I'm a little wary of letting the 6 yo girls use the sewing machine but I'll definitely try this, with my 9 yo granddaughter. For the younger two, I'll have to play it by ear. Depending upon how much time we have, I may be able to sit with them individually, to control the speed and watch their fingers.

    He likes the cotton batting- spray baste and let them quilt in straight lines.

    Nessie: Have fun.

    I'm really looking forward to it!
    We need a "BIG SMILE" smilie!!! LOL

  6. #6
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by denveremerson View Post
    I really like your ideas. Do you plan on having the girls piece the blocks together?

    That's still kinda up in the air. I'd like for them to do as much as possible but will have to see just how much time we'll have, etc. Originally, I was thinking I would piece them, in the kids' arrangements. After reading Karen R's suggestions, I'm now thinking maybe the kids could do at least a little bit of machine sewing. It would certainly make the quilts more special.

    By hand, or machine? I'm working with my 9 y.o. DGD with sewing projects, but the machine really intimidates her. I don't think a 9 y.o. hand pieced quilt would hold up to washing, but I want her to feel that she really has made this little quilt. Suggestions??
    Many posts back, I read something about a sewing machine finger guard. Wish I'd bookmarked that post! I agree about the hand sewing not holding up to washing. I've seen my DGD's hand sewing and it's impressively neat . . . but the stitches are much too big, for piecing. I'm going to start her out on the machine, with me controlling the speed, until she proves she can keep her fingers clear of the needle.

  7. #7
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    I recently read about a kindergarten pillow project. the parent put the pedal on the table and let the child press the pedal to make the machine go. The parent "drove" and had the "speed" limited too. She said the kids loved it. I plan to let my 6year old sew a pillowcase like this once school is out

  8. #8
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcrow View Post
    I really like your idea! You are going to be a very popular grandmother. I have taken yarn and instead of sewing it through the quilt, I've sewn in on with my sewing machine...tacked it in place and then tied it. Might be easier and you could use the high loft. A very simple applique pattern could be a heart. The kids could simply draw their heart the way they want and it would be easy to cut out. That just what I would do.
    Thanks! I LOVE being a Gramma!

    I really like the idea of tacking on yarn, instead of arming them with long needles!


    I have some templates but I agree it would be cuter, to let them draw freehand. As long as they don't draw too, too tiny! LOL

    Thinking it over, after everyone's input, I'm thinking maybe leave off the applique (which I would have to attach) and just trying to let them try out the sewing machine. If we keep the quilts small and the blocks few, I think it might be doable. To simplify matters even more, we could use more-forgiving 1/2" seams.

    Thanks SO MUCH for the input, everyone!!! Now I can't wait, to get started!!! Am thinking I MAY let my DGD start her quilt early, so as to leave more sewing machine time for the younger girls, later.

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    Senior Member COYOTEMAGIC's Avatar
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    What about a String or Crazy quilt?

  10. #10
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucky_alf2 View Post
    I recently read about a kindergarten pillow project. the parent put the pedal on the table and let the child press the pedal to make the machine go. The parent "drove" and had the "speed" limited too. She said the kids loved it. I plan to let my 6year old sew a pillowcase like this once school is out
    I think I'd feel safer, controlling the speed, as one can always STOP! LOL

    I learned to sew, as a young child . . . but I also hung from monkey bars, by my feet . . . and climbed to the top of the swingset. The thought of a child/grandchild of mine, doing what I used to do . . . well, it scares the bejeebers out of me! LOL

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