Sewing with Kids - Caleb's Quilt

Day 5

Today is the  first day to sew!
Hint #1 - Put a piece of painters tape on the machine to use as a guide for the seam allowances.
Hint #2 - Use wider allowances. All my allowances on these quilts are 1/2 inch. Usually quilters use 1/4 inch allowances, but since new sewers don't always go straight, the wider allowance helps a bit.

Hint #3 - After explaining how the machine works, let them go for a test drive on a scrap piece of fabric till they feel comfortable.
Hint #4 - I find it is helpful to first sit down at the machine and sew a strip of blocks together while they watch, then sit next to them in a chair watching and helping as needed until they are ready to continue unattended.
Hint #6 - This isn't the old fashioned days of sewing where everything has to be "practically perfect in every way" like Mary Poppins would of course do it in home ec class, so relax and let them do it. This is a pretty forgiving pattern, so it won't really matter if the seams aren't quite even.

Next, we stacked our three piles to the left of our machine. The 3rd stack was first, the 2nd stack next and stack #1 was closest to us. Notice that I put 3 safety pins on the top stack, 2 on the 2nd stack, etc. This helped me keep track of which pile was which (I have a short memory these days - Too many much more important things to keep track of, I say!) It also helped us remember which block would be on top of when the row was completed.

Here you can see that we take a fresh block from the stacks on the left and add them right sides together to the growing strip on the right. But definately do whatever system of joining blocks that is the easiest for you.

Now you can cut your fabric into six 6" strips.

I cut them into 59" strips, which is longer than I actually need, allowing for differences in the new quilter's seam allowances.

Choose 8 of the remaining 5"x9" pieces that we used earlier.
Sew four sets of two together to make the 4 corner pieces.

Now, lay out the strips like so:

Stand back and ooh and aah! My kiddo was quite impressed that he could make such a thing! But to avoid burnout, we put it away for another day...

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