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TOPIC: Quilting with children

Group Activities 12 Mar 2008 13:43 #15309

Defling, I did a sewing class for young girls (8 and up) at Hancock Fabrics and also at my church. I did handouts with lots of pictures and step by step instructions. They made a pillowcase during the first class and then a pair of pull on capris. I felt that they needed to be excited when they left the first class, so I had fabric, washed and ready to go for a pillowcase. After going over the parts of the sewing machine and safety issues, they were ready to begin. I used Thea Jirak's method for the pillowcase. At the first class, they picked out the fabric for the capris. I washed it and had it ready to cut out the next lesson.

I also put together a sewing kit for them with pins, pincushion, needles, thread, tape measure, etc

Unfortunately, health issues intervened and that was the end of the sewing lessons.

I think the main thing is for them to leave the first class with a finished project, and for every class to have 'hands on' instead of just listening to someone talk. This will get them excited about the class and they'll want to come back.

I hope your classes go well.

Sharon in TN (quiltnlady)
Last Edit: by quiltnlady.
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activities for children 12 Mar 2008 13:04 #15304

Check with your local quilt guild, local quilt shop or llibrary to see if you can find Alex's book that discusses quilting with children. She talked about her experiences in a blog last year but I don't remember when or e mail her through her profile. She can tell you if it is still in print. I remember thinking that it would be a good resource for projects to do with dgd but then (as usual) didn't follow up right away and now can't remember where to find the blog.

Other thing I know from teaching crafts at vacation Bible School is to enlist the help of the girls in the class Let them brainstorm what they would like to do and find out if any of them have any experience with projects similar to the ones you choose. My best moment in the two years I taught in that Bible School was the day my most difficult acting out student tugged on my shirt as I was struggling to understand how to do the craft assigned by the writer of the class materials. (The directions were not the best but I was having a dumb moment day -- sort of like a bad hair day for the brain--LOL) She said "Ann, its easy its over under and through the loop" I still looked puzzled I guess (maybe because I was ) and she grabbed the kit out of my hand and said I will teach it. its too simple for grownups, The smile on her face and the twinkle in her eye was enough reward for me. I will never forget it and I know she hasn't because I see her now and then and she reminds me of that day frequently. Her self esteem went up from below zero to pretty high that day and the confidence she gained has stayed with her. She is a much nicer young woman than she was as a little girl. God works in mysterious ways so I am thankful every time I think of that incident that someone didn't write very clear iinstructions. Ann
Last Edit: by snowplow3840.
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12 Mar 2008 10:36 #15290

How about embroidery on jeans, shorts, or tops? The girls can embellish an article of clothing they currently wear.
I can think of several sewing projects:
Pillowcases, hand bags, sachets.
You could do projects out of recycled jeans:

Working with tweens and teens can be a ton of fun. But organization is the key. The first meeting I would go over safety issues, basic machine usage, and decide on the project. I would also have a sample of the project(s) ready for the gals to see. Many times these gals have not been exposed to sewing machines or any needlearts.

A couple of things to think about:
are all the girls going to work on the same project? If not...you could be doing 8-10 different projects during your time.
what is your budget for each project?
Be prepared to listen to some 'interesting' music during your sewing time!! LOL

Last Edit: by FabricWhisperer.
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12 Mar 2008 10:08 #15287

  • Margo
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I'm interested in hearing what you come up with! I'm overwhelmed with just 2 younger grandchildren at a time, I can't imagine 8 FEMALE teenagers!!!! :shock:
When my boys were young, however, I was able to manage their cub scout and boy scout troops as long as I had enough to keep them all really busy. I found that it took a lot of prep work on my part, but some of the projects really were lots of fun!

It's Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter
That Tells What Kind Of Life You Have Lived !
Last Edit: by Margo.
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11 Mar 2008 11:20 #15210

Sounds like a wonderful thing you will be doing. I led my daughter's Brownie troop and Girl Scout troop a few years ago and had several difficult girls -- third graders who knew the slang words regarding drug use (unfortunately learned at home) and fourth graders who were threatening physical violence over boyfriends. I won't lie -- it was very trying at times. I did try a couple of sewing/quilting projects. My girls ended up making a quilted banner to carry in a local parade (they each used fabric markers to decorate a block that I later assembled) and they each sewed a one-seam fleece hat they could wear when we went ice skating. My suggestions to you would be to make sure that there is always something for the children to be working on -- you definitely don't want any idle hands! If some children will need more help with a more involved project, make sure there is something a bit easier for the others to do -- something they can work on with less assistance. And make sure that you have enough help. Even if your helper knows nothing about actually making the project, it's nice to have someone there just to keep the peace.

Here are some links to sites I used to use to get craft project ideas...

I'm sure there are some teachers on here who could give you some great ideas and advice as well. Good luck! Let us know how it works out! :D
Last Edit: by Bridget473.
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Quilting with children 11 Mar 2008 10:46 #15206

I have been thinking of putting together a craft camp for children in our church's neighborhood. It is a "transition" neighborhood, but we see the children weekly with our Wednesday afternoon program. Some of them are very difficult, but there appears to be quite a bit of interest for a program this summer. The ideas I have come up with are more geared to girls, and I'm thinking I'd limit class size to 8 and have girls about 10-15 participate.

It would probably be basic sewing, fusing, mixed-media, rubber stamping, etc. maybe three hours a day for a week.

Have any of you done anything like this? Ideas? Pitfalls? Should we work on a single project like a lap quilt or have several smaller projects?
Last Edit: by defling.
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