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Thread: Quilting Mentors for kids (7 yr to 18)

  1. #1
    Member firehousequilts's Avatar
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    Quilting Mentors for kids (7 yr to 18)

    Are any of you in the process of mentoring kids so they look to quilt? We have great aspirations but don't really know what is required (if anything) and what the first steps there are before even announcing it. We are not interested in baby sitting, we want kids that want to learn quilting themselves. So of the first meetings would be able safety and the mentors themselves would do all the cutting and teaching the kids how to press seams.

    Any contributions you can make would help us tremendously.

    Thanks so much
    Dusty
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 09-27-2012 at 09:01 AM. Reason: remove PII

  2. #2
    Super Member
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    I would suggest a simple pattern - 9 patch alternating with plain blocks - for them to start with. I would agree with the mentors doing the cutting for the entire group initially but then what about investing in some safety cutting gloves and letting at least the older ones cutting themselves. I would think if you kind of 'jumped in' to the quilt itself and teach the pressing and other intricacies along the way, it might hold the kid's interest a little more. If you hold their interest for a longer period, they are more apt to stay with it over a longer period of time. The LQS by me has summer 'quilt camps' for kids. They break it down into 2 groups by age - something like 7-12 yo in one camp and the 13-17 yo in another. Their attention spans are certainly different as well as comprehension levels.

    Good luck with the project. Sounds like it could be lots of fun.

  3. #3
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    This summer I acted as the "neighborhood fair coach" for some girls, and it was a lot of fun. We didn't get as far as quilting, but the 9 year old did some machine sewing, and younger ones did hand sewing. Everyone did crafts.

    What I gained from the experience is that children are individuals with varying abilities and aptitudes. They respond to different approaches and need varying levels of supervision.

    As far as hand sewing goes, using a quick practice project on plastic canvas (which looks more like needlepoint) worked great for children who had never held a needle in their hands before.

    Best wishes with your endeavor. Time spent working with a child is very rewarding.

    Dayle

  4. #4
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Some of them may not have ever used a sewing machine, so maybe making a non-pieced pillowcase first might be a good intro project to sewing a straight seam.
    My Great nieces were also influenced by the actual fabrics/colors. I had some precut stuff but if they didn't like the colors or prints, they were less engaged. The precuts are a good idea, but maybe make up some 'kits' of different colors and let them choose. Make sure you have more kits than kids so they all feel like they had a choice. MAybe draw numbers for the selection order. Or instead of kits, have precut squares of different prints and a single neutral. Each sewer could pick "X" number of printed squares + the neutral.
    The 9 patch idea is a good one, but I would skip the alternating solid squares. Even though this would get their quilts done much faster, if you precut the large squares, their seams will need to be correct for the large squares to fit.
    I would also think about the ratio of instructors to students. For the little ones or non sewers you are looking at a one-to-one.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

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