A Shift in the Studio






My handsome, brilliant, impish grandson Kevin enters middle school on 2 September and we decided as a family that his after school and summer day-care will be shifted to Grammy (that’s me) instead of his former care giver who has several new younger kids this year plus her own bunch to care for.  I live only a couple of miles from his school and his home.  I am truly happy to have him come here for the out-of-school work hour time.  It does impact my time for fabric art substantially, however, so I will have to scale back some of my plans in that direction for a few years.  I hope to share some wonderful time and create some great memories, as well as teach him some art among other things.  It will not stop me from moving forward in my own art, though.

Part of the time, Kevin and I are taking the opportunity for him to learn more about quilting, and possibly bag making.  He made a quilt top with me when he was 9, but sort of stopped working on quilting for the past couple of years.  But he’s interested again.  Last week he drafted a lemoyne star using Alex Anderson’s methods presented in a TQS show, and then decided to put together a small quilt and use the lemoyne star as a quilting design.  It would be a straight stitch quilting design and so he can use my big Bernina with the dual feed to quilt it.

Technology can really help in teaching kids to sew.  It is my personal belief that frustration and boredom are the chief barriers to kids learning to do high-level creative things like this. He worked out how he wanted it on my Electric Quilt 7 program, picked out the fabrics from my stash, and cut it out on my Go! cutter, and started sewing it on Friday.  If you have kids you want to teach to quilt, I really recommend a die cutter, because it is safe, accurate, and fast.  Fast means less boredom, accuracy makes for good results and less frustration, and a machine that works well means less boredom and less frustration.   So here he is sewing together the 10 inch squares on my little B350 machine.  I put a 57 foot, which is a 1/4 inch piecing foot with a seam guide, on the machine and slid the machine speed down to the middle so he doesn’t sew too fast.  His seems so far are perfection.

Kevin sewing in 2014

We’ll see where this goes from here.  It is my hope he will really enjoy it enough to want to do another one when this is finished, but if he only finishes this one, it will be a nice accomplishment for him.

Meanwhile, I still managed to get my black blouse and slacks cut out for my dressy outfit.  Hopefully, I can complete this project this coming week.  Kevin will be spending some of the week with his other grandparents next week, so I have several clear days next week before the after-school thing starts.

Sew happy everyone!  Teach someone to sew–your grandkids, your BFF, yourself, your annoying neighbor, your cats, your dogs.  LOL



6 thoughts on “A Shift in the Studio

  1. ellen craig says:

    What a handsome grandson! How wonderful that he is willing to learn how to sew and to quilt! Even better! Great skills to have under your belt! Have fun with him. It will go by fast!

  2. Maureen Ashlock says:

    When I cared for my grandsons they learned to make pillows, jointed teddy bears and took art in school. They are now in college both draw, paint and write stories. The oldest will graduate this Dec. with degrees in graphic art and broadcast medium. He writes plays, acts, directs, and films videos. His brother Is an English major with an art minor, 2 yrs behind. I have made art quilts using their poetry and drawings. Good grounding and grandmas love is hard to beat. Have fun as they grow up fast.

  3. Terrie says:

    Good for you, BJ. Good for Kevin ( my first son’s name – love it!) Yes, I think for myself technology would help. I have a basic Singer sewing machine that my 4 sons gave me when I turned 50. It doesn’t even have a balnket stitch. I am a ‘confident beginner’, so could see myself using some of those techy tools in the future. Gotta start saving. I have no dye cutter, no Bernina, Janome (more in my price range) no EQ7 or 8, but I do dream about some of these toys. Good for you and your grandson. Have happy days making happy memories together.

    • Terrie, Years ago I had my own fashion design business and my main sewing machine was a basic Singer. A lot can be done with them. I have had my Go! cutter for more than a year, but only recently started realizing the value of it. The dies are expensive, and it took me a while to accumulate enough to be useful, I think. I will say that the technology does add speed and accuracy, but sometimes it costs more than it’s worth. Here’s hoping you can get some of the toys you dream about though. Second hand is a good way to get some of these things, even machines.

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