Teaching My Son To Sew!

My son is 8 years old. He’s growing like a weed and venturing out into new and unexplored territory. This Spring he played baseball for the first time and he’s reading more and more.

It’s hard to believe that this baby…

102006 020

Is now this boy…

And after all the years of watching me sew, he’s now interested in it himself. After I brought my sewing machine home from the repair shop, he’s been very curious about the story behind it and what I use it for. He’s watched me repair his costumes and create mug rugs and now he’s ready to learn how to sew!

My favorite part of being crafty with him is watching how his mind works. Seeing how he picks his patterns and colors amazes me. Even without knowing much, he’s got a great eye for color. The end of the school year is upon us and as a gift to his teacher, we plan to make her a bag and a matching mug rug. So together we walked to the craft store and bought some fabric to make her an adorable reservable bag.

He’s a little antsy to get the whole thing started but I had to explain how we had to clean the fabric first and get all the prep work done. He wasn’t thrilled. When everything was ready and it was time to cut, he was STILL frustrated that he couldn’t sew yet. So we sat down to cut our strips for the mug rug.

I’m keeping that pattern simple. Just 2 inch strips sewn together with a simple border and binding and solid backing. I taught Jake how to hold the rotary cutter and how to measure out the strips using the clear ruler and our green rotary pad beneath. Math is a WONDERFUL thing to learn when doing a hands on project. Makes it much more easily understood plus it makes fractions fun.

My lefty

My lefty

At first I couldn’t figure out why the rotary cutter wasn’t working for him then I realized my lefty was angled wrong. He was cutting from the wrong side of the blade so I had him switch his position. Much better!

He did get frustrated more than once with the cutting. He would roll it along the ruler and it would skip across the fabric, only cutting here or there. I explained to him it takes pressure against both the ruler and the cutting pad to cut through the fabric from one end to the other. And then I explained that the time it will take to become good at all this won’t be in a matter of minutes but over a longer period of time. That for some it takes years. This seemed to ease his frustrations and he continued to work on it.

After cutting enough strips we pinned two together and set to work on the machine. He threaded the needle (!!) and took his time to sew a straight simple line. I was soooo proud!!!


And here he is with his first piece! It came together great and he did a fantastic job sewing and cutting. I plan to work a bit with him each day and to remind him that sewing isn’t an overnight project. It takes time and patience, something I hope he will learn to have more of. The side benefit, this project will hopefully strengthen his hand and eye coordination AND build his fine motor skills, an area in which he’s always struggled.

He may not be interested in sewing for long as all 8 year olds tend to jump from interest to interest but I’m thrilled to have someone to share my love of sewing with, even if it is only for the time being.

This mama is super proud!

Back In The Saddle

Hey fellow quilters! It’s been weeks, months, even YEARS since my last post. When I last checked in my boyfriend had proposed to me and we were celebrating our engagement. That was in November of 2012. Well, it’s now May of 2014 and we’re about to celebrate our first anniversary! Amazing how time flies!


In the time since we got engaged and got married, a lot has changed. We’ve rearranged the house and traveled. My son played his first season of baseball and he’s about to finish up his second grade year! And in all that time, I’ve not yet finished his quilt or started any new sewing projects. A little due to lack of time and also due to an issue with my machine.

My Good Ol' Girl

Kenmore-Sears 6 stitch.

My trusty ol’ girl got stuck and I couldn’t loosen it up. I did try to get some sewing done on my son’s quilt but my poor ol’ machine just didn’t want to work with me. So I wrapped her up and put her away for an undetermined amount of time.

Then I ran a race. Weird transition, I know. I run as a form of fitness and fun. In 2012 I ran 12 races and this year I’m at it again with a half marathon also in the mix. I also write about it on my running blog, Running With A Purpose. At a race recently with my husband, there was a booth at the finish line for sewing classes. Of course I was intrigued and it reminded me that my machine was in storage and not working. So I asked the ladies running this booth where they took their machines to be serviced. They gave me a name and an address. I tucked that flyer away for another day.

About a week ago we were going to the symphony and I remembered that flyer. The symphony happened to be held in the same city, only 3 miles away from this sewing machine shop. So I convinced the guys that we HAD to stop there and drop off the machine. We’d be right there so why not!?! And so we did! After the show was over we headed out the Pals Vacuum and Sewing Center to see what they could do for my poor, neglected machine. As I explained that my machine was 25 years old and had never been serviced (EVER!) they promised that they would check it for free and then call me with what needs to be done and that when I took her home, she’d be better than I ever remembered.

I was so excited! And only a few days later did I hear the good news! Nothing was wrong with my good ol’ girl, she was just gunked up and needed a good bath. And only for $90! These guys are in my phone now as my go-to machine shop and I haven’t stopped singing their praises.

Last night, after work, I picked up my son and we trekked out to PALs to pick up my machine. Low and behold, she’s good as new!!! Maybe even better than before! I brought her home and set her up in my new craft/makeup corner.

IMG_1119 She works great and fits nicely on this big ol’ desk we got from Ikea. There are even some shelves on the side where I can load up my stash to pull from when I’m working. At the back there is a hole that all my cords can drop down to a power strip so that everything is powered properly but you can’t see the mess of wires.IMG_1118

So pleased to have my machine working again and working better than ever. My crafting corner is clean and getting organized and I have space to work on all my projects, old and new. I guess the time away from sewing has given me a new sense of excitement and creativity.

I’ve got a quilt to finish and I’ve decided to try my hand at a gift for my son’s teacher so I’ve got a few projects on my mind. Can’t wait to start!