Unique baby quilts for the next generation don’t just materialize without time spent and hard work.
Time needs to be spent teaching the next generation to ensure that they will preserve the beautiful art of quilting.
As a wide-eyed 8-year-old, I recalled the days of standing next to my grandmother’s quilt frame. I watched her and my aunts ply the needle over those colorful quilt blocks. I would wait for a chance or long-waited opportunity to place a few of my own stitches into the quilt.
I remember the joy of those hours spent threading needles for Grandma as she chatted and sewed with the ladies. This was the beginning of learning to make my own handmade baby quilts. I also learned to make other types of quilts for family, friends, charity, to sell, and of course, myself.
Today, when my granddaughters come to visit, I share my love of how to design and make baby quilts. My oldest granddaughter has proudly made her first quilt for herself and has now made others for the Linus Project. Through this program, I want the girls to not only learn the art of quilting, but to give of their talents to others.
Part of this art is learning to use a sewing machine safely and to care for one. So, I bought the eldest granddaughter her own machine.
Lessons learned from my grandmother have stood the test of time and now have become valuable tools of my trade. I take joy in passing these skills on to my granddaughters. Teaching children how to pin pieces together, storing and using quilting equipment are basic skills. We can introduce these at an early age.
Children should learn how to cut and carry scissors right from the start. Teaching a young child to use sewing snips or to never cut paper with Grammie’s sewing scissors might be a great starting point!
Since pins should be stored in separate containers or pin cushions, a new little quilter should to learn the differences. For example, what’s the difference between curved safety pins or straight pins? How should you hold them safely, and where do they belong in the sewing cabinet?
Having children sit on our lap and sew blocks together builds a desire to want to learn more. They look forward to the next time they visit with Grammie.
The time spent teaching the next generation or introducing them to safety features of sewing is a quilting grandmother’s dream.