Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric... Welcome to the Patriotic Quilter where I like to share all things quilty as well as red, white, and blue! Please feel free to look around and enjoy yourself! I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A First Quilt

Hi Everyone,

A week ago on Monday was a non-school day for my neice.  It was an actual SCHEDULED day off as opposed to a snow day.  Snow days for her are no fun as the school has elearning.  If there is a snow day, the students log onto the computer after 9 am and have school work to do--that way it counts as a day of instruction.  Therefore, she comes to my house and has to do school work.

Having a day off was a treat!  Finally we could do fun things like go out to lunch and shop, bake cookies, whatever.  We had to take my husband to the airport  in the late morning since he was gone for a few days last week.  That was okay, though, because we wanted to go to a restaurant for lunch which is located down by the airport.

First, though, she asked if she could finally learn to use the sewing machine.  With one thing or another, we haven't had a chance to play too much in my sewing room before now, so we went up there.  I decided to have her learn to use the machine and sew a quarter inch seam, so I got out my bin of 1.5" strips, choose two, and had her begin.  She was a bit afraid of speed with the machine, even though I had it on half speed, but she found her comfort zone--which was pretty slow, but that is fine.
I thought I would have her sew on another strip so we could examine how accurate her quarter inch seam is (if you sew a strip set of 3   1 1/2" strips, the middle one should measure exactly one inch) but I decided that since she is 9, we could just have fun for now.  I subcut her stip set into 1.5" strips, and we flipped half of them to make 4 patch blocks.  I showed her how to "nestle" the seams, so that the 4 patches meet perfectly in the center.  She wasn't much of a fan--she doesn't realize how valuable the "nestle" is yet!  She stiched up her little blocks, but she did have some trouble and so learned how to rip. (I did the rotary cutting, but had her sew, rip, and press.)  She actuallly liked ripping, so that was a plus.  When she was finished, she had 6 4-patch blocks that measured 2.5 inches.  I got out my 2.5" strips and let her choose one.  I cut it into 2.5" squares, and we laid out a pattern of alternating 4-patches and squares.  I showed her how to sew them together into rows and then sew the rows together into a piece.

We had to leave then to go to the airport and lunch.   After lunch, we shopped at Target for a bit and then we got back to my house.  She wanted to continue with her quilt.  She was happy with it the way it way, but I suggested a border.  She choose another strip from my bin and I cut the sections and she sewed them on.

Here she is with the finished top.

Once the borders were on, I showed her how to layer it with batting and backing and pin it.  I then did some quick meander quilting.  We went to my bin of leftover binding and she choose one.  I sewed the binding on, but she helped pin it with Wonder clips.

I sewed the binding down with the machine and her quilt was finished!

 I knew she was happy with it, but I didn't realize just how much.  She took it to school on Tuesday and showed her class.  Then she showed the Art teacher, and the Art teacher is going to put it in the display case at school for a while.

  Her are some close-ups.  I choose the fabric for the 4-patches just thinking it would be practise.  She choose the rest.  She loves blue!

I figure there will be plenty of chances for more detailed lessons later, until then she made a quilt!  I think she may be hooked!

I'm set to leave for the airport myself today  I'll be spending the week back in Virginia at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Fest.  I'm excited to see my friends again!

Have a great day!


  1. THAT is a GREAT idea having the e-learning. All schools should do that so that the kids don't have to worry about making up days at the end of the year. And what a wonderful aunt you are. She must really look forward to coming to your house. Great job by both of you and I know she's excited to have her quilt on display for all to see!! Have fun at QuiltFest!

  2. Wonderful--the next generation of quilters in the making. Her quilt is beautiful and her smile says it all. Keep encouraging her!

  3. I love that she wanted to make a quilt with you - I can tell that you are a great mentor by letting her choose the colors & fabrics that she wanted to use. I had each of my kids make a small quilt when they were young, but sadly none of them were terribly taken with quilting (sigh) Have a great time at QuiltFest!

  4. I don't know which was cuter, the quilt, or the big smile. Way to go! Another quilter in the making. And, good idea to make it fun and not too much about perfection. Be well. Lane

  5. I think she is very pleased - look at that face!! We have to remember with youngun's - not be too much of a teacher - keep it fun. Enjoy your trip

  6. What a wonderful shared experience and she does look very pleased!

  7. What a fabulous first time sewing experience for your neice Joanne, The mini quilt (and the smile!) is a darling. Hope you have a great time at Quiltfest!

  8. So neat to teach young people to sew - we need to keep it going. Love your name - spelled correctly - just like mine (TeeHee).

  9. What a wonderful project for your niece! She looks very proud, as well she should. It sounds like it was fun for both of you.

  10. What a fun memory for both of you! She will always remember the time you spent with her. So cute! Have fun in Virginia!

  11. How fun--she is going to remember making her first little quilt with lots of smiles!

  12. Great story! She did a wonderful job on her first quilt and what an honor to have it displayed at school.

  13. She did a beautiful job! It looks so great! Glad to see that the craft is being past down. How wonderful! And Kudos to her teacher for putting it on display!

  14. Oh, how much fun that is! I remember teaching my niece at her age. Unfortunately my niece is no longer into sewing (for now). Hopefully yours continues to grow to love it. In any case, it's fun to spend time with them isn't it?