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Monday, 24 January 2011

Tips on Tuesdays! -> Children in the Sewing Room

Hi!  Welcome back to Tips on Tuesdays.  This week, the theme is our children.  Please add your tips to the comments section below for everyone to read.

 
I've noticed that so many avid quilters in blogland tend to be stay at home moms.  Being creative and productive while caring for our children makes us pretty handy multitaskers.  I think of the special day where once per year you are supposed to "take your kids to work".  Here it's 24/7.

I have three kids, and they love to watch me make things.  They are my biggest fans.  They also love to create, play, and hang out with me.  Here's a little list of things that make them happy.

1.  Using the lower half of the design wall for a flannel story board!  My daughter will sit for hours with all the Little Bear characters I made her.  She also has planets and some weather pieces.  Older kids can cut out their own little clothing items to dress up flannel dolls.  Lengths of yarn will stick too.  They can make their own pictures.  You can get flannel alphabets, or make simple shapes.  The list is endless.  They also like to arrange scraps and pretend they are designing their own quilt.



2.  Pins.  I know - 'bad mom'.  But my kids love to pass me pins when I'm basting.  They also love to move all the dress pins from one pincusion to another, one at a time.  I have 200 pins.  This is my 4 year old's favorite activity.  Now that I don't have toddlers in the house, this is okay with me.

3.  Scrap dress up.  I have a lot of long strips.  The kids have discovered that if you tie one end to the back of your pants, you can have a tail.  They know where the strips are, and they chose the right tail for the right animal.  Bigger pieces end up as capes or bonnets or blankets for stuffies & dolls.


4.  Folding and sorting and rolling.  You know, some kids just love to organize.  There's a certain age where a child loves to arrange by color, and feels very proud after folding a whole stack of fabric squares all on their own, or rolling binding.  And how can I not love that too?  : )


5.  The Spiderweb!  Give your boy a ball of yarn or string and see what he does with it.  One of mine strung it back and forth all over the stair railings.  It was a giant spider web, and he filled it with plastic bugs.  It was so awesome.  My other boy took cheap red yard and did the same to our entire back yard.  I'm sure the neighbors think we are strange, but it's so much fun for kids to unwind and see just how far that ball of yarn can go.  They also made a zipline for their rescue heroes.  Hours of fun!

So, moms (and grandmothers), what do your kids do in the sewing room?  ***Do you have your own memories of being a child in a sewing room?  Got any crafts or games with sewing room supplies?  Let's hear your ideas!

~Monika K.

15 comments:

Becky said...

hee hee! My sewing room is also the dining room, so they eat! It's actually our big main room, that includes the kitchen, and living room too, so we all hang out together there all the time anyways, watching TV, playing on the computer, etc... When they were younger, I'd give them different colors of embroidery floss, a big needle, and piece of white fabric or a white T-shirt to sew pictures on. My 2 boys are both tweens, so they're not as interested as they used to be, but they've made the no sew pillows that you tie, regular pillows, "Gods Eyes", and even a quilt (with just a wee bit of help, made from pre-cut charm squares).

Molly said...

oh yah! my mom sewed pretty much all of the time (except in the evenings, when she knit). she did have three daughters to dress after all! i remember sitting by the sewing machine with my darning needle and some thread, some scraps of fabric, sewing, sewing...i even had my own little ironing board and iron - that even plugged in and got warm! wow! don't think they'd allow that sort of toy now....
cheers
molly

Christie, Describe Happy said...

These ideas and comments all make my heart warm!

No kiddos here, just the dog... and I often find her picking up my bits of fabric on the floor and bringing them to me (she is a retriever afterall). I do have a 5 year old niece who I would love to get into all things fabric and yarn. And she is a really good help when you are rolling balls of yarn!

a little bit biased said...

Oh there are lots of great ideas here. Love the flannel board and the scrap/dress up ideas! Well, I either have my kids bring their coloring stuff in to my sewing room or their cars and play in there with me while I sew. The other day they were playing with THEIR OWN fat quarters that we've collected. I gave my oldest some graph paper and told him to start drawing a design he could make with his fat quarters.

Janice said...

I hate to say it, but I probably own every fabric scrap from every sewing project I've ever made. Plus a lot of the fabric my deceased mom owned. When I'm sewing, my girls always want to sew too, so they dig through the scraps and make pillows or doll clothes or stuffed animals. My sewing machines is very basic and sturdy, and I even let them use it. They started by practicing following straight and curved lines I wrote on paper. The've now learned how to thread the machine, fill bobbins, etc, but of course there's been many mistakes.

I'm amazed at how creative and stylish my oldest daughter's creations are.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't tell you how many hours I spent in my grandma's sewing room! We LOVED her jars of buttons. My sisters and I would sort them, stack them, trade them, flick them across the floor, etc. etc. Pins and pincushions were also a big hit. When we got older she helped us make little things from her scraps like pencil cases, change purses and the like. I miss my Grandma!
- Jesica

Nancy said...

My granddaughter loves to play on my design wall when she visits, so grandpa took a lightweight piece of wood and we covered it with batting...then I got a baggie and filled it with all different size and shapes of scraps. She took it home and loves to play with it...

Rachel Hauser said...

My little boy has been making spiderwebs with yarn in his room during rest time. So fun to see!

Anonymous said...

When my granddaughter was about 3 years old she loved to sit on my lap as I sewed. She was instructed to keep her little fingers tucked safely in her lap. One day I was piecing some small bits for a quilt top. As I licked my fingers to align the pieces of fabric, she asked, "Can I taste it too?"
Too bad her interest didn't last. :(
Joyce

Rachel said...

Just found your blog today and enjoying exploring.
I also have three kids and do stay at home with the youngest. Letting them use the design wall to play is a wonderful idea and I am totally going to copy it!
My sewing room is quite large and we are fortunate enough to have a piano, rocking chair and bay window all in one space. My oldest son practices piano while I sew some days. My daughter likes to sit in the rocking chair or window and read her books. Usually my four year old will bring his toys in or do what the older ones are doing at the time. Funny, even my husband will hang out with me sometimes.

Heather said...

When my kids were little and I wanted to sew, I would get out my button collection. I had big blunt needles, threaded with extremely heavy thread, to which I would tie a button on the end. They could spend a lot of time, sorting and threading the buttons (all the time, working on their fine motor skills too).

My Sweet Prairie said...

Ooh! I never thought about sewing/stringing buttons! Great idea! Yeah - we call them "kid needles". : )

Thanks everyone for great stories, ideas, and memories. What a great topic! Keep em coming if you are just joining in...

~Monika
very grateful
: )

felicity said...

What great ideas, especially the design wall as felt board! My daughter looooves her felts so that's a super idea. I also let her go through and "sort' my scraps.

emedoodle said...

Great ideas!!
My daughter is 2 1/2 and I mostly sew while she's asleep. That keeps my parenting time in check (otherwise I'd sew all day I'm sure!). She has no siblings and isn't quite to the point of being able to entertain herself in the sewing room. She loves it there, but usually gets into trouble. Soon I'll be working on getting her to be able to be more independant with crafts (even with not coloring on EVERYTHING with crayons would be a start). I love the felt board ideas, but I don't have a design wall... maybe that's a good idea to make one!

Lee said...

Sorry I'm so late to this! Just getting caught up on my blogging now. You've got some great ideas here! I never even thought of having my kids play with my design wall, but I'm definitely going to try that with my 4-year-old.

My daughters just love my scrap basket. They will take the scraps out and just arrange and rearrange. Sometimes my older daughter and I will even talk about why she put certain scraps in certain spots. I like that it's already getting her thinking about color and design!

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