Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Maria's Quilt - a WIP

I've talked quite a bit about Venetia's sewing, so I think maybe it's about time I showed you something of Maria's sewing.

Maria is almost as keen as Venetia, but at only 4 she is obviously much more limited in what she can manage independently. And her attention span is a little more limited too!

But soon after we got the old, hand sewing machine, and after Venetia had started her doll's quilt, Maria was desperate to start her own project. So I sat down with her and we made a very simple purse from a single piece of wool...

A couple of the seams Maria managed by herself, and for others we sat next to each other and she wound the handle while I guided the fabric. Winding the handle is her favourite bit!

We sewed a wide bit of ribbon on for decoration...

And velcro for the opening...

It was easy and, importantly, quick. And Maria was very pleased with it and with herself.

So that satisfied her initial sewing desires, but it wasn't long before she started asking if she could make something else with me. And, predictably, the 'something' she wanted to make was a doll's quilt, like her big sister had. The run up to Christmas was all a bit hectic and I didn't manage to make time for it. But last week I decided I really needed to make it a priority, there had been too many 'not now, soon' type of answers.

So I gathered up some fabric scraps in our favourite colours (Maria - red and yellow, me - blue!) and came up with a plan. I wanted it to be something Maria could be as involved as possible in and also something we could do in short stages, whilst still giving Maria some satisfaction at seeing progress and having a good idea of what the end result would be like.

The obvious answer was a dolls quilt along the lines of the quilt I showed you last week:

Blog post here.

I cut out a plain white piece of fabric (from an old sheet remnant) and a yellow piece of an old wool blanket and I spray glued them together (trusty 505 spray).

Then the fun began. I gave Maria the fabric scraps I'd collected, a pair of sharp scissors (slight trepidation there!) and a tub for her to pop her 'shapes' into once she'd cut them.

She loved this! And managed surprisingly well.

Sorry, these pictures are very blurry! She wasn't keeping still for more than a second before moving on to the next 'shape'.
 One of the fabric scraps I'd found to use was an old top of hers from when she was a baby.

And I'm afraid I chickened out of letting her cut this up and did it myself! I also cut her an 'M' shape. The rest she did all by herself, but they were all smallish scraps which were very easy to snip.

Then she started laying them out on our white top...

If I'd been doing it myself I probably would have started in the middle and worked outwards, but she wanted to start in the bottom corner so we went with that. I pinned a few of the shapes down as she wanted and we started to sew - teamwork style! She worked the handle (usually extremely fast!) and I guided the fabric.

I asked Venetia to take a few photos for me - but I'm afraid they're even more blurry than that last lot. A 4 year old really can get up a good speed on that handle!

We haven't got that far yet, but Maria is really enjoying it. She can see the progress and it's fun for her each time we do some work on it, because she gets to choose where she puts her shapes. And it's really easy to do just a little bit at a time - a couple of the shapes is less than 5 minutes sewing. Perfect for her and, probably more to the point, easy for me to squeeze in with her - maybe when tea is in the oven or even just before bedtime.

She's also keen to have some of the shapes as 'flaps' or 'pockets', as I did with the quilt I made. So far she wants an elephant, a heart and a flower to be hiding behind these flaps/pockets. Not sure whether I'll have to do these a bit more on my own or whether she'll be able to help with them just as much. We'll see as we get further into it, it's very much a work in progress at the moment.

And that ties in well with a lovely blog I've recently discovered - Freshly Pieced. There's a regular 'WIP Wednesday' feature over there, so I'm linking my post up there today. If you have a moment then go and have a look at some of Lee's beautiful completed quilts and have a browse through some of the WIPs from today.

That's it from me, I'll be back again tomorrow, Sally.


  1. Oh! how sweet is this post! ou are a very patient saintly mom! So much fun!

    1. Most of the time patient, but definitely not saintly! Thanks for coming and looking, and taking the time to comment.

  2. Great job wonderful to see little people at the sewing machine. Gorgeous

    1. Thank you, they love it and it's great to see them enjoying it and having something to show for it at the end. I think they're beginning to see the end product gives sewing a big advantage over television/computers. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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