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Thread: What is the best task for kids?

  1. #1

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    When introducing kids to quilting, what tasks do you think are best to start them with? I'm thinking really little kids, so safety is an issue. I wouldn't start with rotary cutting, but where should we start? Sewing - by machine or hand? Cutting the traditional way? Tracing templates? Applique? Ironing? What tasks are interesting and likely to be successful without being too dangerous?

  2. #2
    Super Member grammyp's Avatar
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    How young are we talking? My 4 yo grandson can iron and trace templates. I wouldn't want him to cut them out yet, but the 7 yo can. I would think even youngsters can hand sew simple squares together. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Maybe fusible applique? Start them out by drawing squares and circles on paper, then sew on them without any thread in the needle. When they catch on, trace squares and circles and fuse them to blocks and let them stitch them using a blanket stitch. Teach them to go slow and steady, and on a larger circle, they shouldn't have to stop and adjust very often. If you use a varigated thread that matches the applique and background, it will hide the little boo boo's too :wink:

    They could have a very cute cuddle quilt quickly with this pattern. A 10 or 12" block with a 8 or 10" circle or square in the center would work up fast.

    You could help them sew the blocks together, and do a simple SID with a wider zig zag stitch. Or use a serpentine stitch, so it they wander a bit, it doesn't show up as much.

  4. #4
    Super Member Qbee's Avatar
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    For itty bitty I would think that "designing" the quilt with paper would be best. If they are too young to cut shapes out, they could color squares and put them in a design....then older could draw shapes, color them, cut them and glue in a quilt pattern, etc. Just slowly moving up the chain. Start with blunt scissors and blunt needles like they use in some crafts. They could have a big time! :D

  5. #5
    Junior Member oldhag's Avatar
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    I started my dgd with pre cut squares of White fabric. She drew pictures on them with sharpies. Then she sewed borders on the squares and we used them to make decretive pillows for gifts. Her great grands, and aunties etc. loved them and she had fun designing them. It was quick and simple, just what she needed to hold her attention and produce something in a very short time. No fuss over sewing straight, just letting her explore her creativity her own way.

  6. #6
    Super Member C.Cal Quilt Girl's Avatar
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    One of the Holiday keep'em busy projects for the kids this year will be to draw and color blocks, for a group project, they can trace pic or draw there own, then color in with perm marker/fab marker, to be put together later. Can then be donated to a kids charity.
    Other wise hear I'm bored, so we try to bring along a project that all ages and genders can be a part of.

    Always offered the dishes but no takers, imaging that :) LOL

  7. #7
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    let them play, let them choose colors. You never said how old these kids are.

  8. #8
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    My 6yr old DGS wanted to [quilt] so, I took a couple of stray blocks and let him sew them together and sew on a border put a back on it turned it and he has a table runner.He took it to school to show everyone his quilt that he made.He was so proud.

  9. #9
    Super Member jrhboxers's Avatar
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    I baby-sit four little neighbors once in a while. They are all 3-4yo. and think that my quilting/sewing is the greatest thing since sliced bread. They all received quilts for Christmas last year and use them on a daily basis.

    So when they are over here, they want to sew. They are working on blocks of white Kona Cotton that I have cut and ironed to freezer paper to give them some sturdiness. They each pick out 5-6 pages from coloring books and I traced these on some of their blocks. They colored them in with fabric markers and I set the inks by ironing them. I have then taken some pictures of each of them and they are printed on the same size square. There are also blocks that have the outlines of their hands and feet too. Sarah Grace has some applique pieces that she has cut out with Fiskars school scissors (after I traced the outline on the backside of the fabrics). Oh, and they have each made a 'signature' block too.

    I am going to take all of their blocks and just make a really basic block quilt. They each went to the fabric store with me - and lunch - and picked out their 4 fabrics.
    When I only have one at a time, we work on putting the blocks together. They stand between me and the machine and they help guide the fabric through. Sarah Grace and JD REALLY love this step. And JD ALWAYS wants to put a new bobbin in the machine - he finds this fascinating.

    I am planning on tacking this quilt, so they can help with that too. I figure I can pull the needle through and then they can pull the ribbon the rest of the way, and help cut the ends.

    This a surprise for their parents for Christmas and we have been working on these since June. I think that they have been able to keep this a secret which really surprises me. This quilt will be a real snapshot of each child at this specific time in their lifes - reflecting everything about them. I know that if I had thought of this when my son was small, I would truly cherish a quilt like this. And the kids are SO proud - I can't wait to present them their quilts.

  10. #10

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    Thanks for the replies. I didn't say how old the kids are because I know that different kids will be ready for things at different ages. I am more interested in ideas for what to start with first and ideas for what to do earliest. I've never drawn on fabric, so those ideas are great. I never would have thought of it. Letting them design and do some things with the machine - like the bobbin - also sound like great ideas. Actually, my husband likes winding the bobbins. I have no idea why, but he loves it, and I have to call him into the room whenever it's time to do one. I suppose kids could be the same way. Thanks, ladies, and keep them coming!

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