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Thread: How Young is Too Young?

  1. #1
    Member ddeew's Avatar
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    My 4 1/2 year old granddaughter is begging me to teach her to quilt. I have let her stitch rows of designer stiches - with very close supervision - by standing to use the foot pedal. So far, no needles through her fingers (or mine!) and she is exceptionally good about following instructions. What is the youngest age you have ever taught someone to quilt??

  2. #2
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    My DGD started at five with her own Janome Sew Mini. It is a regular sewing machine and sews pretty slow. She loves it.

  3. #3
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    You are never too young to quilt and little kids are like sponges learning information. Be patient with her and sh will thrive. Congrats on creating another quilter. And you could teach her to hand stitch easily too by getting her a little cheater quilt to learn to stitch on. Have fun with her. I taught my GD to handquilt when she was 4 and her Mimi taught her to machine quilt. We both belong to the same quilting guild. 8)

  4. #4
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    My sister taught me to sew on mom's machine when I was three. My dd made a blanket (just hemmed the edge) and a fleece robe (I cut it out) when she was 18months. I let her sit on my lap and I held her hand as she put her finger out on the fabric and quided it through the machine. She's now 11 and I still have both. She said, "Uppy, my do." so I let her.

  5. #5
    Super Member Kathy N's Avatar
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    My four year old grandson has sewn quite a bit on a Janome Hello Kitty machine. He loves to make pillow cases. He is very patient and loves to run the "gas pedal"

  6. #6
    Power Poster dkabasketlady's Avatar
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    I wanted to try to teach my 3yr. old DGD to quilt when she was here for a recent visit, but found her attention span very short. She did set in a chair by me & try to watch what Grandma was doing, but most of the time she wanted to watch cartoons. I'll pursue this again when she comes for another visit in a few months. My DD, her mommy never showed an interest in learning this when she was young, but Ava does want to learn, I'll just have to go Very slow with her.

    Ava modeling one of the dresses Grandma made while she was visiting me!!!
    Name:  Attachment-80321.jpe
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  7. #7
    AbbyQuilts's Avatar
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    My 4 y/o niece sews on my treadle machine. She peddles the treadle as best as she can and I help at the top making sure the wheel goes into a rotation. She does really well and up to a good speed. Just make sure little fingers stay out of the way. We have put together blocks but no quilting.
    I don't let her use my electric machine as I don't even like sewing on it lol

    Its good to teach them young

  8. #8
    Senior Member tweetee's Avatar
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    My 8 yo son (who is autistic) asked me to teach him to sew last weekend. Hes not all that good on following directions, but, we managed to do some decorative stitches and sew a square in the straight thread, with me showing him how to turn corners and which buttons to push to get the stitch he wanted to do. He even used the gas pedal, although I did have the machine running dead slow lol. It was cute, he keft forgetting to guide the fabric.

    But he was VERY proud of himself for sewing a square, he took that bit of fabric everywhere and showed and told anyone who would listen.

    Must say, I was a bit apprehensive of giving him a go, but Im glad I did, he tried really hard and was at it for almost an hour before he got bored with it. Might be able to teach him to sew a little drwstring bag for his soccer boots next :-)

  9. #9
    Super Member Ps 150's Avatar
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    Both of my daugthers sew. They each have their own Janome Quilter's Companion (the QC6019 and the QC6125). My oldest is turning 8 next month and makes her own shirts (with supervision from across the room--she likes her independence, lol) and my youngest, turning 6 in 2 weeks, likes to just play around with her machine. Each child is different though, so if she shows an interest, I say encourage that. Discouraging her now may turn her away from sewing (and that special bonding time) later.

  10. #10
    Senior Member AudreyB's Avatar
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    My granddaughters lived with me when they were 4 and 5. I sewed with them on my lap. I controlled the foot pedal and let them help me put the fabric through and pull out pins. One got my rotary cutter when I wasn't looking and sliced my chair. Fortunately she didn't cut her finger off (small cut, but not serious). They also loved playing with my magnetic pin holders...I had to have two, one for each of them. The 5 year old turned 13 yesterday. Thanks for the memory.

  11. #11
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    Could you start her with hand sewing ? Give her two squares of fabric and a threaded needle and so her how to sew them together :lol:

  12. #12
    Junior Member oldhag's Avatar
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    My DGD started much the same way the other children here did...sitting on my lap and 'helping' me sew. At 4 she was using her own machine, The Hello Kitty one and now she is just turned 7 and she is using my 301 and my 128 handcrank. She prefers my handcrank and can even wind her own bobbins now. She likes to sew on the handcrank because she says it is better for the environment. I never pushed her or corrected her when she started and always let her choose when, how long and what she wanted to learn. It has been FUN for both of us.She also now is helping cleaning and reconditioning old machines. She has decided she needs to have one of her own to do.... I think she is hooked.

  13. #13
    Senior Member sew_southern's Avatar
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    Started mine once they each turned 5. I put a sponge in between the foot pedal so it wouldn't go fast when they pressed it. I cut out printed pillow panels, the ones with cute animals, etc. on them and they stitched, stuffed & handstitched them closed, I supervised & instructed only. Of course niether of them like to sew now, they say it's boring and for old people. They do however like to knit, which a friend taught them to do. At least there's a needle in there somewhere. Lol
    I don't consider them knowing how to sew unless they do most of it themselves. :)

  14. #14
    Super Member Ripped on Scotch's Avatar
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    My neice has her own machine, we took out the needle so she doesnt run over her fingers ... it's cute she take all the peices that we cut off and runs the through like she sees us do. She's turning 5 Sept first and all she wants for her birthday is the needle in the machine!

  15. #15
    Super Member Ps 150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sew_southern
    Started mine once they each turned 5. I put a sponge in between the foot pedal so it wouldn't go fast when they pressed it. I cut out printed pillow panels, the ones with cute animals, etc. on them and they stitched, stuffed & handstitched them closed, I supervised & instructed only. Of course niether of them like to sew now, they say it's boring and for old people. They do however like to knit, which a friend taught them to do. At least there's a needle in there somewhere. Lol
    I don't consider them knowing how to sew unless they do most of it themselves. :)
    Exactly! My daughter's made several things but since she's always needed more help than not, we've called them "our" projects but last week, she made a shirt--all by herself!It was a proud buttearful moment for me. She'll be 8 next month! :XD: But it's a skill she'll carry with her always and she loves it. She wants to learn knitting next but since I'm not that good at it, it's a little scary still. :?

  16. #16
    Super Member Lyncat's Avatar
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    It wonderful to know that sewing and quilting will go on in the next generation. Sometimes it seems like hardly anyone sews anymore, until I get back to this wonderful message board. I'm considering keeping one of my vintage Singers in my special education classroom next year, so they can actually help me put together our classroom quilt in the Spring. Usually I just have them make squares and I put it together at home, so they don't see the actual process.

  17. #17
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    my youngest granddaughter made her first quilt when she was 4, sitting at a little carebear table that was just her size. i have speed control on my machine, set it pretty slow. she laid her quilt out on the floor the way she wanted it and sewed it together. the only thing i did for her was press. some of her seams were 2 inches wide, but it was hers and it turned out just fine. we even tipped a dresser on it's side for her to stand on and she quilted it herself on the long arm...it was for her daddy who had just been deployed, she did n't want him to forget her :)( there was no rotory cutting on her quilt, she used her little round tip scissors to cut anything she thought should be cut. i didn't worry too much about stressing technique at this stage, figured if she did it her way and it turned out ok then we sparked that interest and got her started, as she grows we work on workmanship. boy, i really need to dig out those pictures... she's 9 now and has made 4 quilts...all 3 girls like making purses and pillows more than quilts

  18. #18
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I started kids as soon as they show an interest. Starting them out sitting on my lap so I could supervise them. Simple fun projects, they all seemed to love the decorative stitches LOL

  19. #19
    Senior Member lallyann's Avatar
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    My nine year old started sewing last year. It is not her favorite thing to do....her favorite thing is picking out fabrics! LOL! Sometimes I make her do the sewing, but sometimes I just let her pick out fabrics! After she sews a couple of blocks together she is ready to go outside and play! Now my 13 year old, who also started last year sewing, can stick with a project a little bit better. I think if you let kids participate in whatever part they are interested in, eventually they will want to try to work on all parts of sewing.

  20. #20
    Super Member Leota's Avatar
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    I started my dgd sewing with needle and thread making a tote bag at age 4. Using a pinwheel and tracing paper to mark the seam allowance; the dots made the points of needle insertion. She was 4 1/2 when I bought her a Sew Precious sewing machine and she made a pair of shorts. She is 11 now and has a full size machine. She is my avatar picture showing her first quilt.

  21. #21
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    i learned in granma's lap when i was three. she treadled while i sewed. kinda bumpy, but it seems to have worked.

  22. #22
    reach for the stars 2's Avatar
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    you are never to young to quilt.

  23. #23
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    i don't know how old i was when my mom started teaching me. i know i was so young that i now can't remember. i had my own very real sewing machine by the time i was in kindergarten.

    every stitch i sew to this day reconnects me to mom. sometimes i'm not even here. i'm waaaaaaaaaay back then in our sewing room.

    short answer - if they ask to be taught they are old enough to learn. ;-)

  24. #24
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    My son was 3 when he sewed his first blanket. I did have to help but he did most of the work down to the cutting and pinning.

  25. #25
    Super Member OmaForFour's Avatar
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    My DGD is now 10 y.o. When she was 9, she made a wall hanging for the dining room in her house. Her mom is soooo proud of it! Her mom (my DD) does not have time to sew although she knows how. She is a physical therapist and works hard in addition to my DGD and her twin brother being in all kinds of activities, and her husband too.
    Now my DGE is working on a pinwheel quilt. I showed her how to cut the pieces and match points etc etc. She is doing the whole thing herself in lightweight flannel - a Christmas pattern to the materials. She has definite ideas on the arrangement of the colors etc. I AM SO PROUD!
    As someone else noted, this is a wonderful bonding tool. We were close before but are even closer now.
    She sews on my featherweight and does a wonderful job of keeping straight and the 1/4 inch seam.
    KEEP THEM SEWING! no matter what the age. It can be supervised and arranged to fit the time frame in their little lives.

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