Monday, March 2, 2020

Daycare DrEAMi

"Gramma, did you bring your sewing machine?" It was the first thing my granddaughter asked when we arrived at her house last week to help out with a bit of daycare. But I didn't have my machine. We had taken the train and had packed super light. Turns out, we didn't need it.

L had checked out this book from the library:
What a neat book! I'm not affiliated with any company, so when I mention products, services or stores, I'm just telling you what I used or liked, but this book has wonderful, kid-centered projects that are presented so clearly, with minimal required materials and steps. And they are all the kinds of things kids would find useful for themselves or for gifts. Pillows, stuffies, purses and bags, wallets, pin cushions, needle holders, etc.. My granddaughter's favorite part is the quotations from actual kids with their projects.

Anyway, she wanted to make a pillow, and there were directions for hand sewing, so the next evening away we went with her mom for a girls' night out to the big box store for all things sewing related. I recommended using fleece for her project so we wouldn't have to worry about frayed edges. She did a great job (by that, I mean she didn't dither for hours like I would have) of picking out a fleece print she liked from the thousands (or so it seemed) of options. Corgis!! We made a quick stop in the notions department for a pack of chenille needles, a needle threader, and a hank of perle cotton, and then grabbed a bag of filling, and we were done. 

On Friday, while her brother was having squishy-bat-and-ball spring training baseball batting practice in the basement with Grampa, L made her pillow. There are patterns in the book, but L wanted her pillow to be larger than the one included, so she drew an oval pattern on a big piece of paper--folding the paper in quarters first--and cut it out. I helped her cut a section of the middle of the pattern out so she could position it around the corgi she wanted on her pillow. She carefully safety pinned the pattern to the fleece and cut around it. Then she flipped the pattern over and positioned it around a different corgi for the back, and used that as a guide to lay her first pillow piece upside down to cut around for the back. That way there would also be a dog centered on the back. (I wish I had taken more photos.) Here she is cutting the back side of the pillow. I laid my hands on the fleece to keep it from shifting; otherwise, the work was all hers.

Before sewing, she made a "bobbin" to wind her thread. I showed her how based on my experience with using scrap boxboard and then discovered that the directions are in the book. The authors have really thought of everything!! L basted the pillow with safety pins to keep from getting poked while she sewed. The book does a great job with photos to show how to thread a needle, tie a knot and sew a running stitch or a whip stitch. I recommended a running stitch for her first hand sewing experience since we didn't have to worry about fabric fraying. So, in no time at all, L was stitching the pillow together right sides out so the edge of the pillow would be a decorative edge--no turning right-side out needed. Pulling the chenille needle through the fleece was a bit labor intensive, but with encouragement--and a couple of snack incentives for getting halfway and finishing the sewing--she made it all the way around the pillow. 

Then came the stuffing part, feeling it for cushy-ness, and sewing the last bit of the edge closed. And here is the proud owner with her new pillow. The front:

And the back:
This was a quick project that could be completed in a morning. So satisfying. And L was able to do it herself with just a bit of guidance and support with the end knots. She has enough fleece left for some other projects, so maybe a stuffie or two will join her pillow. 

Although this is not a quilty post, this was a DrEAMi (Drop Everything And Make it) of the best kind because, you know, sewing and grandkiddie. It can't get better than that! So I'm linking up with Sandra of mmm! quilts for the DrEAMi link party. (Our train was late getting home on Saturday night, and yesterday I was tired, so this is late linking up, too.)

You might have noticed I have been absent from the blog this year until today. We were sick the entire month of January with post holiday viruses, and until recently I had no energy to do any sewing or much of anything else. I didn't even get anything made for RSC, and I've not kept up with other people's blogs. I'm back sewing again now, but my current project is one I can't share quite yet, and it's taking me longer than expected. Hopefully, I'll get in the groove again with other projects, but until then, blogging may be spotty. I do have a lot of quilty blogs to catch up on. I did catch one the other day and was saddened to discover that Paula B had passed away a few weeks ago. She was such a sweet quilter and blogger. I enjoyed reading about her projects and donations, and receiving her insights and encouraging comments. It looks like there's going to be a special blog hop to celebrate her legacy. To learn more, go over to Janice's blog here.

Okay, time to link this up. I hope you are having a good quilty week.