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Forum > Quilters' Corner > children quilting ( Moderated by Sharon1952)

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children quilting
can children learn to quilt
Evsews
Evsews
Member since 11/16/11
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Date: 11/16/11 10:36 PM

what is the easiest method for a child (under 12) to get a taste for quilting. No measuring or exact cutting please.

cassaroo
cassaroo
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Manitoba CANADA
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Date: 11/16/11 10:40 PM

When I was a child, maybe around 10 or so, I made a simple nine square patchwork quilt which I made into a pillow cover for my aunt. I tied it with wool and it certainly wasn't exact but I was sure proud of it. I used a sewing machine to stitch the squares together.

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"Go placidly amid the noise and haste...."

sarah in nyc

sarah in nyc
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New York USA
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Date: 11/17/11 7:23 AM

When my DD was five or six she was into the idea od quiting. We bought a set of sample squares from keepsake quilting. We hand sewed blocks of sixten squares together.

We worked on the blocks together.

I used those blocks as the centers of larget long cabin blocks which i pieced together to turn into a duvet cover tha my DD used for many years, until it wore out.

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sarah in nyc
www.sewnewyork.blogspot.com

Mufffet
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Date: 11/17/11 10:21 AM

Measuring and cutting can be done quite well by children. When it is an adult led activity that *IS* the age to learn to handle tools well. I learned to cut and sew quilt squares at about 6, and made a little patchwork squares quilt top about 2'x2' - small but easy. If you don't introduce the kids to measuring and cutting (as well as other tools) before 12, it sort of gives them the idea of being frightened of tools. I remember the boys at Cub Scout camp learning to chop wood - O.K....I was nervous, but it all went well.Luckily Moms aren't always in charge because as a Mom I would have never let them touch the ax. HAHAHHA. Not to mention the shooting sports. SO - yes, quilting is a pretty harmless and easily learned task for kids - and lots of fun.

Edited to add that I am not all that exact in measuring myself when it comes to sewing because it's fun, not rocket science for me. If I had to do all that math I see in quilting books, I would donate those books to a worthy quilt charity.
-- Edited on 11/17/11 10:23 AM --

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"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
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I have sewing machines

Skittl1321
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Skittl1321
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Iowa USA
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Date: 11/17/11 2:59 PM

I started sewing when I was about 7. No one in my family sewed, but my Mom bought me a machine from Walmart, and I figured it out myself. She also put me into a class that made a footie blanket- essentially, two pieces of cloth sewn together, and turned, and then the end turned up so you could put your feet into it. I'm guessing that is how I learned to thread a sewing machine (it was at a bernina dealership) but I never learned anything specific about my machine. I was in college before I learned you should change a needle more often then 'when it breaks' and the machine broke (about 20 years after I got it) before I learned you were suppose to oil it. I did clean out lint though...

I loved making quit tops, and mostly used them as pillow cases, because I totally did not understand the quilting process... (I had no idea what binding was, and didn't understand how to get rid of the raw edge!)

Kids can do pretty much any square/triangle pattern- even though making a PERFECT quilt requires exact measurements, as long as they aren't picky about things that don't line up perfectly (mine still don't) they can make great quilts. I'd say a 9 patch is a good place to start, but why not just let the child pick a pattern, and then go for it. Sounds like they have someone to help them, so they are good to go. A doll quilt or wall hanging size is probably the best place to start.

Curves generally require more precision, so I wouldn't start there.
-- Edited on 11/17/11 3:00 PM --

CM_Sews
CM_Sews
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Date: 11/19/11 1:08 AM

The "offset brick" quilt pattern (I don't know if this has an "official" name; sometimes it is called "subway tile") is simple, very attractive, and does not have matching corner seams. This could be a good first quilt project, especially for a child. You can use scraps or purchase coordinating fabrics. You can make it any size you want. You can add a border, but a border is not required.

Some examples from around the web:

Brick Quilt #1
Brick Quilt #2
Brick Quilt #3 (antique)
Brick Quilt #4 (pattern)
Brick Quilt #5 (variation with brick border)

This pattern will provide lots of practice for measuring, cutting, pinning, sewing 1/4-inch seams, pressing, planning your layout, and binding, etc. You do want to match the offset seams in every other row, but if they don't match exactly, no big deal. Matching seams and quilt block corners can wait for quilt project #2.

This pattern lends itself to straight line quilting, or it can be tied (a tie in the middle of each brick, for example). All in all, a low stress project, but with very pretty results. When I've had the opportunity to tutor a new quilter, I like to have a project that will turn out well, so she (or he) will be pleased with the results and be excited enough to continue with more challenging projects.

I find bricks twice as long as the height are the most pleasing to the eye, for example, 3 1/2-inch X 6 1/2-inch which gives you a 3x6 finished size brick. However, the bricks could be any size you like -- 6x12 finished size, for example. For a small child, I'd use larger bricks--fewer seams to sew, the quilt top can be finished quickly, so the child quilter is less likely to lose interest or become frustrated.

Add sashing between the bricks and it looks more like "subway tile" to me:
Subway Tile #1
Subway Tile #2

An even easier variation (requires less measuring) is Bonnie Hunters's Strippy Quilt on the Quiltville website.

CMC
-- Edited on 11/19/11 1:13 AM --

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