Investing in fun

Today, Layla and I took some time out to do some responsibility-free, no strings attached sewing. I’ve been working so hard to supplement the income just so we can scrape by, that I’ve not given much time to sewing just for fun. Not that any sewing isn’t fun, because I LOVE every bit of it. But there’s a different feeling to sewing with your eager kid just because she wants to. 

She was sewing more prior to last year when Justin was laid off. Then it became a major form of work for me, which was an enormous blessing just because I had this ability to be helpful when it was needed.  That said, it’s left little time for instruction. But today when Layla asked if she could make a quilt, I had to say “of course!” We browsed some patterns, looking for something simple that she could complete quickly and feel accomplished, but also something that fit her taste. 

We found Alexia’s free pattern, the Swatch Quilt, and cut the fabrics right away. I had a fat quarter bundle of Printshop because a very big hearted lady gave me a gift certificate to Hawthorne Threads, and I knew Layla was head over heels for this collection, so I used it for that. Back when she chose fabrics for her backpack she just went gaga over Alexia’s latest collection. 

So we were soon on our way to sewing a quilt top together! Layla wanted a different layout than the one in the pattern, so she arranged, and we added a row (column?). She has opinions on all things under the sun, so her change in design was expected. 

She sewed the whole top on the Janome M100, which is just such a great machine for the beginner and seasoned sewing alike. It made the process so smooth. We focused on keeping fabric aligned and steady under the machine. I did give her a good bit of guidance. We talked about lining up seams and the importance of everything being just so since it impacts the size of the quilt. She also did some ironing because she has seen me do it and therefore knows how to do it. 

We had a wonderful time sewing together. The Swatch Quilt is very beginner friendly, and even with the stitch speed turned down, we completed the top in just a few hours. It’s 52″ wide by 60″ long so I think I’ll have her choose a voile or lawn for backing because I hate piecing backing together. Also, if it isn’t soft, she’ll never use the quilt. (I haven’t spoiled her. Some people in her life have given her those awful fleece character blankets, and if I don’t make her soft things, she won’t use them. And I need her to know quilts are better.  ;) ) 

Anyway, when we can get our hands on some batting we will finish her quilt up and put it to use. I love her enthusiasm for crafting. I really need to be purposeful about setting aside to teach her while she is excited, because I know my coolness is going to wear out at some point. 

I hope you are having a great beginning to this Thanksgiving week! It’s finally starting to feel like fall with temps dropping into the 60s for a couple of days! 

-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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