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Thread: Oh My! Teaching Girl Scouts Quilting

  1. #1
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    First, I am not really a quilter. I have made a couple of full size quilts and 4 or so baby blankets but the only quilting I have done is stitch in the ditch. But I want to learn more. So I was in WalMart and saw the 2 yard precut peices on clearance for $2.50 - That's only $1.25 per yard for 100% cotton. I know WalMart fabric is not LQS quality but I thought it would be great to learn on. So I bought, probably too much. So I decided to sent a note to my daughter's Girl Scout leader offering to donate fabric since she had mentioned they were thinking about doing a quilting project. Now she is really excited and wants to know when I can teach the girls to quilt and complete the Textiles Art IP.
    Soooo I'm thinking let each girl design & make her own mug rug. Then maybe I can find a quilting group at a senior center for the girls to present their mug rugs to and the seniors can show the girls the quilts they have made?? I would also like to do a field trip to see quilts, quilting techniques, etc. So, does anyone have any reccomendations in the central Maryland area - Baltimore, DC, Annapolis even into southern PA - Gettysburg, Lancaster? Also, has anyone taught girls before? Any reccomendations? There are only 7 in the troop, they are 13 years-old and great kids.

  2. #2
    a regular here quilting cat's Avatar
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    One suggestion: line up a couple extra sewing machines.
    This is a fun age to work with, but I've only had two girls at a time to sew on machines. I have done hand sewing projects with a ratio of one college kid to 6 or 7 jr.hi kids, so you shouldn't have any trouble with that size troop.
    Have fun!

  3. #3
    Senior Member mizkyp's Avatar
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    Lancaster has alot of quilt shops. Can you use the sewing machines at your local Middle/High school?

  4. #4
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    When I was a Girl Scout leader, it was 5th grade and 6th grade girls. None of them knew how to sew. So we had to start with how to thread a needle and went from there, they all used the same pattern, but had different fabric. We made tote bags to give to their mom or grandmother. They were not ready to learn quilting. So hopefully you girls are better prepared than mine were. (I learned to sew when I was 8 years and thought every one was. Surprise!)

    We did have great fun - so hopefully your girls will too.

  5. #5
    Super Member Leota's Avatar
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    From the voice of experience of teaching Girl Scouts to quilt.
    1. Teach sewing machine safety first
    2. Have each girl supply her own machine with manual... and/or a parent to assist in operation of machine.
    3. Teach basics of sewing first and formost.

    I started my troop (five girls ages 9 - 14) with quilts for kids... basic 4 patch pattern... only 2 completed the tops... I and my assistant leader completed the rest of the quilts...
    Problems.
    1. Because these weren't free for the girls to keep ... they couldn't take them home... glad because several of the girls didn't continue after only 2 weeks.
    2. One of the girls, didn't listen and follow rules etc...
    3. I am still trying to finish these quilts because the girls are not to the level of quilting...
    This past spring, I tried a simple D9P and the girls (new group of girls) still had problems just sewing the 9 squares together...even though this group had sewing experience.
    4. Sewing with troop of girls takes more time then sewing with one or two....They don't get much done... seriously even when they are diligently working... you have to explain every step at a time..

  6. #6
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    What fun! We did that at about the same age for my daughter's troop. I would suggest 1 adult for every 2 girls...keeps things moving and the girls from getting frustrated while waiting when they need help. Keep the project small and have a good time.

  7. #7
    Super Member lpsewing's Avatar
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    might want to consider a RAG Mug quilt !!

  8. #8
    Senior Member mshollysd's Avatar
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    One thing to remember when teaching these kids to sew, (I taught boys and girls from Boys and Girls Club) make the pattern very simple, don't be a quilting policeperson, and make sure you have a safety glove when teaching them to cut out the pattern pieces with an olfa. Our kids made 25 quilts and blankets for Project linus in 9 months, and their squares were not always perfect, but since we tied them with embroydery floss, it was ok. Made the OCD person inside of me a little crazy, but I had to control that part of me.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mshollysd
    One thing to remember when teaching these kids to sew, (I taught boys and girls from Boys and Girls Club) make the pattern very simple, don't be a quilting policeperson, and make sure you have a safety glove when teaching them to cut out the pattern pieces with an olfa. Our kids made 25 quilts and blankets for Project linus in 9 months, and their squares were not always perfect, but since we tied them with embroydery floss, it was ok. Made the OCD person inside of me a little crazy, but I had to control that part of me.
    We have troops who make Project Linus quilts and also the easier fleece quilts and tie them. What a nice surprise when they come to deliver them. They are so proud and we try to have the Project Linus volunteer purple badges for them too. The coordinators can order them thru PL headqtrs.

    Thanks to all who take the time to teach our youth. It means so much. If you are in Houston Quilt show this year, go by the Project Linus booth. We have people sit with us and sew tops and crochet too, fleece, etc. Time to finish a quilt in 2 hours. HUGS♥♥♥♥♥

  10. #10
    Senior Member bjchad's Avatar
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    I did a quilting club at school this year. High school age and not much experience sewing. Pick a simple pattern and have all girls make the same. You will never get them finished if you let them design their own. Too many choices are a problem both with the age group and for novices. Pick a pattern that if their seams are not 1/4 inch the pattern will still work. Have a number of helpers with this. The girls will need lots of one on one help and you will have to spend a lot of time keeping the machines working, threaded, etc so make sure the helpers know how to thread the machines you are using.
    I'm sure you will have a great time and be very successful with this. As a former gs leader, I commend you for getting involved. The girls will be thrilled!

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