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This past Friday our grandchildren spent the day with us, girl 9 y.o. and boy 7 y.o. I decided my grand-daughter should learn to sew on the machine; she was delighted. Needless to say I didn't think my grandson should also learn; he and Papa (my DH) went to see great-grandma. I started teaching her like my dear Mom taught me, my 4 sisters, and every girl who joined 4-H sewing. First, she sewed on lined paper with no thread; she soon graduated to a scrap of fabric and thread following the edge of the fabric. She caught on quickly and made 2 quilts for Webkins in a checkerboard 2 fabric pattern. Yesterday she called me, "Nana, I have an idea. How about every Friday I get off the schoolbus at your house and we can sew." Novel idea; great! Now I need project ideas for a 9 y.o. girl to sew; I tho't of pillowcases and flannel lounge pants. If anyone else has any ideas, please comment. Thanks and blessings.

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Comment by Kellie Daniel on January 19, 2009 at 5:11am
Hi June! My son made his first quilt at 7 years old. He loves to quilt and especially loved to pick out his own fabric. He made a simple four patch quilt with sashing and one border. He turned it and tied it to finish and even though he is now 11, he still keeps that quilt at the bottom of the bed. If you don't want to invest in new fabric for the quilt try walmarts 3.97/yd prints as i did, or for a scrappy quilt which my son made for his second project, let her go through your scraps and put fabrics together for each block. My son used so many different colors and patterns that i thought it was going to be hideous, but it turned out absolutely stunning. He has always had an eye for color, and now, when he reaches adulthood, I know he will be able to sew on his own buttons and mend rips.
Comment by Karen on January 18, 2009 at 7:16pm
Oh, this brings back such wonderful memories. My daughters had (still have) a wonderful grandmother that taught them to sew after school. My oldest really didn't keep doing it, but my youngest did. Now they are both married and still talk about sewing at grandma's house. My youngest did a project of making tea towels with grandma. She learned how to hem them and also embroidery. I hope I get a granddaughter someday to sew with. If not, I may just teach my grandson! Fridays are going to be so special!
Comment by Anne from Maine on January 18, 2009 at 6:51pm
Hi June!
I also have an 8 year old grandaughter who is interested in learning to sew. In the Fall I helped her make pillowcases for herself and her brother and she was hooked. A trip to Joanne's to pick out her own fabric was an important part of that project.
Over Christmas vacation she wanted to make "one of those blanket things" for her new American girl doll so we sewed 12 charms quares together and put fleece on the back. She machine quilted it herself and it came out fine... a little crooked,but heck it was for a doll and she is learning! Highlights of that project included her reaction when I told her she needed to press the seams with an IRON. Guess that was her first experience with an iron! She also didn't understand that the "layers" needed to be held together and thus learned a bit about quilting.
Nice experience and she is now planning her next project at Grammy's.
These are special times kids remember!

We all need to start them early and keep our craft alive!
Perhaps a pillow would be a good project next? Or how about a simple patchwork tote bag? I'd recommend the pillowcases though.
Do you need directions?There are some good ones online at the site where you make pillow cases for kids with cancer. Let me know if you need the website.

Loved your post! Have fun with that precious grandaughter!! Wish mine lived close enough so that we could sew every Friday afternoon.
Anne in Maine
Comment by Debbie Snyder/WA on January 18, 2009 at 6:18pm
June: Yea for you! What a precious gift you can share with your grand daughter. What a precious gift she is sharing with you. I have boys but they learned to sew when they were small and it was still cool/fun. Anyway, I have a few patterns on my website that are drop dead easy. There's a childs' apron pattern that we used at our local shop for beginning sewing classes for kids. Also, I have some tablerunners that you and I could make in an evening after dinner and dishes. It may be a 2-3 day after school project for your granddaughter. Please feel free to visit my website at www.sewsimplepatterns.com and look at the Child/Youth Apron, Little Sunday Apron and sometable runners. I love to encourage our youth to sew/quilt so I have "purchase one and get one free" for all kids learning to sew. I did this for a girls cooking/sewing camp in Idaho last summer and each girl went home with their own apron. (they were thrilled) If you're interested email me through my website and I'll tell you how you get the one free pattern. Good luck and have a great time with your grand daughter.
PS. there is also a pattern out there that uses color crayons. I don't know the pattern name but maybe someone at your local shop will know of it. It's fun for kids too. If I find it I'll let you know.

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