Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Rainbow Connection

At some point I convinced myself it would be a good idea to try to teach 17 preschoolers how to use a sewing machine.  

(dramatic pause)

Joseph's wonderful teachers have always encouraged parents to come for some "family share" time, where someone talks to the kids about a career, culture, holiday, or just reads a few good books.  Last year I taught the kids about being a doctor, so this time around I thought I would share something more personal with them that I love - quilting.  I had so much "scrap" fabric lying around that I was wondering how to get rid of, and I also realized that if we could pull this off we'd have a unique item to donate to the school's annual auction next month.  

I got my inspiration from the thing I see every single time I walk into that classroom: 

 ........a bunch of little girls sitting around coloring rainbows.  With no particular plan of action I started cutting out small strips of fabric that I figured would be easy enough for them to sew into rows with straight lines.

I took a few minutes to talk to the kids about sewing and showed some examples of quilts before revealing the design I finally came up with.

If you enlarge the photo above you might get a better sense of the plan.  I was lucky that the strips I cut would work perfectly in this pattern I had bookmarked ages ago called "Sugar Pop & Change."

The kids were all ridiculously interested and eager to try!  Everyone wanted to be 1st but they were all patient working in pairs over the course of about an hour.  They got to pick their favorite color, arrange the pieces however they wanted, line up the edges, and put the pedal to the medal to make the machine go (while I tried to keep my fingers from getting punctured with a sharp needle).  Each of them got to sew together one row of 8 pieces that would be incorporated into the quilt top.

While we sewed we talked about colors, shapes, patterns, matching.....all kinds of fun stuff while Miss Kasia took pictures for me.  And in the process I got to know each of Joseph's friends a little bit better.

The other kids would do some free play when it wasn't their turn.  Here's what I see Joseph and the boys doing every time I show up in the classroom - face down on the floor playing cars, trains, trucks and dinosaurs.

Here's a good one just to wrap it up.  Even "tough guys" sew.  Andrew couldn't have worn a better shirt that day!

Of course even Joseph got a turn too.  His favorite color is blue, and he did a great job!  Not that I'm biased.

And we're well on our way to having a baby quilt or wall hanging to auction off next month, all with the Leopards' class help!


The Houston's said...

I am soooo impressed!!

Nadeen said...

SO Cool!!! I have to def check this site more often! Much more than what is on facebook :-)

Jacquelineand.... said...

This is an incredibly cool and inventive way to share with the kidlings! Ever heard of bubble quilts; they might be a fun project as well.

missy said...

what a great idea! wish i was half as talented and could bring a skill like that into jack's classroom...and to have something to auction off as well? FANTASTIC! :)

Jocie Z ROCK said...

i think you should start your own summer camp, zara would sign up!!!