we she made:
I didn't take pictures of the steps--too busy with the project itself, but I'll tell you what we did. When it was time to start sewing, I layered a piece of batting and a piece of white fabric a little larger than the pillow form and put the gray sloth print on top, smoothing them out (no pins). Then L chose strips one at a time to sew on stitch-and-flip and quilt-as-you-go style. Other than a quick tip about color contrasts and alternating prints with solid looking fabrics, the order of fabrics was up to L. While I pressed the power pedal (to control the speed of the machine), L guided the fabrics under the needle. We used a walking foot to help her feed the fabric smoothly and to put a little more machine between the needle and her fingers.
We divided up that part of the pillow into two evening sessions. Seams were not always straight, but we agreed that doing our best and having fun was better than perfect.
QAYG was fun for L, but I also wanted her to have an introduction to sewing patches together. So for the back, she made two nine-patches. During the third session, she laid squares out in the arrangement she wanted for the nine-patches. She had had gymnastics class that evening, so we opted to limit sewing that day. I told her that some of the side patches would end up smaller in the back, so she chose her favorite fabrics for the middle columns that would show the most. During the fourth session, we continued to use the walking foot to sew the blocks together, and L was really impressed by how quickly she was able to sew the seams with chaining. We did use pins to hold fabric in place while sewing double hems in the nine-patches for the envelope closure. L got a kick out of taking them out as she sewed. During the last session I layered the parts of the pillow case and sewed with a long stitch length to join them. After checking that the case was the right size (we didn't worry about perfection with the corners), L went over my stitching with a shorter stitch.
Here she is with her completed pillow and a smiley face to protect her privacy. She was so proud of herself!
And the back:
Here's how the pillow looks with the bed quilt and Mom and Dad's new throw quilt:
And with the other decorative pillows on the bed.
This project worked out so well. It was fun to be able to spend some special time with my granddaughter after doing daycare with her brother during the day. Here's what I learned:
--Doing the project in little bits (probably no more than twenty minutes at a time) was just right for a little girl who had been in kindergarten all day and had bits of homework or other activities in the evening.
--I'm glad I cut the strips and squares before we started the project. L is deliberative, and making too many decisions about fabrics before sewing would have really bogged her down. She did have fun picking out each strip as we sewed and arranging the nine-patches.
--Using a walking foot worked really well to hold fabric together and keep patches aligned and feeding smoothly without having to use pins.
--Doing more than one kind of sewing technique (QAYG and chain piecing) held L's interest without overwhelming her.
--L learned a beginning lesson about sewing/quilting to give. She was fine with putting the pillow on her parent's bed (although I think she really hopes they will let her borrow it sometime).
I do have to say, L was unimpressed with pillows as decor. She couldn't understand why Mom didn't sleep on the new pillow. Mom said that Dad definitely agrees with her that pillows for decor are pointless. Ha! I'm sure many of us have heard that opinion.
It remains to be seen whether L will become a sewist or quilter. Doesn't matter. Just doing this project together was enough. And sew much fun. I left the leftover scraps with her. We'll see if they do their magic. I know she will at least use them in her art work. A maker she is!
What kinds of sewing have you done with Grands or other special kids? Do you have any tips to share or other project ideas?
I'm linking up this week with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop and with crazy mom quilts for Finish it up Friday.
Have a great weekend, no matter who you are sewing with!