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Thread: I was so sad...

  1. #1
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    I was so sad...

    I work with preschoolers and for Mother's Day this year I thought it would be fun learning experience if they got to use a sewing machine to sew a pillow for their moms. I cut the fronts of white muslin and the backs of an assortment of pretty fabrics. The children used fabric markers to make a picture and write their names on the fronts and chose fabric for the backs. We read a couple of books about fabric and talked about our clothing, blankets and other textiles.

    Here's what made me sad... of my class of 9 children not a single one had ever seen a sewing machine. I showed them the parts, they helped thread it, how it worked, etc and they were so excited by the process. I put the foot pedal on the table next to the machine... they "hit the gas" using their hands and I guided the fabric. (I used a s l o w speed!) It was a smashing success! Even sadder, only one of my co-workers owns a sewing machine. One mom did come in and say her son couldn't stop talking about using "Miss Laura's Machine" to the point where she took the plants off the top of her great grandmother's treadle machine to show it to him.

    At least now there are 9 more humans who have seen, touched and used a sewing machine. Maybe one of them willl become a quilter!

    Laura

  2. #2
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    I don't think many schools off sewing construction classes so it will only get worse.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ccorazone's Avatar
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    My kids and grand kids have grown up with sewing machines. My oldest son does his own sewing to make stuff for camping. One of my daughter sews and sell on Esty. Another has a sewing machine and six needle embroidery machine. Myself, I have several machines, a six needle Brother embroidery machine and a longarm quilter.

    "Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned"
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  4. #4
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Oh. I guess the saddest thing was when my 9 year old neighborhood boy came over to my house to sell me a school fund raiser. His eye got big and he said what is that smell? I was baking cookies. I took the cookies out of the oven and he said Did you cook those? I said sure, you want some? He said you really cooked them? He thought I put bought cookies in the oven. One thing I have noticed. Young children have no idea what a clock with hands and numbers are. All they know is digital time.
    Got fabric?

  5. #5
    Super Member MaryMo's Avatar
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    but I bet all these kids can play Angry Birds on a computer!
    What does that say about our society?

  6. #6
    Super Member Country1's Avatar
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    Love it. My DGD has been using mine ( with constant supervision) for a couple yrs now. She is 5 1/2 and loves it. She really likes the embroidery machine. It is sad that so many things that are not being passed down from Elders to the new generations. I hate to see so many lost arts.
    Country 1

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    Oh. I guess the saddest thing was when my 9 year old neighborhood boy came over to my house to sell me a school fund raiser. His eye got big and he said what is that smell? I was baking cookies. I took the cookies out of the oven and he said Did you cook those? I said sure, you want some? He said you really cooked them? He thought I put bought cookies in the oven. One thing I have noticed. Young children have no idea what a clock with hands and numbers are. All they know is digital time.
    Oh my goodness...that is so sad! That's probably the part where I would have sent him home with the recipe and whole big bunch of them...what is the world coming to?

  8. #8
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    As soon as my kids were big enough to sit on their own they would sit on my lap while I was sewing.
    When they were old enough to talk they would tell others they sewed on mommy's sewing machine!
    They love watching the bobbins wind.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Sewflower's Avatar
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    Just think what would have happened if you showed them an ironing board
    Sewflower

  10. #10
    Power Poster Annaquilts's Avatar
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    What a wonderful experience you gave those children. Indeed hopefully some will grow up and use a sewing machine.
    Anna Quilts

  11. #11
    Super Member barri1's Avatar
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    I'm not surprised.. I'm in a suburban area out of NYC, and I have to drive to Joann's 1/2 hour away for anything.. The Walmart doesn't have any fabric.. I'm very upset when people I talk to go into shock when I tell them I quilt.. The sewing bug skipped a generation with my mom, and her sisters.. My mom is an active 84 yo, and none of her friends sew, much less quilt.. I have no friends out here that quilt..
    Do I have a partial solution? Possibly.... I'm trying to sneakly get my staff to get the quilting bug.. I'm hoping that one out of four will get the bug.. How am I doing it? I started by making squares out of scraps.. They came over to choose the ones they want for their quilt.. They put them in the order they want them, and I will sew them.. Then I will have them come back to sandwich them.. and I will FMQ them.. I will have them come back, and we will do the labels.. and then I will show them how to make the binding.. They don't know what they are in for.. I would love to set them up with their own antique machines.. and am willing to set them up with enough supplies to start.. My staff has been with me for the 31 years, 19 years, and 8 years.. Am I banking on the wrong group? Possibly, but I can only try.. If I have one that will pick it up.. I'd be excited..

  12. #12
    Super Member Cybrarian's Avatar
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    In my school all of our classrooms have standard clocks and our students are taught how to tell time this way then digital so they know both. No cooking classes though-insurance, liability costs - schools have to make choices, and parents want other things that they feel are more important for college. We need a longer school day to get everything in!!!
    “Come to me all you who are weary and I will give you rest”~Jesus

  13. #13
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    What a great experience you gave your pre-schoolers! Sadly, many of today's children are growing up lacking in so many things....sewing, baking, piano lessons (or any musical instrument), etc. In my small community, every child is being groomed to become the next famous pro-athlete. LOL Even at church...we project just the words to the hymns onto a big screen....our worship comm says it doesn't matter because people can't read music anyway so why bother with hymnals. I teach kdg and I see a need, firsthand, for young parents to be taught some domestic and parenting skills! I really worry about the future sometimes.

  14. #14
    Super Member jayelee's Avatar
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    My neices learned to sew their first quilts in full at my side at five and six years old. I also teach so I take sewing machines to work with me and my students learn to sew several of my class made quilts this year. I have a small class of students in a Christian School with all grades in one classroom. first through 12

  15. #15
    Senior Member Earleen's Avatar
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    My GD'S sit on my lap and help me sew. Their little hands down and mine on top to guide them.
    Earleen The best helping hand is at the end of your arm.

  16. #16
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mucky View Post
    I don't think many schools off sewing construction classes so it will only get worse.
    I'm going to guess most died in the wool sewers learned from a friend or relative----------not school.
    Bad Spellers of the World
    U N T I E

  17. #17
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    I find that the domestic skills are becoming of more interest to the current generation. I could cook and sew when I was 8 years old but I didn't want people to know that even when I was an adult. One of my most embarrassing moments in junior high was winning a home ec award. Thanks to cable tv these skills are no longer looked down upon and it is okay to find pleasure in them.

    Today in a meeting at work one of my co-workers said she thought I should make everyone a quilt for Christmas and that she just LOVED quilts. Twenty years ago I wouldn't have let her know I sewed let alone quilted. Times are changing.

    My DIL is a medical resident I taught to sew. Some of her friends now want her to teach them. Society is reaching the point where we can appreciate the skill and talent in all fields, I believe. It wouldn't surprise me to see one of these mothers pursue sewing because we are so interested in keeping our children happy today.

  18. #18
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Interesting. A former classmate sent me some pictures of our junior high cooking classes (carrots in white sauce -yuck) and I don't guess liability was such a big issue back in the stone age. I learned to sew in school in the 6th grade on a treadle. My grandmother had a treadle that she used to let us play on. My aunt has it now and even though she never uses it won't give it to me until she passes. Bummer.

  19. #19
    Super Member Pam S's Avatar
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    Maybe the children will remember their experience when they're older and think "if I could use a sewing machine when I was in preschool, maybe I could use one now." Wouldn't it be great if you've created one or 2 future sewing enthusiasts? Good for you for exposing them to something they may never experience otherwise.

  20. #20
    Junior Member Christine George's Avatar
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    I remember a student teacher that was in my classroom when I was in sixth grade. We had a luau on cushions she brought in herself and she did the cooking. She wanted us to be curious about how other people lived. You did a wonderful thing Laura. I've run into kids that have never had sheets on their bed. We live in a questionable world right now.

  21. #21
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    What a lovely thing you did for these children and their parents. My DD hates sewing of any kind--even balks at sewing on a button. My 3 year old DGD sits on my lap and says "Nother one Nana" as I chain piece. She is facinated with the colours and the blocks that I put into her big-gir-bed quilt. I know that her baby sister is going to be fighting for time on my lap in a couple of years and I will turn her into a quilter too! Exposure to new things is the best kind of teaching and learning.
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

  22. #22
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    oh my....sad indeed....in Alaska I taught sewing in the after school program...and here in OK everyone seems to sew...luckily I taught all my kids to sew! Your story makes me want to go out and teach kids again!

  23. #23
    Senior Member Connie M.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sewflower View Post
    Just think what would have happened if you showed them an ironing board
    My 10 year old grandson walked into my sewing room one day as I was ironing a shirt and said "What in the world is that thing, Gramma?" His mother actually did know how to iron at one time. I guess it is a lost art, as well.

  24. #24
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    You are a very special person to take the time to show each child something that people don't do anymore. I truly enjoy each day I get to sew and I have been showing my granddaughter how to sew. She is 16 not sure where that will go, but I am sure she likes to make things. Have a great day.

  25. #25
    Senior Member QuiltingCrazie's Avatar
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    LOL I love this thread!!! I'm a mom of five and my monsters ages 17, 15, 13, 13 and 9 all can cook, bake, clean, and the oldest and youngest do sew( the girls) Them boys love quilts and will ask me to make everything under the sun, I made book covers and a wallet for one recently. Have never been able to get them interested in the actual sewing part.....there's still time lol Amazing how little actual life skills kids are taught now!!
    *Rachel*

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