Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sewing with seven year olds


Santa brought her a Singer 1507 sewing machine for Christmas. It was the one thing she asked for, so I was very relieved that he got it right. She's had a ball with it. Although she's used my machine a few times, we started with the basics. I let her get used to the petal on her new machine first. We did this without threading the machine. She ran the pedal with her foot, hands under her bottom, until she was able to start slowly and maintain a steady rhythm. Then we put thread in the machine and worked on stopping, starting, and following lines drawn on paper (straight, curvy, and angles.) It was worth the time at the front end to explain some use and care of the machine, along with the mini tutorials. We talked about the fact that everybody has to practice if they want to get better at something. I think that's such an important insight for kids, so I slip it in whenever I can. (Once in a while, I get some eye rolling from them, but I think they appreciate the reminder!)

Next, she moved onto making fairy quilts. She pieced blocks of fabrics, designing her layout beforehand. She created the entire mini quilt, start to finish, and was so thrilled. She made about ten more. The part that absolutely awed me was how she went about quilting each one. I was actually a bit nervous at first. She ran the machine like she was running a race; she looked more than a bit like a mad artist. I stopped myself from saying anything about needles and fingers, and just watched. I realized that she was essentially free motion quilting, just like she's seen her mom do so many times. The even more extraordinary thing (which will only mean something to you if you sew) is that she never dropped the feed dog, AND her stitches looked great! Hmmmm. If only I sewed as well as her when I was seven.

(Another one of her quilts, a felt bird that she made, and the pincushion I made for her to use with her first machine.)

5 comments:

Grayson said...

so sweet Heather! Proud of that little "big" girl :)

Melissa said...

Wow-- I can't free-motion quilt, without the feed dogs! Go, go!

jennifer said...

perhaps she knows you should never upset a dog while he's feeding?

Not your normal Engineer said...

Holy moly! That's amazing! That kiddo is full of beautiful!

Not your normal Engineer said...

I think I am guilty of over-using exclamation points. For what it's worth, I am very excited about my niece's accomplishments. !!!!!