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Thread: Teaching Help

  1. #1
    Nina's Avatar
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    Sarah, 8 years old, is wanting to make her first quilt. We have practiced using the sewing machine by her making a pillow, and this weekend a simple skirt. I emphasized that there is no mistake with sewing that can't be fixed with a seam ripper and tried to make it fun. We talked about how quilting seams need to be exact, so we marked 1/4" on the machine and she fed the skirt material with it lined up against the tape. Did pretty good. She was excited when her skirt was finished and modeled it for her Dad.

    The problem is that Sarah is having trouble controlling the foot pedal for the machine - goes really fast, then really slow. Any suggestions on how to help her other than practice--and patience, patience, patience? :?:

  2. #2
    Super Member Yvonne's Avatar
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    Three cheers for Sarah wanting to become a quilter!

    When I was first learning to sew my mother, somehow, rigged a block of wood under the presser foot so I was 'regulated' as to how fast I could go. I could put the petal to the metal, I mean wood, and that was as fast as it was going to get! I'm not sure how she did it. It was temporary because she didn't use it when she was using the machine! :lol:

    Of course you could run out and purchase Sarah a brand new machine with it's own little stitch regulator!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

  3. #3
    Super Member zyxquilts's Avatar
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    Hooray for Sarah!! I still have that problem with my foot pedal sometimes! :D Does your machine have one of those "fast/slow" buttons on it? I know some of them do and that might help too. I admire her making her own skirt - I am NOT good at clothes patterns at all! Give her a piece of quilter's chocolate for me!

    sue

  4. #4
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    My Bernina has a speed regulator. You can make it go at 1/2 speed. Might that be an option?

  5. #5
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    My only advice would be is a sewing machine with a speed regulator. You could slam your foot on the pedal and yet sew at a snail's pace. The only other advice I have is patience, practice, and offer her support..."practice because you're not going to get it on the first try."

  6. #6
    Nina's Avatar
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    Thanks, ladies. No stitch regulator - probably didn't exist when I got my machine over 20 years ago. As long as it keeps working, just can't justify getting a better one.

    I'll try to block of wood -great idea! And more patience. She is so eager and this must be a positive experience or she won't stick with it.

    Mom didn't have a sewing machine when I was growing up - she taught us to sew by hand. Bless her heart for all of those gathered skirts she made us!


  7. #7
    live2teach's Avatar
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    Those are all some great ideas. I know when my grandma was teaching me, she also rigged a block of wood under the presser foot, I have no idea how she did it. Practice, Practice, Practice!!! You could have her practice with scrap material sewing different items together and using various speeds until she gets the hang of it. I know I still sometimes let my foot get away from me. LOL. Hope this suggestion helps.


    Practice makes perfect. By the way "Kudos" to her for the skirt...The only clothing I have attempted are doggie shirts, and they are still in the process. LOL :D

  8. #8
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    Hi Nina
    I don't know if this will be any help. But my 7 almost 8 year old granddaughter is also learning how to sew. I set a really thick book on the floor and set the foot pedal on top to bring it up closer to her. This helped her gain more control . Hope this helps!

  9. #9
    Nina's Avatar
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    The books a good idea. I have an adjustable height table that we can use - that way we adjust until the distance is good for her. Wouldn't have thought of that, either. Thanks!

  10. #10
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    Just my 2 cents worth :wink: That why I love this forum! I have learned so many neat ideas just reading everyone's postings. Its great :!: I never would have thought of the book or lowering the table.

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