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Quilting with Kids

Old 03-01-2011, 05:39 AM
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I'm a 4-H volunteer - thinking of writing a small local project on quilting with strips, charms - basically all home cut precuts. Thought I'd do a meeting (2 hr) for each - quick strip, bargello, rail fence, dp9 or 4 patch, machine quilt project, finishing - Achievement possibly have remaining blocks from each member put together into quilts to be tied and donated. Each member to produce either small wall hanging, table runner or two placemats as finished project. Also thought I'd solicit fabric/scrap donations from other quilters or sewers so we'd not have to buy too much and keep cost to members lower.
Member ages 9 - 21 -- want them to learn to use sewing machine & cutting tools, sew straight seams, pressing, maybe spark interest in sewing other items like clothing.
Any suggestions? Or have I lost my mind?
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:17 AM
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I think that's a great idea! What a great way to get the next generation interested in quilting/sewing. I say go for it!
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:25 AM
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My one suggestion is to make sure you have lots of helpers on hand. My daughters (ages 10 and 13) take sewing classes when offered. While my 13 yo has a bit more patience, my 10 yo gets bored in a hurry if things aren't moving along. Also, if it can go wrong, it will at some point in the class. We've seen it all! LOL! From fingers being stuck, to one child pulling apart the sewing machine over and over just to see how it works! LOL! (the teacher finally taped down the knobs and switches to keep her from messing with them!) Also lots and lots of re-doing seams. I don't know how big of a group you will be teaching, but if they have no experience in sewing, be sure to have a VERY small teacher:student ratio. Some of the older kids or the ones that pick it up faster may be able to help the others. On the positive, the kids are so excited when they have a completed project in their hands!! Its really fun to see their faces light up and they realize they can do it! I hope you can get the classes going :)
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:26 AM
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sounds like a good idea but give yourself lots of time it sometimes takes alot to get kids interested in sewing and some attention spans are tv short.
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:53 AM
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I've taught kids to sew. You can give an over view to a larger group but if you don't have help from others who sew I wouldn't have more than 2 (ages 9-12)of the younger ones to teach at a time maybe 3-5 at a time of the older ones, after age 16 and up you could handle a larger group. I have taught up to 12 troubled teenagers at a time but there was some adults to help supervise even though they couldn't sew they helped to keep control. It did require a lot of patience.
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:17 AM
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Please note - I've got over 28 years of working with 4-H members and at least 2 volunteers are required for each club so I'll have help.
Any suggestions on topics information? I think sewing long strips is the way to go - straight seams and realtively quick results.
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:17 PM
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The straight strips should work well and then cut for Rail Fence or something similar. The older ones might like to do the Log Cabin or Courthouse Steps. Still strips but a little more interesting. For those who understand the concept a bargello would be fun at any age.
I've never done 4-H so didn't know the adult requirements. I did Girl Scouts and the younger children do need more one on one than the older ones.
Depending on their interest maybe you could consider a little information on quilt history, too.
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:25 PM
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I have a 4-H sewing club and we make nine patch pillows which has led into 4 of the children making 25 nine patches and adding sashing to make quilt tops, they tie them and we are going to have a quilt show in April.

We also make rice bags, need-le love (which is a needle/pin holder that looks like a book, made of felt), fleece hats and scarfs, pin cushions and pillowcases. They just love to sew.

Some of the ones that have learned to sew help the others with the machines and just call me if they need help.
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