Teaching Kids to Quilt

Doll Quilt Lessons

Giggles and squeals of glee have filled my studio this week, as I’ve been teaching sisters, ages 8 and 10, how to make a doll quilt. I’ve included my little guy as well, and they’ve been having a delightful time. I’ve told them all they’re getting speeding tickets for sewing so quickly with the machine, and they think that’s a hoot, needling each other with, “Don’t get a speeding ticket!” when it’s someone else’s turn at the machine.

Doll Quilt Top

Doll Quilt Top Two

I’ve taught my own boys how to sew, but this is the first time I’ve taught other people’s children. I also homeschooled my boys for three years, so I have a lot of experience teaching kids as well as adults. Here are my tips for teaching young children how to piece at the machine:

  • throw accuracy out the window. Having fun and being proud of their accomplishment is more important, and you want them to do this again. Don’t sweat matching seams.
  • let them practice sewing a straight seam and getting used to the foot pedal.
  • take the time to explain the right and wrong sides of the fabric. This really takes some time to understand.
  • show kids the big picture by telling them the overall process before you begin. I explained making a quilt top as putting together a puzzle with fabric pieces, then we would be making a quilt sandwich with fabric and batting.

I knew the day had been a success when I heard groans from the munchkins when I said it was time to stop for today; tonight my son confided,

“Mom, all I want to do is quilt!”

Watch out world for the next generation of quilters. They’re armed with fabric, sewing machines, and lots of giggles.