Quilting with Kids

My son is always wanting to help me with my sewing projects, so I've been showing him how to safely use my tools so he can make his own stuff!

Keeping fingers away from the needle while sewing

The first tool he learned to use is my antique hand-crank sewing machine. This machine is tricky to anchor threads, but very easy to sew with. I always start the seam for him - mostly because he can't hold the fabrics together and lift the presser foot at the same time yet.

The hand crank is nice because you control exactly where the needle is - so it's tough to get stuck by the needle. The first several times he was sewing, he only turned the crank while I fed the fabric.

Last week, he had a PA Day at school which happened to fall on my weekly sewing group day. He came along and started a new project: a Christmas tablecloth for the coffee table.

Body position while cutting fabric

This was the first time I let him cut with the rotary blade and ruler.

Previously he has "free cut" with the rotary blade which gave him practice holding the blade safely, correct body position (shoulder above the cutter and fingers away from the blade), and learning the amount of pressure required to make cuts. As you can see, he needed a chair to be tall enough to reach the cutting surface, but he's used to climbing :)

He is red/green colour blind, so he chose this "brown" snowflake fabric and a yellow solid to make wide stripes. It's rather surprising to me when he describes colours, and then shows me his choices - most of the time they compliment each other very well! He understands colour value much better than I do!!

It took two swipes to cut the double thickness of fabric, but he successfully cut 7 pieces of fabric 6.5 x WOF as the basis of his new tablecloth.

Since he is confident using my machine, I let him stitch away while I was assembling a quilt top of my own.

seam allowances aren't too bad...

He had long seams to attach the yellow to the patterned fabric. I watched him carefully sew the first seam; reminding him to keep matching up the top and bottom fabric edges, and to keep a bit of fabric to the right of the presser foot.

The seam allowances aren't perfectly even, but they don't wander super far from the edge either. Twice he sewed off the fabric, but he caught himself and called me over to help get back on track.

Connor's coffee table cover

This is what he had at the end of the afternoon. It looks pretty great on the snow!

When we test fitted this on the coffee table, it is too short, so he found some more fabrics and we'll add a border and some corner ties on our next sewing day!

I'm so proud of this little guy, who will be celebrating his 7th birthday in two weeks :0

Linking up today with WIP Wednesday and Let's Bee Social.

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