The idea that quilting is for women dates back to the ages where men were out doing hard manual labor and the domestic chores were left to women. Quilting simply fell into the domestic chore category.
A lot has changed since then; Quilting is for everyone.
To see if the children in your life have an interest in quilting, start off with a small project. Here are a few ideas:
- Make a pillow. What is your child’s favorite cartoon character? Grab some fabric scraps and a comic book page or drawing of the character. Create an appliqué of the character and teach the child how to sew it onto a fabric backing. Make a pillow from the appliqué, and be sure to let the kids help add the stuffing.
- Make a crazy quilted wall plaque. Give your child a 12 inch square of fabric. Provide lots of scraps that they can sew onto the piece. Demonstrate the techniques needed to hide raw edges. Show the child how to add embroidered stitches, small notions and trims to dress up the design. A good thing about this project is that kids can use glue instead of sewing if they are too young for needles.
- Make paper designs. Cut pieces of construction paper and scrapbook paper into various shapes and let the child arrange them to make an original quilt block design. Let him select his favorite design from all his creations. Turn his paper design into a custom fabric creation. Make a pillow for him using his very own design.
- Make a t-shirt quilt. Kids of all ages have t-shirts. Get them to bring their old favorites over for a day of quilting. Help them cut the t-shirts into quilt blocks. Show them how to add sashing and attach the blocks to create rows. Make the quilt sandwich and have the child help you quilt the project using the tying method.
- For kids that are too young to help quilt, make them quilted items with which they can play. The doll-carrier in your life would love a quilt for his or her little friend. Patchwork toys are great items for boys and girls, too. Remember the old patchwork terrier and elephant patterns? Use your imagination and create lots of fun patchwork toys for the girls and boys in your life. They will be treasured for many years.
For kids who are too young, you can still get them involved with the following ideas
- Sort through old clothing. Ask your child to help you sort through old clothing with the instruction to pick out some that would be nice in a quilt. Use those items to create a memorable quilt for the child.
- Read a quilting story to your young children. There are a lot of picture books targeted for early readers that have a quilting theme. Check your local library or bookstore.
As you can see, there are a lot of ways you can share your quilting hobby with young people. Taking a little time to share your hobby now may well inspire a future quilter. Even if they don’t jump into your favorite hobby right away,. chances are that they will come back to it later. The one thing for sure is that they will cherish the memory of your special day together and your creation will definitely become a family favorite.
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