Apr 30, 2013

SEW it's Tuesday...

For the next month or so Sheena and I will be hosting a "Sew It's Tuesday" series on sewing with your kids.  Sheena is gonna start us off by teaching two of her girls how to make a quilt. I will be following her while I teach one of my girls and her little friend how to sew clothes for their 18" dolls. We are having a lot of fun putting these together so come join us and sew-along with your little ones too!

Hi this is Sheena, thanks for following along as I embark on this new adventure with my girls. I have sewn for several years now. I learned from  my mother, who finally purchased her dream toy this last winter -a long arm for quilting. My girls and I have been drooling over it ever since. So, of course I decided to jump more into quilting this year and my girls really wanted to start participating as well. One of the hard things in motherhood is when you have to make that decision to let your babies grow up and try-out the adult activities. My oldest girls are 8 and 10 now and they are just begging to sew. We started off with simple stitches and things  have slowly evolved from there. We agreed that we were all ready to make a quilt for each girl. My goal is to have the girls do a very large portion all by themselves. So we have put a few hours a week on our family calendar for sewing time, picked out the fabrics each girl is going to use, cleaned off the work table and...began. The goal is to complete the tops and make the sandwich; then Grandma will help "quilt" with the long arm. Then at the end of the summer the girls are going to put up their quilts at the Clark County Fair to display their hard work! They are super excited. I am sure we will all learn a ton as we work together...hopefully you can pick up a tip or two as well, or better yet, leave your tips and adventures in the comments and upload photos into our flicker account so we can sew together. Here is what we accomplished in our first little session:

Pick out 2 fat quarters. We are going to cut each fat quarter into making (4) 9"x9” squares.  

Iron out the fabric. Be careful! Never let your child do this alone. Burns hurt! J'lyn was very confident with me beside her. 

Another step that should not be completed without supervision is cutting with a rotary cutter. Don’t let them lose a finger or a tongue! It is messy and it hurts.

She did great. J'lyn had to cut twice on several attempts, but she started to get the hang of it after a bit. A tip for easier cutting is to make sure you are holding the handle of the rotary cutter at a slight angle, NOT straight up and down. Also be sure to be firmly pressing down with the cutter in one hand and on the ruler in the other. You can also take a strips of the clear medical tape and put it on the bottom of your ruler. This will give you ruler more grip on the fabric preventing it from sliding around. Here is a picture of our cut squares, right sides together; ready for sewing. 

J’lyn is sewing around all 4 sides with a 1/4” seam allowance. This will make a square that you can not open. To help her be consistent with her seam allowance we used a 1/4" foot for the sewing machine. It has this great little plate on the right-hand side of the foot. All J'lyn had to do was keep the material pressed against that plate.


Here is what your competed square will look like.And of course she wants world peace...such a beauty queen!
Now you need to take each square and cut it on the diagonals so that 
you end up with 4 triangles. This is where I took over cutting because exactness is the key here. Then you need to iron 2 of the squares toward the dark fabric and the other two toward the light fabric. This will help greatly in your next step.

Because of J’lyn's amazing sewing and cutting abilities I had to fudge these a bit and square them up. Or in other words make them look and measure like a square. Each square needs to be the exact same size. With fabrics meeting in the very corner. Now they are measuring about 4.5” instead of 5” because of the squaring. You can see what we cut off on each side.

Then you get to play with the design. You can create a... 

Classic Zig-Zag 




Pinwheel or Diagonal. 

What can you create with your kids this week? Show us, we would love to see! See you next week.


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