First off, I am not an Austin Powers fan, not even in the slightest! However, I do love “Mini Me!” (Silver lining in every cloud). Sunday was a Mini Me day. Each of the grandkids will be displaying quilts in our local quilt show in May, it is their choice, they are not forced to do this. I am a firm believer that kids can do pretty much anything to some degree.
Little Toot’s adventure began at an early age, here she is working on the featherweight to help momma make Aunt Jess’s wedding quilt. She is 1 in these photos!
At age 3 I taught her how to use my embroidery machine. She would choose her design, select the threads and was able to rethread the machine for each thread color change. All I had to do was hoop the fabric and set up the design.
She put a design on a shirt for Grandpa! He still wears this shirt!
She had her first quilt in our local show when she was 4.
It is important that they do as much of the project themselves as is safely possible. I chose prairie points for the quilt because a 4 year old can fold a square to make a triangle and then fold it again, now they may have gotten straightened out a little bit when I ironed – but she did it! We also used glue AND pins so as she sat on my lap and pushed the go button and pulled pins I didn’t have to worry about the fabrics slipping. For this quilt we did it on the domestic machine, not the LongArm so she could participate by helping guide the fabric under the walking foot.
She wanted butterflies, I asked how we would do that, she pointed at a stencil I have on my wall and said “with that” I showed her to mark the design and then I quilted it (no easy feat for me on the domestic!)
All of the blocks in this quilt below were machine embroidered by Little Toot, starting at age 3. She chose placement of the blocks and all of the coordinating fabrics.
She sewed the blocks together and when she had long rows to sew together I sat behind her and helped with keeping the fabric feeding straight. I had planned another border around the outside, but, said she was done with the top – OK! This is her quilt!
Once the top was done we headed to our local quilt shop for some fabric for the backing and binding. Grandpa commented that he was surprised there wasn’t something in my stash that would work – I reminded him that this was her quilt and all of the fabrics for the top did come from the stash! At the shop Miss Sally was very helpful, but in the end the decision was up to Little Toot! She went with her first choice! (even though she had auditioned at least 20 fabrics)
Here is her quilt and a few of the photos (not the most flattering of me – but that is life!)
Once we returned from fabric shopping, she realized she was going to quilt this quilt all by herself! I asked what she was going to quilt on her quilt, she said butterflies, I asked how she would do that. She showed me on the whiteboard, then I said OK – now draw that design without the pen leaving the board – that is how it will work on the quilt machine. Then we practiced for a few minutes on a piece of muslin – then MAGIC! I was STUNNED! I was AMAZED! I was reminded of the shear pleasure of whimsical quilting and quilting just for fun!
Don’t be so busy making a living that you forget to have a life! Enjoy these moments, they can be gone in the blink of an eye! Create those memories, for in the end that is what it is all about!