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Quilting with Children

Updated on April 7, 2015
Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer has been quilting for 25 years and writing about quilting for almost 5 years. She has won a number of awards for her work.

My daughter's very first quilt.  Made completely by her.
My daughter's very first quilt. Made completely by her. | Source

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.

Fabric is fun!
Fabric is fun! | Source

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.

Watch those fingers!
Watch those fingers! | Source

Quilting tools

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.

Quilting Safety

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.

Happy Quilting!

© 2012 Glimmer Twin Fan

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    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Aww thanks pstraubie. I hope you give it a try and have lots of fun.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Hi Glimmer Twin Fan

      I know you wrote this so that the adult could work with children. But actually this is perfect for ME. I am clueless. I read all of these quilting hubs because my sister is a seamstress and has been all of her life and I have not learned. You said that it teaches them that quilting is not quick. That is my problem...I am a bit OCD and like to finish a project right THEN. So it was good for me to read this.

      Thanks for sharing Angels are on the way :) ps

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      Thanks Rebecca. She likes it more now than she did when she was 6. She always had lots of fun playing with the fabric. I hope she likes it when she leaves home and does not forget about it. Be careful storing your grandmother's quilt in plastic. It's not really good for quilts to store them in plastic.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I think it is amazing that your daughter is already quilting at age 6! I have a quilt that my grandmother made. I already have to store it in a plastic bag though. So old!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      Thanks Amy. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and that you quilt with your daughter. It's nice to have a tradition with your child(ren).

    • Amy Ginn profile image

      Amy Ginn 5 years ago

      My daughter and I enjoy quilting together. I think your reasons for quilting with children are right on the money.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      Thanks ESPeck. I never thought of that. It is probably a really fun way to help learning disabled kids. Also, it's very tactile an some children really enjoy that aspect too! I appreciate your comments.

    • ESPeck1919 profile image

      ESPeck1919 5 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      What a wonderful hub! I'll be sharing it. I especially like the math aspect of it. Since dyslexia's never far from my mind, I'm betting it would also be a great way to help learning disabled kids to grasp math concepts a lot more easily than just sticking to the usual pencil and paper method.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      Thanks so much lyricwriter! I will pass along the comments and she will get a kick out of them. I appreciate your support!

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 5 years ago from West Virginia

      Glimmer, cool article:) My grandma used to quilt all the time. I remember her making me blankets all the time. Cool idea to quilt with the kids. That quilt of your daughters is pretty impressive, cute as well. I love all the ideas with the children. Great work. Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, and shared.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      Thanks so much Sharkye11! Your comments are right on the money and I love quilting with my daughter. I hope she never gives it up!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      Thank you so much mvillecat. It is a worthwhile thing to teach children. I learned in my twenties. I appreciate the support.

    • mvillecat profile image

      Catherine Dean 5 years ago from Milledgeville, Georgia

      It is a wonderful skill to teach children! I have been quilting for only a couple of years and I wish I had learned much younger. It nourishes the sould to create something beautiful by hand and children will indeed be enriched by the experience. I voted up and tweeted.

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 5 years ago from Oklahoma

      Incredible hub! Children used to be taught to sew, quilt, and embroider as soon as they could hold a needle. It's a shame that modern parents don't show more confidence in their children's ability to learn these skills.

      I think quilting with your children, (or any needlework) would be not only a fun bonding experience, but a lesson in patience for both children and parents! It is so tempting to jump in and do it ourselves before letting a child work through the problem.

      You've given some wonderful advice and tips! Voting up and more!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      Thanks so much RTalloni! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I had fun writing it.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      I really appreciate it Kelley! You should see if your mom wants to teach your boys to quilt. They might have a fun time! Thanks for the comments and share.

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      kelleyward 5 years ago

      My mom has made my boys several quilts and they love them. I love this hub. Voted up and shared! Kelley

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Quilting with children--what a delightful topic! Thanks for sharing your experience with your daughter and for posting this good guideline.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      Thanks so much Eddy! It was fun to write and my daughter had fun taking the pictures, especially when I covered her with fabric!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      Thank you so much for sharing this gem and here's to many more to follow.

      I vote up /useful/interesting.

      Eddy.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      I'm glad you liked the hub and that it brought back memories. Thanks for commenting Mollymeadows!

    • mollymeadows profile image

      Mary Strain 5 years ago from The Shire

      GTF, this takes me back. I lived in Kansas one summer with my aunt and she was an amazing seamstress. She taught me to sew and helped me make all my own clothes for my first year in high school.

      This is such a fun way to bond and teaches a useful skill. Thanks for the memories!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      teaches - Thanks so much! Quilting is a really special bond that my daughter and I have. I hope she always continues it.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      I appreciate the comments everythingdazzles! Quilting is a lot of fun and for me it's relaxing.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I love this post! Your gentle way of introducing your child to quilting is the best way to teach them and get them interested in anything. Love the photos of her at work and play. Your suggestions are so right on with how children can learn valuable skills while quilting. Voted way up!

    • everythingdazzles profile image

      Janelle 5 years ago from Houston

      I have always wanted to know how to quilt properly. We have quite the group of little old ladies that do old fashioned quilting in the church basement every week. Now that I have learned how to sew I will have to add quilting to my to do list.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      Jackie - I always appreciate your comments. I'm glad you weren't too seriously hurt when you quilted with your mom. Some kids have to be watched more closely than others, but it's so much fun to do.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      I appreciate the comments Kris! It's nice to meet another quilter. My mother-in-law quilts and was so touched when my daughter made her a quilt.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      Thanks so much Janine. I'm still learning when I quilt. The harder the project the bigger the challenge and the more I learn. I hope my daughter continues to do this when she gets older.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      Thanks Bill. In this world of fancy electronics, I think it's great for kids to slow down and do something like this. I appreciate the visit.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I know the younger you teach children the better. I hung on my mom too while she quilted and although I had a couple of close calls sewing, nothing really serious at all. Other than sewing your fingers I would say the only really dangerous things would be a needle in the eye or falling on scissors. Burns and little nicks heal and teach us to be more careful.

      Great thing you are doing. Up and sharing.

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 5 years ago from Indiana

      What an excellent hub and tutorial! As a quilter, I'm looking forward to teaching my nieces to quilt when they are a little older. I wish I had been old enough to learn from my grandmother before she passed away.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 5 years ago from New York, New York

      Wonderful hub and loved all the actual reasons to quilt (all they learn from this activity), plus it is fun!! Great job and have of course voted and shared, too :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't have any children to quilt with, but I think this is a great hub and a valuable thing to do with kids or grandkids. I love the old ways of quilting, and passing this skill down to generations. Wonderful suggestions here my friend.