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Passing Along the Love of Sewing

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KATHYC-3 replied on Wed, Nov 11 2009 6:29 AM

the posters so far have submitted good ideas about spreading the love of quilting....one additional idea I have is that we need to take the fear of the "quilt police" out of quilting. .make it fun.

Cost is a big issue. Overwhelming new quilters with so many tools that are very expensive. Get back to basics. I was first exposed to quilting by my grandmother who wasted nothing...it was fun to look at the quilts and find blocks that used fabric that I recognized ....quilts were comforting.... and hers were beautiful

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Patti replied on Wed, Nov 11 2009 7:24 AM

My mother took up sewing when I was preschool age because making clothes was cheaper than buying them.  I really started sewing when I had home economics in highschool, and I can remember making a blouse for class.  Didn't do much during college, but went back to sewing after I graduated and one of the first things I bought with my first salary was a sewing machine. 

When my daughter was about 9, we started a 4-H group in our valley and the first project was sewing a quilt that the kids raffled.  Melissa also did some sewing projects, including making a pair of jeans.  She was really quite good.  She didn't really sew again until doing her senior project included making a yukata (similar to a kimono but less formal, she had been a summer exchange student to Japan).  This fall she decided she wanted to start sewing again to make clothes for her step kids.  (she is only 21 now and married last December.)  I bought her a babylock (very basic) for $150, they are now on sale by the way for $99.  Took it to her a couple weekends ago and she completed a jumper for one of the girls and is working on another. It warms my heart to see her interested in sewing again.

Our local schools cut home ec years ago because of funding cuts, but our LQS is very good at getting kids interested in sewing.  They offer classes for the kids, and provide the sewing machines for them to use at the store.  They had some very nice pfaff models they used that they recently refurbished and sold at a reduced price (still nearly $1000!) with a new warantee.  The kids quilts and other projects are always on display at the county fair and win a lot of ribbons.

My late husband's cousin is a fifth grade teacher and her class not only makes a joint quilt duing the year, but they dye the fabric themselves. 

Kids need to be exposed to the joy of creating things.  All the computer games and video games are so destructive in terms of time loss. 

This has been a good thread, makes me think more about what I could be doing to pass along the love of sewing to others.

Patti

Chiliwist Valley

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Jodie,

The Guild I belong to has stared a Jr. Guild.  We are aiming to attract 12 to 17 year olds.  We are going to try to build our membership by letting the schools, girl scouts, and other organizations know that we have something great to offer these young people.  LBC

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Linda replied on Thu, Nov 12 2009 5:12 PM

I am new to posting. So here goes.  I agree that it has become very expensive to sew.  I have sewed for years my son did not have any clothes except those that were homemade. It was the cheapest way to go.  He is now 32 so that will let you know how long ago that was.  Now to find the material to sew for my new granddaughter it is more costly than to go the the store and buy ready made.  However, I love to sew and try to create something new out of something old as well as I became a quilter about 4 years ago.  I love it. 

To invite others to share our passion we might start clubs in Church groups and be willing to share thoughts and excitement of making something from scraps.  Also I think there are some schools that would let someone in to teach youngsters to sew.  I plan to involve my Grandchildren when they are older.  Their mother sews some and I am hoping we can all get together and have loads of fun.  I think the biggest drawback is the expense involved in getting started and the price of fabric seems to go up all the time.  I am now retired and must really watch my pennies.

 

Linda

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Welcome to the QCA forums, Linda! You have some great ideas for passing along the love of sewing!

 


Gillette, WY

 

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I started teaching my Granddaughter to sew when she asked me to at about 8 years old.  When we get together she asks grandma let's quilt. 

If someone asks me about quilting I tell them I will work with them.

 

We started a quilting group at our church about 5 years ago.  We are up to about 15 ladies who get together once a month and quilt a Saturday away.    Cathy

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Cathy, welcome to the QCA forums! You, too, are passing along the love the quilting. Wonderful!

 


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Esther B replied on Thu, Nov 12 2009 5:28 PM

I began quilting for the first time just before I retired from teaching.  I was in love with all the beautiful fabrics in the local quilt store.  My friend, who worked in the store, showed me a copy of Elinor Burns "Quilt In a Day Lof Cabin Quilts" and helped me choose the fabrics for the two twin quilts I planned to make.  I faithfully followed Elinor Burns directions and two  summer vacations, I had two beautiful quilts.  After retirement I took the learning of those quilts and ran with it, making quilts for every family member's Christmas gift.  Illness slowed me to a stop until this fall.  I discovered the quilt kits from Fons & Porter and I am back to making quilts for all again.  

I believe that the availability of the quilt kits and the simplicity they give to the quilt process is a wonderful way to expose people to the beautiful quilt fabrics and the ability to produce a quilt in a reasonable amount of time.  Hurrah for the kits.

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Mil-du replied on Thu, Nov 12 2009 5:30 PM

Jodie,

I think we can share a love of sewing by sharing our talents.  I brought a quilt I had made to "show off" at the school where I am librarian.  The staff knew I did sewing as I do alot of custom sewing for wedding in the area and this just evolved into quilting as I saved all the scraps.  I made most of my childrens clothes as they were growing up(two of my daughters love to sew also).  I took Home Ec when in high school but had already learned to sew from both my grandmothers and mother.  Before starting high school I already loved to sew.  So I guess this makes me a "sewing junkie".

Getting back to my "showing off" my quilt, some of the staff wanted to know if I would do a quilting class after school one night a week to teach them to quilt.  The first year there were six ladies that immediately signed up.  Most of them knew how to thread their machine maybe but that was all.  That was four years ago and now I have ladies call me a year in advance to be called when I start a class every spring as I don't advertise only by word of mouth.

This had a snowball effect here at school.  I was ask to teach a sewing class to high school students. I was game and told the councelor to have them sign up to see how many would be interested.  Last year there were ten students that took the class.  We made clothes, pillows and quilts.  More quilts than anything else.  Several people from the community donated material they no longer wanted to use.  We also had donated machines to use.  These were older machines mostly ones that had been replaced by the home sewer and was just setting in a closet gathering dust.

When this year started there were 33 students signed up several who were returning students.  I only had room in two classes for 22 students. The girls are so excited when they finish an item immediately they want to run to another classroom to show a favorite teacher. I have to say there are is a love of sewing and quilting starting here.  They are always asking my opinion on buying sewing machines and quilting items.  More than half or the students after one quarter of the school year want to know how to get into next years class.  This means the seed for the love of sewing is growing in this rural community.  In these small classes I am sharing my love of sewing and hopefully I have started some more "sewing junkies".

Millie

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Nana replied on Thu, Nov 12 2009 5:36 PM

Millie

This is awesome and you are doing a fantastic job.  WTG

Nana

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I've always loved to sew but didn't really begin until my 40's. With a job and children to raise, I never really found the time. Now that I'm in my late 50's I do wish I had started earlier.I love, love, love to sew and I spend as much time as I can doing my craft. And yes it is a craft and I've self taught and searched the internet for answers as well. As for passing it on I've been teaching my 10 year old granddaughter how to sew. She's quite interested and has sewn a rag quilt for her room. Thus my love of sewing is continuing and  maybe some day to her children. We as lovers of sewing should teach whoever wants to learn. If schools have cut back we can lend our knowledge thru our communities or church. Our excitement for fabric and what it creates can be passed on to other sewing lovers thur our enthusiam.

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Jodie:

 

I started sewing when I was  small with making doll clothes.  When I joined 4-H, I took sewing projects for 8 of the 10 years I was in 4-H.  The last two years, showing cattle took more time and I decided to try other areas of interest as well.  I also had sewing in Home Economics.  During college, I had no time to sew.  Once I was married and while my children were little, I sewed for them and myself.  But, when I went to work, I had to quit sewing due to lack of time. Now that I have retired and hopefully staying that way, I have decided to learn to quilt.  I wanted to create again, and I love fabric and colors.  I have no desire to sew clothes, unless I try to make some for my grand kids.  But, as a case in point, with clearance sales, you can't come close to sewing for what you buy children clothes on sale.  I bought $360.00 worth of clothes this summer for $98.00 during the clearance sales for my grand children. 

My daughter had no interest in anything domestic until she married.  (But, when I need help on the computer, she is my goto person.)  Fortunately, her husband loves to cook and really helps out at home.  (Her husband is a computer whiz also.)  It has made her more interested in it.  Having kids have helped also.  She has learned to knit.   I can't tell you how many times I showed her how to sew a button on.  I don't think she still knows how.  But, her husband can.  So now I don't have to.  But, if I could have been a stay at home mom, I think things would have been different.  I would have had time to teach my kids to sew and cook.  My son would have probably have learned to sew.  He loves to cook and do anything that involves working with his hands.  He loves art and is creative in his own right.

I have to agree with the others, I think targeting the younger kids, it would be a place to start.  Another area that quilting could be introduced would be in the after school activities that the Y's or some school districts offer.  We have lived in different areas of the country and the latch-key kids are handled differently in each area.  But, what a great thing to start with that age group.

When I attended the Paducah, KY AQS Show this spring, the Quilt Museum sponsered a quilt contest for school classrooms to compete in.  It had to be a classroom project and all had to participate in the process.  Maybe this can be done on a community level as well.  Or if the local guilds could offer to include them in their quilt show as their own category, that may offer some interest as well.  I think that as creative as we quilters are at problem solving with our quilts, that with some brainstorming, it might be amazing what we come up with.  Quilt guilds could possibly offer classes to the latch-key kids as well.  Maybe even the members could dig into their stashes and have some fabric that they could donate to the cause if the area is economically strapped.  Maybe, some of the fabric manufactures could do some good will and offer fabrics to be used in such cases.  Don't know about grant monies these days, either.  But, I am sure if there was a group that wanted to do something, they could come up with a way to do it.  

The community we live in now, the school districts offers classes to the community in the evenings.  Maybe classes could be offered through that sort of medium as well.  Make the offerings to various age groups.  If there are colleges in the area, maybe some classes could be offered in non-accreditied classes there.

For the 20 - 40 age group, maybe the type of projects for them would be quick and easy projects.  Wall hangings, table place mats, etc.  Once you buy your basic equipment, then it would be the fabric costs to contend with.  Yes, up front it is expensive.  But, take that cost over time and how much is it.  Buy as you can afford to do.  Most hobbies are expensive.  Watch for sales and of coupons will help with the budget.  Smaller projects means less material.   As I read today in an article of one of my quilting magazines, it's not how fast we quilt, but, it is the process of quilting to which we need to enjoy.  Also we can't force someone to love something.  But, we can introduce people to the process and hope that our joy will be so contagious that they too will love it. 

Hopefully, you will gain some ideas from what I have mentioned. 

I do want you to know how much I enjoy your  Shout out Loud sessions.  I have learned so much from the program.  Keep up the good work.

Deb

 

 

 

 

 

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I work in an elementary school.  The students are always fascinated when someone brings in needlework projects, or items they have sewn or quilted and talks about them or shows how they were done.  We would have a sewing group if time allowed, but unfortunately the day is to short.  There are too many "have to" items in the day and not enough time for the "would like to" items.  I encourage everyone to keep talking about and sharing ideas with others because you never know when someone will be able to make the time for "one" project and get hooked on a very satisfying hobby.  Bee

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Jutta replied on Thu, Nov 12 2009 6:02 PM

Jeanine:

Althea :
we (my generation) did not teach our children to sew

It does have to start at home.  My kids have all been exposed to sewing and my boys are proud of the items they have made even if no one else may appreciate their creations.  They tended to like to enhance their clothing with creative touches.  Anyway, they are comfortable with a sewing machine even if they don't quilt.  My daughter picked it up watching me.  I didn't push her but always gave her what she needed to make her doll clothes or doll quilts and later quilts for herself. 

I think cost is a factor.  My daughter would not buy near as much as she has on her own.  She's taken my cast offs and hand-me-downs.  And this generation is very "green" so she loves to recycle instead of buy new.

Another factor is that a lot of quilt shops just scream "old" and "grandmother".  However, I have been in other quilt shops that are fun and bright and appealing to younger quilters.  there needs to be a balance between classic and contemporary in the quilt world if we want to bring in young quilters.

This is a real passion of mine.  My quilt ministry encourages all ages to come and the beauty of the group is that we have young kids starting at 5 up to 70+ in the same room quilting together.  It is awesome.

 

Jeanine,

I totally agree with you "Sewing starts at home".  If a parent doesn't know how to sew, neither will their children. A family member would pass down the art of sewing and crafting and would teach their grandkids or nephews and nieces on how to sew.

I also believe there should be classes available at highschools to learn this craft, at least that's what we do in Germany. Here are quilting classes offered, but usually they are in the evenings in the back room of  fabric stores. I don't believe that many teenagers are interested in joining an evening class.

Young mothers don't have the luxury to have much time for themselves, due to holding a fulltime job and raising kids. Money nowadays is a big issue as well.

Quilting has to be affordable and available to make it attractive to the younger generation and besides quilt tops there should be other projects, such as wearables. I guess I am just talking out loud.

Jutta

 

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Jodie,

I loved your article about the young not learning too much on sewing. Our schools here still do teach some sewing & it's called FACE which means a little of this & that. Four catagories of the home life. I agree our young people should learn these things but it takes someone in the family, schools or others. I have an 8 yr old Grandson whom I taught to sew last yr & now this summer he made his 1st quilt & we were proud of it. My other grandson will start to learn in Feb as they have to be 7 to learn. An idea is for the industry to sell  very easy patterns for the very young like, embroidery w/crayons, pillowcases, pot holders etc. This is what I started them out with. I'm also going to be starting a quilting class after the holidays for the young on a sat. to learn these trates. I'm from the Baby Boomer ages & the older Gramas are still doing this. We need to start teaching these youngsters now so they learn the nack & take it with them when they leave home. I will never worry that my grandchildren don't know how to sew.

Grama Chris

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