Category Archives: collaboration

on sewing with smalls…

IMG_0028I have to declare my bias right up front, before I go anywhere else. This is my seven year old, the eldest of our smalls. She is an awesome kid, one of the most intelligent, creative and capable people I have ever met. She is a deep thinker and is kind and funny and well, just super. Also, it’s a long post. If you make it to the end, I applaud you!

This Thursday just passed, the Mr headed off with the middle small in tow for three nights to visit family. The biggest small and the smallest small were home with Mumma for the weekend and Miss 7 decided we would use our time to make a quilt for her bear.

IMG_0020

On Thursday before school, she raided the scraps and laid out a strip quilt. That very night, we set up in the kitchen and got to work. Within an hour of showing her how to use the machine, she had made a quilt as you go quilt about 12″ x 14″ and then added in some extra quilting – there are snails in one of the fabrics and she wanted to make a snail trail. Bear is now warm and cosy.

IMG_0030I honestly (naively) thought that would satisfy her quilting bug and she would get distracted by other things for the weekend. Wrong.

My Amitie Textiles stash builder parcel arrived Friday and she snatched it up and then  spent her Friday night fondling fabrics, mixing and matching the stash builder pack with some scraps from my sewing room and talking about making a quilt using triangles.

Saturday morning, she woke up all bossy like and asked me to start cutting for her. I did as I was instructed (while I’m ok with her using the sewing machine, the rotary cutter is a whole other step for me). I cut out all the pieces as per her direction and she set to sewing.

IMG_1114

By Saturday afternoon, we had a completed quilt top. It was made with such fun, care and passion and it was a beautiful way to spend a weekend. The seams are not quarter inch, the points don’t meet and there are some strange extra strips in there to make up block sizes but you know what, I think this is just about my favourite quilt in the whole of everywhere!

IMG_1120The final three seams I had to sew for her as the top got too heavy and bulky for her, but I am so darn proud of this child and think it’s an amazing effort! The quilt is now basted and we started watching “Machine Quilting Negative Space”, a class with Angela Walters on Craftsy for ideas on quilting designs – sketching is happening as per the class instructions and I expect, like everything else, this next task won’t phase her nearly as much as it does me!

IMG_1151

This exercise was really nice to spend time sewing with my girl but I have to be honest, it was also REALLY tough for me! There were many moments I had to breathe deeply to stop myself from interfering. To remind myself of the capable person I was working with, to allow her the freedom to create without limits and to show her that I respect her judgement.

The lessons I learnt from sewing with a small :: Breathe deeply, let go, have fun and stop thinking about the rules! Oh, and hide the glitter glue and the nail clippers from the two year old because when you are focusing on stitching, she is decorating the bedroom carpet and trimming her nails!

Do you sew with children? How much do you allow them to do? And, what lessons have you learnt along the way?

IMG_1124

Missy Misfit

20130704-190423.jpg

When your mother is Queen of the Craft Hoarders, you can make impromptu enamel spray painted 3D collages in the 10 minutes before bed!

This is apparently a turtle’s back for a multi-coloured misfit animal costume for her first school disco : the five year old is nothing if not imaginative!

Weaving a basket…

…I imagine, must take a whole lot of time. And patience. Neither of which I have in great abundance. However, I recently had cause and inspiration to weave a basket of the quilty kind.

With the middle small by my side snipping the threads between the chain piecing, and by roping in anyone who happened to call by the house, this quilt came together in a flurry of activity and with very little thought or effort in a relatively short amount of time. I did modify the pattern from the book and in my typical fashion, I messed up the measurements for my version. With a little help from a maths minded friend, I was able to improvise my way out of what could have been an enormous waste of fabric!

As the quilt was destined to be a family picnic rug, I used repurposed fabrics including scraps leftover from previous projects and some pieces from my growing stash of second hand fabrics found on trips to op shops {thrift stores}. This project contains an assortment of remnants of seersucker tablecloths, silk taffeta, linen from a skirt, a bag and my maternity pants (won’t be needing those ever again!), cotton drill kitchen curtains and a wild 1970′s paisley poly/cotton blend which was used as the backing. It was great fun to throw together an odd bunch of texture, quality and colour and come out with something fun and practical.

My favourite part of making a quilt, always, is seeing it put to use. I am not precious about the quilts I make for home. We have picnicked, slept and snuggled on and under this and I love that my family can wrap themselves in Mumma love and comfort on a chilly afternoon.

NOTE: This quilt came to be as occasionally I am privileged to be able to review books for Whip up. My most recent review was of Denyse Schmidt: Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration. When I opened the pages and saw the Basketweave quilt, I quietly desired immediately HAD to have a version of it.