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In the Quilting World

Sharing the Love -- Sewing With Kids

Children are naturally curious. Exploring the world through hands-on activities is a wonderful way for them to discover, to try new things, and hopefully, to develop passions for activities that will carry them into adulthood. Teaching sewing and quilting to kids opens up a new creative world for them and is a way to ensure our crafts are carried on in future generations.

Hi, it's Carolyn Beam here again; I'm the person who writes this update. Thanks for joining me as I share my thoughts about quilting with you. As always, I'd love to hear ideas and suggestions from you as well.

I'd like to suggest a pattern that might be of interest to you, especially if you have the opportunity to teach someone to quilt. It's the Jewels Quilt Pattern. This pattern is perfect for a beginner with its simple shapes, and it would look great on a bed or sofa.

Recently, I had the opportunity to share my love of quilting with the daughter of a friend of mine. Rachel was interested in learning to quilt. AccuQuilt has a fun owl die with accessories that can be used to make an owl shape and a variety of other animals and accessories. We spent one afternoon together selecting fabrics and trying different combinations of dies to create an owl and koala bear.

Click here for larger image
Rachel cutting out shapes with the AccuQuilt GO! Baby Fabric Cutter.

The animals were arranged on tree branches and leaves were added. Flowers and a sun filled the extra spaces. All fabric and die choices were Rachel's, and a fun little wall quilt was starting to come together.

Rachel filling in shapes -- click here for larger image Quilt top is almost finished -- click here for larger image
Rachel filling in shapes. Quilt top is almost finished.

The shapes were all fused to the background. We didn't add any stitching to the applique shapes as this quilt was planned to hang on the wall. I showed Rachel how to pin-baste the layers together, and I quilted a meander design over the quilt surface. After I attached the binding by machine, I showed Rachel how to hand-stitch the binding down and she completed the quilt herself. What a proud moment for her to have a quilt that she designed and sewed! I hope this has opened the door for her to create more fun quilted projects.

Rachel with her finished wall quilt -- Click here for larger image
Rachel with her finished wall quilt.

I also had the opportunity to share my love of quilting with my grandson Parker. One afternoon while he was visiting, he said he wanted to sew. So off we went to my fabric stash where he picked out a collection of solid and black-and-white print 5" precut squares. After finding an arrangement that he liked, I showed him how to use the sewing machine and let him piece the squares together. His project turned into a pillow that he can proudly say he sewed himself.

Parker with his pillow -- click here for larger image Parker and I with his pillow -- click here for larger image
Parker with his pillow. Parker and I with his pillow.

Quilter Laurel Cote shared this story and pictures of the quilts her grandsons made. In Laurel's words:

"My grandsons love the quilts I make for them, and when Ryan was 7, he asked if he could make one. Of course, I said yes! So, we went to the quilt shop, and he picked out a few batiks he liked. After I cut the fabric into squares, he proceeded to design his quilt on my design wall.

Ryan designing his quilt on Grandma's design wall -- click here for larger image Ryan and his finished quilt -- click here for larger image
Ryan designing his quilt on Grandma's design wall. Ryan and his finished quilt.

"We had loads of fun as he figured out what he wanted. He ended up with a simple yet beautiful design that he titled 'A Day in Outer Space.' He chose a firework quilt pattern sewn with variegated thread. It's beautiful.

"Then, his older brother, Nick, asked if he could make one, so we started again! He also wanted batiks, but he had grand ideas. He drew a picture and asked if I could translate it into a quilt!

Nick's drawing for his quilt -- Click here for larger image
Nick's drawing for his quilt.

"I am by no means an expert quilter but told him I would do my best. After many pieces of graph paper, I finally was able to figure it out to Nick's approval. He titled his quilt 'Reflections.' We also made numerous trips to the quilt shops to get 'just the right colors.' Finally, after two years of planning, designing and sewing, the quilt was ready for the quilter.

Nick and his quilt -- click here for larger image Nick's quilt top -- click here for larger image
Nick and his quilt. Nick's quilt top.

"Nick chose an argyle quilt pattern, using clear thread on the top and a mossy green thread on the back. He wanted the backing to be black minky that had a diamond minky applique in the center and a brown minky border all around the black center.

"The difference between the two brothers is amazing. The younger, Ryan is so curious about outer space and his quilt reflects that, while his older brother, Nick, seems to be in tune with nature."

Laurel hopes her two other grandchildren will be interested in quilting as well. It's a gratifying feeling to be able to share our talents and passions with a younger generation with hopes to inspire them to pursue their own creative dreams.

Have you shared your talents with your own children, grandchildren or friends? Please share your stories and pictures. Email me at Editor@QuiltersWorld.com.

Please stay safe and healthy!

Take care,


Carolyn Beam

Carolyn Beam
Editor, Quilter's World magazine

Carolyn has been quilting for over 40 years. She took her first class when her oldest son was a baby and hasn't stopped since. She has traveled the country teaching and lecturing and has had many designs published in books and magazines. Besides making quilts for family and friends, she also makes quilts to donate to the fire department her youngest son works for. Carolyn is married with three grown sons and one adorable grandson.

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