Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Starting them young...

I figured it was high time I posted about our July 4th picnic, seeing as it was almost two weeks ago... Remember the sweet girls I posted about after Memorial Day who put my scraps to excellent use? Well, they're baaaaa-aaack (you were supposed to read that in a creepy Poltergeist voice). It was wicked hot here, and I wasn't exactly chomping at the bit to be outside until it was a little bit cooler. And since two little seven year olds high-tailed it to my sewing corner to dig through my waste basket for scraps I saw an opportunity and swooped in. I had emptied the can the night before, forgetting about their odd interest, so I strategically placed my actual scrap box nearby. I told them they could have ANYthing they wanted from it. There was so much in there that was too cute to throw away but I had no idea what I would ever use it for. Apparently they had no such concerns because they dug right in:

They cut up larger pieces so they could each have some and kept everything neat in their little baggies. It was really adorable to overhear their little conversations: "Look--these match nice because they're so different" and "I like how this one looks like a stamp." I'd make a great seven year old because these are the kinds of thoughts I have. Then came the question I was waiting for: "How do you connect fabrics if you don't know how to sew?" I told them "Why, you learn to sew of course!" So I gave my first official sewing lesson. I helped them thread their needles (and spent the rest of the day tying knots for them, lol) and taught them the very basic up-down motions of sewing. They contented themselves with their own rough style of applique for a little while, making little mosaics and collages. They were very good about keeping tabs on their needles (my feet say thank you, girls :) 

I have no idea what I'm doing leaning over in such a position. You can see some pins and glue sticks have been added in this pic, as well as another dog toy (Charlie loooooves to get involved in whatever you're trying to do on the floor--pin a quilt, add fringe to an afghan, play with scraps...)

 In this picture I know exactly what I'm doing. I'm sitting there trying to not say "No, no, do it this way" or to impose any of neurotic perfectionism upon them. Part of learning and creating is letting it just happen and flow--but it's hard not to butt when I'm so good at it (just ask my sisters).

They sat there and did this all day. Literally. They made what looked like pin cushions, they tied longer pieces together to make bracelets, all kinds of little things. I have a stuffed "fish" hanging on the lamp on my sewing desk. I'm thinking that friendship bracelets would have been an easier endeavor with more rewarding results to teach them, but then I remembered that I was never very good at those things and  I have to figure those out before I hand them a bunch of string, because that would just be asking for trouble.

The next morning the little one in the white t-shirt came over with her Pop-Pop (who was helping my dad clean up outside). She had gotten up early, traced a saucer, and used some Christmas tree snow (pretty much the same as fiberfill) to make a little pillow:

Her stitches were so even and cute (I'm thinking Grandmom helped a bit :) She said she is going to keep the needles and pins I gave her in it so she doesn't loose it. I always feel slightly jealous of people who don't "know" how to do things, so to speak. I think that sometimes when you know something and endeavor to learn whatever you can about it that you can get a little restricted by so many "rules." But you give some things to people unencumbered by such rules and the sky's the limit. I need to start thinking more like a seven year old...

If you were looking for normal picnic photos, I'm sorry to say I've got none. It was just way too hot to be hanging around outside and I had important lessons to teach. However, if you're interested in seeing how our summer picnics go down you can click here and here.

On a side note - I'm trying to change up the look of my blog so if it looks a little wonky in the sidebars I apologize--I'm still figuring out the column widths (which apparently means different things to different computers - I should just go for it and get a blog makeover).

Back soon with my red and white quilt blocks!


  1. What a lovely way to spend the day! How sweet of you to let others get into your scraps too! But honestly, Bethany, you look like one of the little girls sitting there on the floor!
    Have a nice day and good luck on changing around your blog's look - always an adventure!

  2. Imagine what they'll be able to create in a few years!!! I love that you have the patience to teach them things!! I wish I had it!!
    And I've been noticing the changes of your look!!! I LOVE it !!!

  3. Oh I think the lessons that just happen when you go with the flow of the kids are the best and they'll always remember them!
    found you through creating success around the world, thanks!! :o)

  4. How cute! I interned at a kindergarten before and I taught the little kids crafting so I kinda know what you mean about kids doing stuff their way and just having a good time without rules about raw stitches! How brave of you to share your sewing machine. I would never let anyone use mine. Way before I had my Janome, I had a Singer which I lent to someone and it came back broken.

  5. Cute!! Why did you blur the girls faces?

  6. Great way to spend the day with your kids! My girls love playing around with my scraps - and I'm always amazed at their imagination and what they come up with!

    Love your blog - I'm following you now!

    Thanks for linking to the Creating Success Worldwide blog hop!! Hope you'll come back again next week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success



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