May Toddler Sewing Club

Come sew with us!  
Join us for our final Toddler Sewing Club of the year.  At this fun event, we'll be reading summertime stories and stitching up a cute sunglasses case complete with a pair of fun  shades! 

Tuesday, May 12, 9am
Open to kids ages 2-4 and their parents

Heart in Hand Quilt

My first school auction quilt - Heart in Hand.  I am so proud of the work that these sweet second graders did.
We have a big class this year, 54 students.  The kids got into embroidering the outline of their hands.  We used soap to trace the hands which they thought was quite clever.
 After their hands were stitched, a heart was added using heat-n-bond lite.  Then, the kids embroidered around the heart.
The fabric is this amazing blue hombre and the print is by Jenean Morrison.  We wanted a theme and fabric colors that would appeal to both boys and girls and be cute and nice, but not too cutesy.  This was a hard task, but I think we achieved it!
We also added a few school touches with some anchors, our school emblem, and the kids' names are professionally embroidered on the back.  The quilt was pieced and quilted by Sew Darla, a friend and amazing quilter.
The best part?  Finding your hand on the quilt!  I am so happy that this special quilt found a wonderful home.

Story Telling: Blog Party + Tutorial

 Yay!  So happy to be part of Carrie Bloomston's fabric release blog party.  As soon as I got a peek at Story, her new fabric line, I got all excited and was inspired to tell my own.

While Story can be used to create amazing quilts and bags, it is also fabric that appeals to kids in a BIG way.  It invites creativity and play.  It's the perfect kid-friendly fabric.

When the package of fabric arrived, my kids got excited too.  What was this wonderful fabric with colorful images and words?  And could they play with it?  Yes, yes!  Phoebe was taken by the images and immediately began to write her own fabric story appliquéing images and writing a silly love story that only a ten-year-old can tell.

I had fun playing with it too.  I stitched up this cute My Very Own Skirt from Sewing School.  A sweet house pocket and dog stuffie was a must!

I also couldn't resist making a Quiet Play mat where images and words from the fabric can be used to tell stories again and again.  This project is from Sewing School 2.  You can make one too.  I'll show you how.
First, make a mat using a felt square backed with cute fabric.  I stitched a house pocket onto the felt square and added a loop of elastic at one end.  (detailed directions for this are in Sewing School 2.)
To make the felt-backed images, use Ultra Heat'n Bond.  I like to iron a large section of fabric onto the Heat'n Bond and then iron the whole thing onto another felt square.  If you've never used Heat'n Bond before, it's easy, just follow the package directions.
Now you can cut out the images and they will kinda-sorta stick to the felt mat.  You can move them all around and have a never-ending tale.
When you are finished playing, the pieces fit neatly into the pocket.
Time to go?  Roll up the mat and hit the road.  It's perfect for kids on the move!
Big thanks to Carrie for letting me be a part of her Story Party.  I know that when you get your hands on this fabric, you will have fun creating too.  Don't forget to share with the kids in your life - you'll be amazed by their stories!

Stop by Such Designs and enter to win a fat quarter bundle and a copy of her awesome book The Little Spark which I raved about here.  You should also stop by these other crafty sights for more Story fun.

* Official Story photos by Jill McNamara photography.

Summer Camp Time!

Summer Camp is where it all began!  I look forward to each summer where I can just sew with kids. Their wonderful imaginations and creative spirits never cease to amaze me!

This summer, I am excited to be teaching not only Sewing School camp, but also Urban Scout - a new camp that combines all that I love about teaching kids.
Sewing School Camp
June 8-12, 8-12
boys and girls, rising 1st - 8th
Grace-St. Luke’s Especial School Summerfest
Boys and girls will have fun creating original fabric projects including pillows, stuffed animals, clothing, embroidery, and more! Both hand and machine sewing skills will be taught.  This camp inspired the Sewing School books.  No needle experience necessary!

Urban Scout
June 22-26, 8-12
boys and girls, rising 1st - 5th
Grace-St. Luke’s Especial School Summerfest
A shout-out to city-dwelling kids to stop and take a closer look at their surroundings and appreciate the nature around them.  Campers will participate in a variety of traditional scouting activities such as knot-tying, gardening, camping, and sewing, all with an urban twist.  This camp is new this year and incorporates all that I love about crafting and learning with kids.
Hope to get the opportunity to create with your child this summer.  If you live far away or can't make it, don't worry, I'll be sharing all the best ideas here on the blog and on FaceBook.  

Toddler Sew: Lucky Pouch

 While this post is a week late, I had to show off the super cute Lucky Pouches we stitched up in our St. Patrick's Day Toddler Sew.  They were such a big hit, and open to variations.
 To begin, our wonderful librarians shared some favorite St. Patrick's Day themed books.
 The pouches are made of orange burlap cut into 6 inch squares.  I hot glued a sparkly shamrock on one side.  We used my favorite lacing strings and plastic needles.  Since we were sewing with a group, I had the pouches ready to go with the first stitch through both squares.
 First time sewers got some help from adults.  Holding the fabric taut and letting kids stick the needle between your hands makes toddler sewing easy.
Once the three sides were sewn, I added a little ribbon handle.  The kids loved putting a few lucky gold coins into their pouches!
At the end, we encouraged families to discuss ways that they are "lucky" and draw and write their ideas on shamrocks.  This is similar to being thankful at Thanksgiving.  I loved hearing the discussions about how the kids were lucky to have a big brother or sister, sweet pet, or warm home.
The pouch was so much fun to make with these fun toddlers!  It's a project we will repeat in the future!

I got some new craft books!

 What a happy day when the postman delivered these two new craft books to my mailbox this past week.  I had fun looking through them and gaining new inspiration and ideas for sewing camp.

First up is Annabel Wrigley's We Love to Sew - Gifts.  The newest book in her sewing books aimed at young girls, is filled with fun and useful ideas.  I am a big fan of her Little Pincushion Studio.  It's so fun to see what others are making with kids.
 I love this mirror - I can picture it hanging in a school locker.  It's also a good introduction to patchwork.
 These bowls are just too cute!  They are a wonderful use of scraps and I think kids would love sewing the rope.  I can't wait to make one myself.
 The instructions are clear and full of photos.  Just right for sewing with kids.

Next up, is Stitch Love by Mollie Johanson.  Her blog Wild Olive is a favorite of mine, and I am a proud member of her 50 States Club.  Her book is full of adorable animal embroidery patterns.
 Besides just having cute patterns, there are some clever projects such as this possum sachet.
 The embroidery patterns are simple, but filled with personality. Mollie gives clear directions for how to transfer patterns and different stitches.
 While written for adults, I am excited to share some of these patterns and ideas with my sewing campers this summer.  I know they will love them!
Happy sewing!

Neck Pillows for Spring Break

 It's time for Spring Break down here in the South and that means a road trip!  Last year in Sewing Club we made these great Travel Pillows.  This year, I was inspired by this cutie by Misako Mimoko to make Cozy Neck Pillows.
 Phoebe made hers with a little Lambie face, that turned out so cute!
 Most kids just had enough time to make a basic pillow.  I used this pattern.  Soft fabrics like flannel were a must!  For the younger kids, I precut the pillow shape so that they could focus on handsewing the two sides together.  We also made our hole for stuffing on the top of the pillow - much easier for kids, I found.
They also make awesome headbands!

Happy Spring Break!  Here's hoping for warmer weather soon!

Sewing Skirts with Girls

This weekend I had a marvelous time stitching up the My Very Own Skirt from Sewing School with a lovely group of girls at Sew Memphis.
 We took over every inch of space at the store to trace the patterns.  I love all the fabrics the girls chose.  I quickly learned that the fabrics also reflected their personalities.  Funny how that happens...
 A few moms stayed to sew with their kids making it a fun mother-daughter event.  My own daughter, Phoebe, also sewed with us that day!
Patiently using the machine, working through challenges, creating something new.  In a day and age where girls are putting pressure on themselves to be perfect and there is an emphasis on testing and grades, it's so nice to promote creativity.  When mistakes occurred, I problem-solved with them to see if there was a way to make a quick fix instead of taking out all the stitches and beginning again.  I encourage them to keep sewing and said, "No one will notice that when you are wearing it!" at least a dozen times.  Sewing should be about the process and the product.  They go hand-in-hand.

While only a few of the girls knew each other at the beginning of class, by the end, they were all fast friends.  I love how sewing does that!  The conversations about fabric choices, good sewing, how to use a bodkin, and where to wear their skirts was so much fun to overhear.  The older girls mentored the younger ones and everyone oohed and ahhed over the day's accomplishments.
 A few of the 9 girls were under 7 and a mom stayed to help them out.  These sisters had so much fun!  The youngest is 5 and was so proud of her skirt!
Of course the day ended with a big fashion show and I do believe that everyone went home wearing her skirt!  Funny how they all seemed to match their tops.

I always love teaching this class!  Teaching the love and fun of sewing with these girls is amazing.