A Big thank you to Sam Hunter for putting this blog hop together! It has been incredibly informative and fun for me personally and I hope you feel the same.
I recently started speaking at guilds after spending the past 3+ years creating projects specifically for kids to sew in We Sew 2 for Generation Q Magazine. That's right, in every single issue there is a project just for the kids. Sometimes it is so simple, it is even good for the littlest of sewists. Sometimes it's better for kids who have made a few things. But I always try to keep all of the kids in mind when designing the projects so they can all create on some level.
That is why, when Sam asked if I wanted to join in on this hop I was happy to join in and equally happy to talk about teaching kids to sew! They are after all the next generation to whom we need to pass the baton.
They all want to jump right to the machine, but I have a few simple tips that will get them off on the right foot.
First, teach them the parts of the machine and some basic safety measures. While the machine is unplugged, point out the parts of the machine and tell them the proper names. (Nothing worse than telling them to put down the foot and they put down their foot... on the foot pedal.)
Next, we start with an unthreaded machine and a piece of lined paper.
Yup, some good ole college ruled will keep them busy for a bit. Their job is to stitch along the lines and stay on them. It usually takes about two pages before they can fill the entire sheet without going off the lines. This teaches them how to maneuver the paper under the foot, keep their hands away for the needle and gives them some practice with controlling the speed with the foot pedal.
Oh yeah! If your machine has speed control, use it! Set it to turtle and let them work their way up to rabbit - that will take a few years!
After they master the paper, they graduate to fabric! Panels like the one in the photograph (Firefly Designs by Andover) make great first projects. They are small and easy and they can quickly make something for their doll!
Besides having some rules for the kiddos, I also have a few for the adults too.
1. Show them what to do and then stand back. This should be fun and at this point, they don't need you to point out their mistakes. Only show them the seam ripper if they are unhappy with their sewing.
2. Not all projects need to turn into something. I like to give Cyd a square of felt and my scrap basket and let her have at it. Is it a work of art? Sometimes. Other times, not so much. It doesn't matter. As long as she has fun and learns a bit more about the machine, all is well in the world!
3. Snacks are imperative for keeping up ones strength whilst sewing.
Finally, have fun! What is more fun than teaching someone else your fave pastime? Enjoy it!
Thank you so much for stopping by on the Back to School Hop! If you want to keep up with me, please visit my Facebook page and give a Follow.
Please check out the rest of the hop too!
Sept 1: Peta Minerof-Bartos of PetaQuilts – So, Does that Diagonal Method for a Pieced Backing Really Work
Sept 2: Cheryl Sleboda of Muppin.com – The Quilter’s Knot
Sept 3: Teresa Coates of Crinkle Dreams – The Importance of Pressing
Sept 4: Cath Hall of Wombat Quilts – Color Coding for Paper-piecing
Sept 5: Sam Hunter of Hunter’s Design Studio – How to Calculate and Cut Bias Binding
Sept 6: Melanie McNeil of Catbird Quilt Studio – Credit where Credit is Due
Sept 7: Mandy Leins of Mandalei Quilts – How to Keep a Perfect 1/4” Seam Between Different Machines
Sept 8: Rose Hughes of Rose Hughes – Fast Pieced Applique
Sept 9: Megan Dougherty of The Bitchy Stitcher – The Care and Feeding of the Domestic Sewing Machine
Sept 10: Lynn Krawczyk of Smudged Design Studio – Make a Mobile Art Kit
Sept 11: Susan Beal of West Coast Crafty – Log Cabin 101
Sept 12: Sarah Lawson of Sew Sweetness – Zipper Tips
Sept 13: Jane Victoria of Jolly and Delilah – Matching Seams
Sept 14: Jemelia Hilfiger of JemJam – Garment Making Tips and Tricks
Sept 15: Ebony Love of LoveBug Studios – Curved Piecing Without Pins
Sept 16: Misty Cole of Daily Design Wall – Types of Basting
Sept 17: Kim Lapacek of Persimon Dreams – Setting your Seams
Sept 18: Christina Cameli of A Few Scraps – Joining Quilted Pieces by Machine
Sept 19: Bill Volckening of WonkyWorld – The Importance of Labels
Sept 20: Jessica Darling of Jessica Darling – How to Make a Quilt Back
Sept 21: Debbie Kleve Birkebile of Mountain Trail Quilt Treasures – Perfectly Sized No-Wave Quilt Borders
Sept 22: Heather Kinion of Heather K is a Quilter – Baby Quilts for Baby Steps
Sept 23: Michelle Freedman of Design Camp PDX – TNT: Thread, Needle, Tension
Sept 24: Kathy Mathews of Chicago Now Quilting Sewing Creation – Button Holes
Sept 25: Jane Shallala Davidson of Quilt Jane – Corner Triangle Methods
Sept 27: Cristy Fincher of Purple Daisies Quilting – The Power of Glue Basting
Sept 28: Catherine Redford of Catherine Redford – Change the Needle!
Sept 29: Amalia Teresa Parra Morusiewicz of Fun From A to Z – French Knots, – ooh la la!
Sept 30: Victoria Findlay Wolfe of Victoria Findlay Wolfe Quilts – How to Align Your Fabrics for Dog Ears
October 1: Tracy Mooney of 3LittleBrds – Teaching Kiddos to Sew on a Sewing Machine
October 2: Trish Frankland, guest posting on Persimon Dreams – The Straight Stitch Throat Plate
October 3: Flaun Cline of I Plead Quilty – Lining Strips Up