Thursday, June 28, 2007

Welcome to Quilting, Bubba and Peeps

Being a homeschooler and a fiber artist necessitates the occasional infliction of craft/hobby education upon my children. It's a given. When you have a gift, you just have to share it, even if the recipients are less than willing to accept the fabulous wealth of information you have to impart. On the plus side, your children are a captive audience and you have the force of familial discipline behind you to force them to comply.

Now, you must understand that my first born is a boy. He watched with fascination the operation of the sewing machine. What an awesome piece of machinery! He frequently played with the rotary cutter and rulers, chopping perfectly good fabric into shreds, in the interest of scientific discovery and the sheer joy of handling a razor sharp, dangerous tools.

However, being the doting mom and avid quilter, of course I misinterpreted this attention as a desire to learn to quilt. Accordingly, Hockeyboy was enrolled in a quilting class at the local quilt shop and introduced to the wonderful world of quilt making. He dutifully picked his fabric, followed the directions given to cut, sew, tie and bind a small quilt. He even attempted to make a pair of shorts shortly thereafter. . .

He has not looked at the sewing machine or any of my sewing tools since.

Along comes the Dancing Diva. She shows great interest (and jealousy) during HB's foray into quilting. Immediately after the completion of HB's quilt, DD insists on taking a quilting class, too. Accordingly, enrollment occurs, fabric is selected and a quilt is completed.

After completing her first project, she immediately wants to make another. Woohoo, I've got a quilter kid! This time, Mom takes over as instructor and DD completes a twin-sized quilt that ends up winning a Grand Champion ribbon at the County Fair.

She has not made another quilt since.

Fast forward 4 years. Bubba and Peeps are now at the age where sewing machines hold endless fascination, the rotary cutter and ruler become favorite playthings and my fabric stash is a treasure chest of fabulous beauty and value. Yes, it's time for Mommy to introduce these fresh-faced novices into the intricacies of quilt making.

Thus, the three of us visited our local fabric store last weekend and each of the girls selected flannel fabric for a Rag Time quilt. Flannel was on sale for $2 a yard, so it was an opportune time to purchase the 22 yards of fabric required for the two quilts.

Each girl was instructed to select an "inspiration" fabric - one fabric that they absolutely loved with multiple colors. Then, they were told to start pulling fabrics that would coordinate with the main fabric. I did not give any input, beyond pointing out fabrics I thought might work, which, more often than not, were rejected by the girls. They each had a vision and stayed true to it, while I allowed them perfect freedom to choose whatever spoke to their hearts.

The photo shows the fabrics that Bubba selected, which we cut into blocks this morning. The fabric in the top row, center was her inspiration fabric. I think you will agree with me on several points: 1) these are such "girly" fabrics and patterns and are just too cute for words; and 2) Bubba did a great job selecting a wide range of colors, textures and prints for her quilt. This girl has an eye for color and pattern, even if it is still a predictably pinkish at the moment.

Peeps' fabric is prepped and waiting to be cut as well. With luck, her fabric will be ready tomorrow and we will start putting things together soon.

Any bets on whether one of them will actually become a quilter?


Carissa said...

What great colors! I have a few rag quilts to make for my munchkins, and my almost 3yo will enjoy helping me clip! Keep up the good work!

livnletlrn said...

It must be an epidemic, as Leah's got the quilting bug too. She's been sketching patchwork blocks, browsing quilting websites, and spent a long time looking at the quilting books at Barnes and Noble last night. Luckily, I got her to agree to browse the library shelves before we decide to spend potential fabric money on quilt books. I was never more than a beginner quilter myself, so it'll be fun to learn together.

You guys are off to a great start. Gotta love those girly prints. Enjoy!

Sheepish Annie said...

Yup...I can see it coming together! You've got a quilter in the works. Maybe two! And you never know. The desire to craft can come back to children who thought they'd given it up. I do lots of stuff as an adult that I scorned as a child.

And Mommy Sheep is quite good about not rubbing that in!

Guinifer said...

I am not a quilter. I know my limitations. My boys? They are content to wear their handknit hats and socks - They love their "knot" blankets - which required no sewing whatsoever.

trek said...

You know what will really happen, don't you? They will forget about it for the next twenty years (because it won't be cool) and then all of a sudden revert to their crafty roots when they are old enough not to care whether it is cool or not.

Rani said...

Both of them! How fun! What a great idea. I have a way of cutting squares and sewing them together so that nothing matches up and the hole quilt is wanky.

I'll stick with knitting for now.

RandomRanter said...

Chiming in ages later to agree with trek, I knit a scarf as a child. Never finished it, bot bored - I had a solid color yarn and only knew garter stitch. I worked on a latch hook rug for ages, ran out of the orange, sent away for more, it took years to get the replacement, then finished it because but I had outgrown the design by then. made jewelry in my twenties, and now in my thirties, I'm back to knitting.