Passing it on

I’ve been staying quite busy with custom work the past couple of months. Today I sent off an order, and while I was packing it up, Layla was downstairs in our studio/school room choosing fabrics. She brought me her bundle and asked to make a quilt for her stuffed cat to lay on when she plays hospital.

Its so easy to just keep on going at full steam ahead, and not take necessary breaks when I’m in full hustle mode trying to make an income, but I felt like I was at a good place to stop and sew with my girl. I was seriously impressed with her pull of fabric. She went for my stack of Cotton + Steel basics, and I think she chose a great variety. I cut her some 2.5″ squares, and she laid them out and sewed them together. I helped her guide them straight under the presser foot, but aside from that, she did all the assembly and ironing. She wanted to sew on her Hello Kitty Janome, but since I already had my M100 out she used that. Its such a great machine!

After that, she found a backing she liked and we made a quilt sandwich. I marked some quilting lines with a Frixion pen, and then we switched over to the walking foot. She did so great quilting! She just guided the marked lines through the center of the walking foot and she was golden. *proud mom*Once she finished quilting, I showed her how to trim and square up her quilt with my mat and Olfa rotary cutter. I was a little nervous, but she did great. I cut the binding for her, and she sewed it onto the front of her quilt. After that, I showed her how to hand stitch it to the back for a perfectly clean and professional finish that, YES, even an eight year old can do! She did it the very same way I show in my Picture Perfect Binding tutorialShe was patient with herself, and did so great stitching up her little cat quilt. Its funny, sewing has taught me so much about slowing down and being intentional. It always yields a cleaner, better made piece. Even in the few years she has stitched up projects, I noticed today such a change in her own mindset and approach. She was focused and did so well. I’m really proud of her, and am encouraged to keep on taking these breaks and stitching and playing and coloring with my kids. They love the time and its so good for all of us. As my kids tick off little projects, I do try to teach them skills. Where when she first began at three or four, I would just hand her squares and she was welcome to stitch them in whatever manner she chose, I am conscious of teaching her the right way as she grows older and gets more experience under her belt because I feel like its always easier to learn the right way than to correct a bad habit. Plus, having the skillset will give her so much more opportunity to grow and create as she chooses. She doesn’t like to smile big for pictures because she is self-conscious about her teeth, but she is very proud of her work. She couldn’t wait to show her dad when he walked in the door. It feels good to learn something new and to accomplish something that seems hard. Its not too early to teach your little ones to use a needle and thread. Its a useful skill and an outlet for endless creativity. I encourage you to take an afternoon and have some fun with your little and let them create. I bet you’ll be glad you did!

-Meredith

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Welcome to Olivia Jane Handcrafted! I'm Meredith and this is my creative journal. Here you'll find loads of inspiration for a handmade wardrobe, home decor, bags, and quilts. I even have plenty of projects and tutorials to get you started or help you along the way. 

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