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Quilting with Children
Quilting with children is fun and rewarding. Kids have an endless imagination and are always willing to learn new things. Working with quilts gives children the opportunity to learn how to work with their hands and create useable art. It gives them confidence and teaches them so many things.
I taught my daughter to quilt when she was about 6 years old. Before that she spent hours by my side, playing with my fabric scraps and helping me choose colors. She now has fun looking at design books and making gifts for grandparents. I also quilt with children by going to my daughter's class once a year and making a quilt with the kids. I try to correlate the quilt with the math lessons that they are learning at the time. The kids and the teacher love it and I have a fun time too.
Quilting with children can also be challenging. There are many things, like safety, to remember, but with some patience and time you'll find that it is a rewarding experience.
If you have ever wanted to quilt with children then the following ideas and tips will help you out.
Why quilt with children?
There are many reasons why we should quilt with children.
- They learn math skills! Quilting involves precise measurements. It also involves various calculations. Without realizing it, children are learning addition, subtraction, measuring and fractions.
- They learn patience! Quilts are not made in 30 minute blocks. It takes time and children learn that they need to take it slowly so they don't make errors.
- They learn about colors! Fabric is an ideal tool for teaching colors and shading because of the infinite number of choices available.
- They learn problem solving! When designing quilts, children learn that the pieces don't always fit and it is up to them to figure out how to make them fit. Quilting is like a puzzle.
- They learn sewing! Children get basic sewing skills when quilting. They learn how to use a sewing machine, and about various types of thread, fabric and needles. Kids also learn how to use scissors and cutting tools to cut fabric.
- They gain confidence! From choosing a quilt design and picking out the fabric, to sewing the final stitch in a quilt, children gain immense confidence when quilting. The look on a child's face when their project is finished is priceless.
- Quality time! Children love quality time with their family members or friends. I have had many wonderful conversations with my daughter while we were quilting.
- It's fun!
Ways to Quilt with Children
- One-on-one with your child/grandchild.
- Teach your child/grandchild and their friends.
- Arrange a time to do a class project in your child/grandchild's class. Tie the project in to a lesson they are working on.
- Offer classes to local children for fees. There are children interested in taking quilting classes and it's a great way to earn extra money.
- If you are not a quilter, many local shops offer classes for kids, some even offer parent/child classes.
Children will use the following common quilting tools. Before a project is started, make sure the children are comfortable using the tools.
- Rotary cutter and mat - used for cutting fabric. The rotary cutter is extremely sharp.
- Iron and ironing board - used for ironing fabric. A hot iron can cause severe burns.
- Rulers - used for measuring and cutting fabric.
- Sewing machine - for sewing fabric. A sharp needle moves quickly up and down.
- Needles and pins - for sewing and pinning. Fingers can get poked with pins.
- Scissors - for cutting fabric and thread. Sharp blades can cut easily.
Children should be supervised at all times when quilting.
I cannot overemphasize this statement enough. When quilting with children the most important thing to consider is safety. Quilting is filled with all sorts of hazards for young hands. Razor sharp rotary cutters, scissors, needles and hot irons are used all the time. Also, know the child you are working with. Some children may not be quite ready to quilt, even with supervision.
Before starting any project make sure to go over every tool that will be used. Explain what the tool is used for and the dangers of the tool. Show the child how to use the tool and, if the tool has a safety feature, demonstrate that as well. Never assume the child knows the dangers.
Let children try out the tools before a project is started. It is best that they are comfortable and familiar with the things they will be using. It will help avoid any accidents.
Quilting with children
Quilt with children. You are sure to have a great time and your child will love making homemade treasures.
© 2012 Claudia Mitchell