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Thread: Sewing with young children?

  1. #1
    Super Member Foxflower's Avatar
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    My children, 5 and 2, always want to "help" when I am sewing/piecing. My 2 year old wants to sit on my lap when I'm sewing. He's fascinated with pins too, so much so that he once put a bunch in my machine! I let him take pins out as I sew along and we practice the names of colors with the pin heads. My 5 year old wants to learn to sew. I've started her out with hand-stitching. Does anybody else sew with a child on your lap or have any tips for sewing with kids, or how to involve very young kids in the process? Oh, and the 2 year old loves my scrap bags.

  2. #2
    Senior Member dpparris's Avatar
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    I sew everyday with 6-10 year olds at work. I just put the machine on slow seed and stand over them until I think they can handle it, then I walk away (not far and still have my eyes on them) and some seam are not straight (but then they learn to use the seam ripper. I let them hand sew first to get the hang of keeping their material lined up. They want to learn and I think the younger the better.

  3. #3
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    I would let the two year old pick colors and let him sit on your lap while you sew him a small pillow the 5 year old is the same age as my granddaughter when I taught her she for to push the foot petal wile I helped her guide the fabric she is 9 now and can do very well by herself. She made a doll quilt for her barbies and chose the fabrics then made a baby size lap quilt with charm squares her daddy taught her to tie it. Here is her barbie quilt oops she was 6 but had just turned 6
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-7752-1.htm

  4. #4
    Super Member Foxflower's Avatar
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    Parris--how do you set the speed? I can't think of a way to do that on my manual Bernina.

    Donna--Your GD do a good job. My daughter is almost 6, sew maybe I'll sit with her and let her start.

    Do you ladies recommend any certain machine for a little one, or just the one I have? She certainly would have a hard time hurting my machine since there is no programing, etc.

  5. #5
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    My grands love to sit on my lap while I sewed too. The older two are getting to the point of sewing on their own now :D:D:D

  6. #6
    Senior Member LovinMySoldier's Avatar
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    When my son was barely 3 I would turn down the speed on my machine. Then I would guide the fabric and he held the foot pedal in his hand and he got to push it. We talked every time about listening and stopping when mommy said stop. He did really good.
    He is 4.5 now and is now using my machine (with close supervision of course). He loves to guide the fabric through and work the foot pedal. I have it set on the lowest speed. I did an eye spy swap and I let him have all the squares to sew together and play with.
    He also loves to get to sit with my thread when I use my embroidery machine. I tell him what color to get next and he looks for the right one. And then he gets to put the old color back. LOL he is an only child and I am a stay at home mom so he wants to help mommy A LOT!

  7. #7
    Super Member Foxflower's Avatar
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    Sounds fun -- but how do you set the speed?

  8. #8
    Super Member Quilter7x's Avatar
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    I have a Bernina 180E and the button I push on the display to change the speed is "M" for motor. Since yours is manual, you may not have a display and I don't know how to change the speed on them.

    I think it's wonderful that you are working with future quilters! :thumbup:

  9. #9
    Super Member Foxflower's Avatar
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    I looked at my manual, only the foot pedal controls the speed.

  10. #10
    Senior Member lindy-2's Avatar
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    im interested is this to since i have a 2 year old who always whants to sew and an 8 month old who loves to tast fabric.

  11. #11
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    My GD (3 1/2) loves to help me! Scrappy string quilts - she hands me the next piece. She pulls pins. She snips threads. Start them young !

  12. #12
    Super Member Foxflower's Avatar
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    Hm, I like string quilts...good idea.

  13. #13
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    my daughter used to have to stand up to sew on my machine--sitting meant she couldn't reach the pedal. I think she was 4 or 5 and already able to sew independently. My god-daughter, now 9, loves to sew too. I started the little ones out by letting them play in my scrap box.

  14. #14
    Super Member Quiltforme's Avatar
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    My son started quilting when he was 3. He used panels and layered and cut. He sat on my lap as I push the pedal. Now he is 5 and has his own machine and just goes with it!

  15. #15
    Super Member amyjo's Avatar
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    Have we got any quilts yet from the kids for display? I have another box to send but it is hard for me to carry it up to the car so it will have to wait until the road dries enough so I can drive in and out with my car. I sure like the name "BLACK PEARL". She really sews a nice seam and if she would just quit making that little noise underneath we would be all set to go.

  16. #16
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    I used to have a sling on and a child in it when sewing. Also for your two year old you can get a piece of paper or a box, a glue stick and some of your scraps. They can glue them on paper or the box. The box can be a garage for those little metal cars or a bed for a doll/stuffed animal.


    Quote Originally Posted by Foxflower
    My children, 5 and 2, always want to "help" when I am sewing/piecing. My 2 year old wants to sit on my lap when I'm sewing. He's fascinated with pins too, so much so that he once put a bunch in my machine! I let him take pins out as I sew along and we practice the names of colors with the pin heads. My 5 year old wants to learn to sew. I've started her out with hand-stitching. Does anybody else sew with a child on your lap or have any tips for sewing with kids, or how to involve very young kids in the process? Oh, and the 2 year old loves my scrap bags.

  17. #17
    Super Member Foxflower's Avatar
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    I like that, and he would love it....cutting, glueing, scraps, and tractors, trucks, etc. I'm going to have to try that too! Thanks

  18. #18
    Super Member chairjogger's Avatar
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    my little one used "Pothold" like the smurfs used the word "smurf" for everything. was making potholders for Christmas gifts.

    I miss that little boy, he is now 31 and in the miltary.

    enjoy your little ones.. just like little old ladies would tell me.. they grow up so fast.. so on the back side of that comment and understand.

    :)

  19. #19
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    GS has been sewing on my lap when I visit since he was about 18 months old. Now he can regulate the pedal standing next to the machine while I guide the fabric. He's 7 and his Dad just noticed we do this. How observant.

  20. #20
    Super Member Foxflower's Avatar
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    LOL! He was probably too busy watching sports.

    I do love my little ones. I think I'll get braver about letting them help with the peddle and learning to sew. I just knew I couldn't be the only one sewing with kids on my lap!

    A quilt-shop owner told me she likes the Janome for kids because of the speed regulator. Anybody else have an opinion of what machine is best for kids to learn on?

  21. #21
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    I have a Husqvarna Viking that has adjustable speed, five settings. My god-daughter loves to sew on this. the slower speed allows her to gain better control of the fabric and keep a better seam allowance. Like Redmadder, Lily's father had no clue she was sewing as he never ventured to observe her--that would have meant getting up from the pool or from in front of the computer or television! But, when he finally realized, he was duly impressed.

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