On June 9th several young children gathered together to try their hand at quilting. This came about when my youngest grandson, Sawyer, asked me why he couldn’t come to the sewing days that I was always going to. We talked with his brother Ethan about making a sewing day especially for children and they were both pretty happy that we were going to make it happen. I then talked to several other quilters who had children or grandchildren that might be interested in participating. We chose Nanaimo as a central location for this workshop. Beban Park Recreation Centre was the right venue as it provided room for the workshop as well as room for energetic kids to run off extra steam during breaks. Each child in attendance required an adult to supervise at the sewing machine. We had moms, grandmothers, great grandmothers and even cousins helping out these very talented and creative children. The project we chose was a split 9-patch I Spy placemat. From my huge button stash I bagged buttons for the children to string into necklaces when they needed to take a break from the sewing machine. Most wanted to finish their placemats first and then string buttons and eat peanut butter cookies!
Kayla (6) has had some experience on the sewing machine with her Gramma Rose but this time she not only fed the fabric through the feed dogs, she used the foot controls too. The placemat top was completed before lunch. Kayla’s mom supported her to complete her placemat and when she was finished she made herself a multi-coloured button necklace.
Ethan (7) & Sawyer (4) are the two who wanted to make this day happen. They not only completed their placemats but got their Vancouver Canuck coloured button necklaces strung too. Each child was given a nametag in the shape of a maple leaf. When they completed their quilts they pressed it to the back of their placemats. After Ethan had completed his placemat top he came up to me with wonder in his voice and said “I really like sewing!” I think it’s a good thing that we have several machines in our house or I might have to fight for time on my machine.
It’s amazing watching children learn. They are smart and adaptable and best of all they have no preconceived ideas about what their finished project will look like. They laid out their fabric squares, began to sew and watched as their placemat magically appeared. They were all spectacular and the best reward for the adults was the smiles on their faces.
As usual Joan was in charge of lunches. She decided that we needed to make “lunchables” for the kids. It was a varied and nutritious lunch served inside a reusable container with a cloth napkin to go with their finished placemats. The adults were served an equally delicious paper bag lunch with paper napkins. It was, after all, a day for the kids!
Happy Quilting….Valerie Raye