Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Teaching the Next Generation to Quilt

DD is in our local Girl Scout troop. I've always been the mom who helps out with the camp outs and other outdoor activities.

Well, I volunteered to teach the troop how to quilt. So the troop leaders and I decided to take the girls up to the GS camp (about 1/2 hour away) for an overnight camp out with a major theme of learning to sew/quilt. I'm expecting that we'll have anywhere from 8-14 girls age 9/10. I have 3 machines, the camp has 4 machines, and we'll find out how many of the girls can bring their machines.

My plan is to have them understand the historical nature of quilts (I'll bring along a couple of my older quilts for show and tell), have time for them to do design work, then sew together a simple lap quilt and tie it. I'm hoping we can get it all done.

I'm putting together a couple of samples so they can see what they will be doing and so that I can get some votes on colors and fabric themes so I can go shopping for the fabric for them. I started the first sample last night after I spent about 20 minutes going through my stash. I found a fun fish fabric that I used as a backing for a baby quilt I made several years ago and some solids to coordinate. I need to get the sample done by next Tuesday for the GS meeting. Pictures to follow.

Any ideas or hints on teaching children to sew? Several of them learned basic machine sewing at summer school last year, so not everyone will need machine instruction. Also, has anyone hit up fabric stores (like Jo-Ann's or WalMart) for fabric for a project like this?

Thanks and have a great day.



  1. Laurel; it appears we are trying to teach the exact same concepts, only to the opposite end of the spectrum. Mine are adults....
    I guess I would suggest the basics: sewing a "GOOD" 1/4". (I precut a bunch of 2" squares that they used as test pieces, which I then kept in hopes to piece a simple mini-quilt for a giveaway on the last night of class.) Anyway......then the basics of cutting IF they are old enough to control the rotary cutter. I would keep the pieces to simple squares and rectangles, and not to bring in triangles??? Maybe too "intermediate" for them......

    Regarding fabrics: BRIGHT and COLORFUL is the way to go with girls, I would think! Dots, stripes, pinks, purples, oranges, greens.

    Hope this helps :0)

  2. What a fun project! I can't really think of anything to add to Amy's advice. I've done a bit of quilting with my daughter and the 1/4" seam and sewing a straight line seem to be the biggest challenges in getting started.

    Have a great time with the girls!