27 November, 2009

When I Turn My Back

There are two school of thought on welcoming your kids into your quilting habit.  On one hand you can have a sewing room with a closed door and they are not allowed to touch your fabric. On the other hand, you can let them play with the fabric and make a giant mess.  I will fully admit that some days I wish I had a design wall and a door to close (and lock). But most days the girls are knee deep in scraps and helping me pick fabric.

video

This is what happens when I turn my back on a pile of fabric.


Where do you stand on kids getting involved with your quilting habit - the process, the fabric, the inspiration? I'm working on an article on creating and quilting as a family, so I'm curious as to your habits.

20 comments:

Marielle said...

my oldest two are 6 and almost 4 - two very active and creative boys. I invite them into crafting but prefer to get them their own tools when possible and offer supervision when they're using mine.

However, since my dining room walls still bear the evidence of the great washable (ha!) crayola marker debaucle I find they still need to be reigned in a bit. I keep a scrap bucket in my sewing room just for them. They're welcome to join me in the sewing room too (it's only got a walk through gate) but the minute they get too touchy I shoo them out.

My oldest loves to get ahold of my snips and has cut every.single.serger.thread as well as a knitting project in process so let's say supervision is still #1 priority.

Oh and no way could they have access to the fabric. First because I put it away pressed but second because my kids hang onto the most random junk like it's a national treasure and I'm afraid of them getting attached to my fabric.

Helen said...

My boy is now 15... and he still calls my quilts "RUGS" so no hope there! My little great niece (4 years old) just loves when she is allowed to have a fat quarter to play with.... they make great Barbie blankets! As she spends a fair bit of time staying with me, I will eventually encourage her to "help" Aunty Henny with the sewing - I see that sewing cards have come back in fashion... a great place to start the little ones.

Valerie said...

I think this is wonderful. Sounds like you have a lot of patience. My grandchildren love to do crafts and sew with me and I love it.

I Love Baby Quilts! said...

Now we have to start over again!

Both my kids were interested in my fabric at age two or so, but my six year old is totally uninterested now. His sister is still two, so we'll see in the future!

amberlee said...

First of all I'm jelous of the title of your blog. Since my ten month of rarely naps I have to take her in with me or I wouldn't get to do any creating. I was letting her play with scraps, but with her two new teeth she can pull threads out. Ive sewn crinkly plastic between scraps so the edges are finished and she seems to like that. But of course she still wants to get into everyhing she shouldn't so
most things are up high.

beanie g said...

I used to be in the school that left the kids out. Then my daughter (9) got a sewing machine from my MIL for her birthday this year. After sorting my fabric and deciding that I could, in fact, do without some, I gave it to her and let her keep her own stash in my sewing room. We set up our machines and sew at the same time. It's awesome and today, when we were sewing together, she said: Mom, this is great, huh? I completely agree!

Mousy Brown said...

As quilting is something new to me I can't really comment exclusively about that but my two boys (nearly 8 and nearly 12) have always loved being involved in any creative activities I do. I tend to agree with Marielle and get them their own tools etc if I can, they each have their own yarn, knitting needles and crochet stuff. They both love to use my sewing machine and I am happy to let them with supervision(I still remember sewing my mums fingers into a dress when I was learning!)I must admit it sometimes kills me when they want to use my favorite vintage fabrics but I look on it as a good lesson in letting go :)
The result is little men who are happy to make their own play costumes and toy bed clothes and the joy of weekend mornings sat in bed with three of us busy knitting - I just hope their wives appreciate it all when they grow up!

Trudi said...

My kids are 16 and 12 now, both have spent happy days, stash diving and pulling fabrics for quilts they have made with supervision. My daughter used to spend hours in my sewing room with me playing with fabric, laying FQs all over the floor at the age of 2 or 3. Get them involved, they soon find other things as they grow but I think creative play is good for them at all stages of life.

Cynthia said...

I have 4 kids, 8,6,3 1/2, 1. The littlest just gets into everything so I try and keep everything out of his reach but he does sit on my lap occasionally when I am sewing. The older three can play with fabric. The oldest two recently were given the box of scrap squares and they each designed their own quilts, helped with the piecing. I showed them how to quilt and they quilted their little quilts. They needed supervision but they had a blast designing and creating. I will ask my 8 yo daughter for fabric advice sometimes when I am stuck. My husband just smiles and gives advice when I am stuck. He loves my EQ5 program because he no longer has to do the math for me! I find time to quilt and sew whenever I can. I am much more productive when the kids are otherwise engaged though.

Diane said...

My girls are 12 & 15. They give input on my fabric choices and if made to will cart my selections in the quilt store to the cutting table. I have tried to get both of them interested in actually sewing and neither have any interest at all. The oldest 'tried' to but could not force herself to actually do it, so I now have a lovely set of materials ready for a modern sampler that she chose and I get to make :)

Amy said...

I don't have a choice - any sewing I get done gets done while watching/playing with my toddler. I find it most useful to give him some of his own stuff to play with - some scraps and tape usually - and have him think he's helping. We don't usually get too far - which is why I'm so far behind on my holiday crafting!

CitricSugar said...

I don't have kids so I can not yet relate.

BUT your wallflowers look really amazing against that red wall. Twisted Goods??

Jessica said...

I don't have any kids, but I did grow up creating along side my mother and grandmother--such great memories (though I'm sure they'll say I made the process a lot longer and more challenging!)

jacqueline said...

This is wonderful and your little ones are so cute! Thanks for making me smile with this lovely post! Oh yes i adore your wall flowers too! Hope you had a good thanksgiving and i would like to give thanks to you for being such an inspiration and providing me this lovely learning place to quilt! Have a lovely merry happy weekend and love to yoU!

elle said...

As a new grandmother, I have a lock high on my sewing room door. I have gotten out of the habit of putting upand away, all those sharp things. But I sure do hope to have company when I'm 'playing'. At this point the 20 month old grandson is more interested in being with the grand farmer and in twirling the dials on my sewing machines than sorting my fabrics. But I will be setting aside some drawer space for 'little' projects; my mixed media supplies are at the ready, but up high. I do I have a special file for 'kids' with all kinds of inspiring and fun projects! But in return for playing with my stuff I expect that they share their creativity. Seems like a win/win situation to me! But you are right, don't turn your back! 8)

Sew It Up! said...

I started my kids early with crafts. Lots of coloring books, construction paper, stick glue and all other little nick-nacks. I still have ornaments they created when they were 3.

My daughter, who is 10, has my creating gene. Cymone goes in and out of my sewing room all the time, as long as she follows a few rules. She knows that once she is done she has to put things away. Not to touch the rotary cutter and no food/drinks allowed. She'll ask my opinion about her project or when she gets stuck on some math. Sometimes I walk in and it looks like a tornado struck! But the end results are great! We get to bond when we are both in there. I'll ask her opinion on things I'm creating. She is into hand embroidery for the moment so there is floss here and there through out the house.

My son, well, I tried to get him interested. He started a quilt but quickly realized it wouldn't be finished in an hour. So he gave up. Jonah creates with his Legos. He'll make these towers and space ships. It's too cool.

I hope this helps you. :o)

brown robin said...

Oh, me, oh my! I have a whole (unpublished) post about fabric scraps and my kids. It doesnt' get better than letting them play in the middle of it all.... of course, there's the clean up.

Elizabeth Cranmer said...

that is a brilliant idea for a book! you need to talk to my friend Stephanie her blog is
http://a-mama-drama.blogspot.com/
She is all about your school of thought, you two would be famous friends! Check her out, connect, throw ideas around.

Old School/New School Mom said...

This is hysterical! I love how she really wants to protect daddy from the monsters by covering him with fabric.

SuzyQSparkles said...

I've always allowed my boys in my sewing room with me, but usually given them their own entertainment. My oldest (now 7) has had his own machine (and supplies) since his 3rd BDay... he wanted a machine and had been on my lap at the machine since birth.

My youngest (now 5) is just starting to get interested in quilting, though he's always been interested in the machines and tools themselves.

Both boys have always loved fabric and since they could walk, well behaved boys usually came away from a quilt shop with their own fat quarter... which has been (generally) stored separately from Mom's fabric.

I give my youngest scraps (like selvages and raw edges) and he sometimes sneaks in and takes a favorite piece of fabric, which I later discover hidden in his room.

Even though I have boys, I've always involved them as much as they want in participating in sewing and quilting. I don't let them have free-reign, but do get their input. This, no doubt, comes from my brother and husband both owning (and using) sewing machines as bachelors. Sewing is a great skill to have, and I often tell my hubby we should be happy to have a Calvin Klein or Tommy Hillfinger (ie: high-end designer) for a son! ;)

Oh yeah... I give my boys a smooth dressmakers roller (for marking carbon on fabric/paper) as a toy rotary cutter... they love it and can practice the technique without fear of injury.