Monday, March 9, 2009

Girl Scout Camp, Here We Come!

Well, my company has come and gone and I even got some time Sunday afternoon to play with fabric. As you may know, I volunteered to teach DD's Girl Scout troop how to quilt and the campout is next weekend. So I've been buying fabric so that these 14 girls (ages 9 - 10) can make their own quilt. They all voted about what kinds of colors they wanted and so I went out and found fabric. Yesterday afternoon and evening I sat in front of the TV and cut all the backings out (1 yard long x selvage to selvage wide) and got about half of the 6" squares cut out. I hope to have the other half done tonight (although I need to buy groceries after work and do laundry). I'm waiting to hear back from WalMart about possible donation that I will use for batting and thread. Hopefully I'll hear today.

Here's what I have planned: (This is an overnight from Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon)

Saturday afternoon - evening
- 15 minutes of the history of quilts, discussion on types of quilts (whole cloth, pieced, applique, crazy, etc)

- 1 hour Design time - each girl will get to pick one of the backings, then find 42 (6 x 7) squares that she wants to use in her quilt front. I have a digital camera and will take a picture of each girl with her design to give her so that she can remember the layout she chose - with 14 girls, there won't be enough room for everyone to layout their quilts all at the same time. It will also give them a memory as I want the girl in the picture, too.

- Sewing and quilting/tieing - there will be 5-6 adult women, including me, so I'm hopeful that I won't get too stressed out running from girl to girl.

Stations (since not every girl will have her own machine, some of the girls will need other things to do while waiting their turn and to give girls a chance to get up and stretch and do something)

  • Design a block - I'm making a small design wall and will have felt shapes cut out that they can design a block - squares, triangles, rectangles, etc. I'll take pictures from their final design on that too.
  • Needle threading - I'll have different sizes of needles and they will try to thread all the different needles and notice how hard it is for the ones that have really small eyes.
  • Measuring - I'll have a bunch of different rulers, including yardsticks, tape measures, etc. and they will have to measure and cut their own yarn for the tieing.
  • Quilt Books and Magazines - I'll bring a bunch of my own books and they can look at what the industry is doing.

The only thing that may be a problem is that I may be the only one with a walking foot. Since I'm planning to have the backing pulled up over the front and then sewed down, each of them will need that. I've thought about doing it pillowcase style and turning them inside out, but would need the walking foot for that, too, to make sure that the batting is caught inside. Any ideas? If I have to, I can do them myself on my machine in about 10 minutes each, but that would take alot of time in total.

I'm organized in my head, but know that I still have a lot of things to do before we leave Saturday. Any ideas or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Have a great week!


  1. I am so impressed with this project! It sounds organized to me.

  2. Hey Laurel....
    One think I learned after teaching my first "Adult Beginning Quilting" class, OVER-ESTIMATE the time it takes to accomplish tasks. ie: if it took me 15 minutes, plan for 45-60 for them.

    With that said, keep those machines going as full max as much as possible.

    An idea regarding the walking foot / "mock-binding" (yup, I have a Singer manual that calls it that----I used that method for YEARS!)
    Anyway----work on one quilt at a time (like you've planned). While you (and the girl) are doing that, the others can be tieing. A quilt doesn't need to be tied in order to sew the "mock-binding," and vice-versa. As soon as one mock-binding is sewn, invite the next girl to the walking-foot machine, no matter at what stage she is in for tieing. Make sense? I'm assuming, of course, that the quilts are going to be basted (with pins). This way, binding is getting sewn and quilts are being tied all at the same time.

    Have a wonderful weekend! What a great opportunity you are providing! I would love to see pictures of your finished projects. I have been asked to provide a Summer School course for grades 3-12; a kind of "quilt for a cause" course. A simple quilt of 4.5" squares would be perfect.

  3. One more thing to think about-----all those years that I used the mock-binding method, I never had a walking-foot. Of course, NOW I wouldn't dream of NOT using a Walking-foot, BUT it is possible to accomplish without one. In the end, it is always an option to just have them use a "normal" foot, at a nice, slow-n-steady speed.