Open Line Friday–Kids and Quilting

Teaching Kids to Quilt

Good Morning, Quilters!

Here’s a sad fact…

Not one of my five daughters (all adults) knows how to run a sewing machine!  I wouldn’t hand any of them a rotary cutter…

They all dabble with hand stitching, and love to design quilts and pick fabric…

Based on the grammar school art above, there was a weak attempt at some point…but they were so busy with soccer, swimming and softball.

What about YOU?

Do YOUR children sew or quilt?

What did YOU do to encourage a hobby?

Who taught YOU to quilt/sew?

How old were YOU when you started quilting and sewing?

We’d love to hear!



PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at  Thanks!


81 thoughts on “Open Line Friday–Kids and Quilting

  1. My mom wanted to buy me a sewing machine, and I said, I am never going to sew because I am going to marry a rich man! Stupid teenager. When I married my husband we had nothing, and I do mean nothing, I taught myself to sew mostly. In fact, when I was making a lovely silk blouse my mom fused some interfacing to the front and ruined it. I knew then I had surpassed her skills at that moment. I started sewing because I wanted cute clothes for my baby daughter. Quilting came later and I rarely make clothing anymore.

  2. I have 2 daughters and they both sew and quilt. I’ve been teaching my grandchildren to sew. It’s so cute to see a 4 year old put the foot on a step stool and sit and say they are making a quilt. When I taught my daughter’s to sew they were making dresses for themselves and if there were mistakes I did the ripping. Didn’t want them to get discouraged before they were hooked!

  3. My mom sewed all my clothes when I was growing up but she wouldn’t teach me to sew so I taught myself. By the time I was 10-11 I could make pretty much anything using a pattern. I sewed clothes and crafty things until this year when my 11-yr old daughter asked me to teach her to sew. Once she learned to use her machine and had made several beginner items she wanted to learn to quilt, so now we are learning together. Sometimes I wish I’d have taken up quilting earlier in life (I’m 55), but I love that my daughter and I are having this experience together now!

  4. How coincidental that you chose this subject for today’s discussion…one of my quilt guild friends posted this link in our guild’s Facebook page today:
    Interesting article about that very subject.

    Linda also mentioned something I was unaware of: Quilters Newsletter is ceasing publication this fall! I am devastated as that is my favorite quilting magazine, because there are so many articles on a variety of topics, including news of quilting around the world. I’m an AQS member and I like their magazine (especially the “My Line” articles!) so I’m hoping they will add more quilting news content.

  5. I’m teaching my son who just turned 8 to sew and his first quilt is entered in MQX in the kids division. It’s fun to see him so excited about it. I learned to sew at my mother’s feet when I was 8.

  6. My three sons aren’t interested in sewing, but my youngest did help me design a quilt for him when he was 11 (and even gave me a deadline! It was done by his 12th birthday as requested). I picked up sewing from my mother, and then quilting from my mother-in-law.

  7. My mother started teaching me to sew doll clothes when I was 4 years old, then I was making my own clothes by the age of 10. My aunt (my mothers older sister) had 2 boys and liked to make fancy clothes for me. I never had any purchased clothes until I was in high school and made money babysitting.

  8. Neither of my daughters wanted to learn to sew as children or adults. I learned to sew in school. At that time girls took homemaking starting in 7th grade and boys took shop, oh how I wanted to us power tools! My mother made my clothes but did not enjoy sewing so as soon as I learned how to use a pattern I made my own. Don’t do that any more not when I can quilt!

    • I too learned to sew in school. Sadly that is not offered any more. I did take a plastics shop. I was “allowed” to do it if we could find a boy to take cooking instead. Even today I would rather do almost anything than cook.

  9. Mom taught me hand sewing when I was about 8 and I started using the sewing machine by the time I was 11. I’ve also taught myself how to knitting and for many years had a floor room. Sadly my daughter isn’t interested in any of these activities. I enjoy quilting, have started sewing clothing again and am the one the family comes to for alterations.

  10. I have 5 daughters as well, none of them are as passionate about quilting/sewing as I am! A couple of them own sewing machines, but mostly they have me do any sewing they need done! They all likes sports and their other activities better.

  11. Having made clothes for my daughters when they were little, to be told later looking back on photos ” Mum LOOK what you dressed us in, what were you thinking”
    to one now sewing and appliqueing baby and children’s clothes and quilts non-stop for her online business and I get to quilt them for her and share my sewing room 🙂

  12. My mother and grandmother sewed couture in New Orleans. My grandmother made ball gowns for the queens of Mardi Gras in the Rex and Comus Krewes. So when I came along they forced me to sew like them, ripped out my poor stitches and punished me. So I hate sewing. I like quilting, but don’t do anything with perfection. I hate to sew bindings on and will gladly pay anyone who wants to do it for me! My daughter knows how to sew, has made a few quilts and some clothes. But she designs and builds great big beautiful buildings. I wish I had done that.

  13. One of my two daughters dabble a bit on the fringes of fiber arts…sad mom. But, my granddaughter sat in my lap and ran fabric through my sewing machine by 3 yrs! Happy grandma…continued providing her sewing opportunities and lessons. This year at age 11, Alana competed for the first time ever in a 4-H fashion competition with a 3 piece knit garment set (simple skirt, top and shorts) in our tri-county competition and took GOLD!!! This qualified her to represent our county at 4-H state competition where, once again, she won GOLD! Talk about a proud grandma! She’s caught the sewing bug, and intends to compete in several sewing based competitions this year, including 4-H and county and state fair. And, yes, she does understand that just because she won big time this year doesn’t mean it will happen every time. Grandma will be there to dry the tears…

  14. I learned to sew when I was 8 yrs. old. My grandmother taught me, probably out of self preservation to keep from hearing “I’m bored. I don’t have anything to do.” (I stayed with her a lot in the summer since my mom worked.) She sewed, crocheted & quilted. I loved doing things with my hands & that has stayed with me my entire life. I taught both my daughter & my granddaughter to sew but they want no part of it. They both love the gifts I make for them & their quilts but they will rely on me for that. Oh, and I am always good to put the touch on for mending & alterations. LOL.

  15. My mother sewed all my clothes growing up, as well as my sister’s, so I was fascinated watching her every move at the machine. Before she taught me to sew, she kept me entertained by cutting out paper dolls & had me design their dresses. When I was about 6, she taught my 8 year old brother & me how to sew quilt squares together. By the time I was 13, I was sewing most of my clothes, thanks to my mom’s guidance. She became an avid quilter in her older years and when she was 80, we sewed a Jewel Box quilt together, which is now my most treasured possession! She is now gone, but I feel very connected to her through my love of sewing.

  16. At age 5, I began learning to sew from the retired widows who did all kinds of crafts in the church basement across the street. Mother sent me over there every time they met. They showed me their sewing and knitting. I sewed at home, but learned the most from their gentle, kindly coaching. In the summers, I continued to join the ladies at the church and gradually improved my skills. They were so patient and kind. I began making my clothes and gifts for family. I got a sewing machine for my 14th birthday.

    By the time I had a family, I was sewing all our clothes. None of my three daughters developed an interest in sewing, and I did not push them in that direction, believing that they should choose their own interests, they sure had enough exposure!

    Interestingly, my niece is a marvelous seamstress and quilter, and my two
    granddaughters wanted to learn to sew. I work with them on visits, and sent them a brand new sewing machine after I left this summer. According to reports, they are “sewing up a storm”!

    I began quilting after the children formed their own homes. Most of my sewing is quilting now. I love the colors, shapes, and how they combine. Free motions quilting is a given for finishing my quilts. Although they are not masterpieces of stitch work, they afford me and the recipients of the quilts great pleasure. I’ve been following you for a number of years, and appreciate all your tutorials, as well as your two Craftsy classes.

    Thank you so much for sharing your gifts with others through your blog, AQS magazine articles, and Craftsy classes. You have offered me, and multitudes of other followers as well as their families and friends happiness because of the achievements you have facilitated in each of us through sharing your skills. We are better quilters because of your generosity.

  17. My mom made our clothes growing up and she taught me to sew. Then I learned to quilt and taught her! Neither of my daughters sew but they are both quite crafty in other ways.

  18. I raised three very active boys and quickly stopped sewing when they were toddlers for their safety and that of my sewing equipment but in spite of that once they got into high school they would occasionally ask to use the machine for homecoming game out fits or slip covers for their car seats. They weren’t very good at it but it was so much fun to watch them try. I did my best to hold my tongue and only off help when they asked for it, and tried not to laugh when they finished…..

  19. My mother taught me to read full stop. A neighbour was kind enough to take me on! She taught me dressmaking, quilting, rug hooking (I became very adapt at cutting up old coats and dyeing them) crochet, knitting, tatting, jam and bread making, preserving and forever instilled a love of gardening which in America in the 60’s was not a big deal. I am eternally grateful to momma Lou. I try to pass on all that I can to those who want to learn,

  20. My mom taught me to sew when I was 8 because we didn’t have much money for clothes and I found if I sewed them I could have what I wanted. I sewed doll clothes and sold them in high school. When I had children I made lots of clothes for them but no quilts. When my three daughters were young I taught them all how to sew, knit and crochet and enrolled them in sewing classes. My oldest daughter got a design degree in college and now sews clothing, curtains and has made one quilt. My middle daughter knits amazing things but doesn’t sew and my youngest daughter sewed a few things in high school and knitted but photography took over as her passion! Now I have three grandchildren and I am wondering if the passions will be developed and passed on. My five year old granddaughter wanted to learn how to stitch a blanket for her doll the last time we visited so we worked on that together.

  21. I’m 33 years old single woman, I learned from an old lady who rented me a room last year. I’ve never sewn before and now I just can stop

  22. My mom taught me how to sew…my first project was sewing Barbie doll clothes…I’m surprised how much I enjoy sewing to this day!! My grandma also encouraged me to sew using her treadle sewing machine! My other grandma taught me hand embroidery. Both of my daughters sew and I taught them. My youngest daughter is more passionate and is very busy making her 4th or 5th quilt right now. My oldest daughter is busy being a mom to two little girls! I have helped both of my daughter in laws make their first quilts so I think I’ve got four young women started on the path of a wonderful outlet for creativity!

  23. I also learned to sew at my mothers feet…literally…sitting beneath the machine table making things from the cut scraps that fell to the floor as my mother sewed clothing for our family. I was allowed to use her old Singer machine when I reached the age of nine.
    In the past I tried to teach our three daughters with only mild interest shown by all three.
    The last two of our eight Grandchildren, a girl 10 and a boy 8 have a sewing machine each on which they practice every time they visit during the school holidays.
    I’m hoping they will both keep sewing into their teens.
    My fiance ( now my husband of 55 years ) bought me a sewing machine as an engagement present as he knew my sewing was always going to be part of our life.
    Since my interest in quilting has taken over my spare time, he always knows where to find me.

  24. I learned to sew when I was 8 and learned by making doll clothes. I had a little Singer Sew Handy and loved it as long as it was working. When I was 10 I made my first dress for myself – and chose a rather difficult pattern with a circular skirt and striped fabric! My mother mostly taught me and the rest I figured out myself. Late I went on to make more of my clothes and then clothes for my daughter.
    Only in the last 15 years or so have I gotten to enjoy quilting.
    Sadly, my daughter does not share my love of sewing although she will on occasion make something simple. She does enjoy crafts and is creative so maybe with time she will find her way to sewing.

  25. My mom taught me to sew. By high school I was making all my own clothes except blue jeans. I started quilting to help me get through the empty nest syndrome. Neither of my daughters or my son are interested in sewing. I still have hopes that they will some day.

  26. Both my Grandmothers sewed, but mom did not. I learned to sew at Girls Club. I started sewing when I was 6. I made simple shorts with an elastic waist and a tank top. I work in the sewing room at Girls Club for $1 a month. I swept, fold fabric, put away patterns, straighten up the room etc.. As I got older I was chosen to sew ditty bags for our troops in Vietnam. I had to leave Girls Club at 15. I have one daughter. When my daughter was 6 months old I learned to smock. I continued to sew her cloths until she was 9. She is not interested in sewing. I have been quilting for 30 years.

  27. I taught myself how to sew at 6 for my dolls, at 10 I was given a sewing machine and became responsible for making my own clothes. I started quilting just before my son was born, set it aside while raising my kids and picked it back up when my daughter went off to college. My daughter knows how to sew, but only does it when necessary. My 6 year old granddaughter has made 2 quilts, a couple of outfits and many other items. At this point other than supervision when using a rotary cutter or the iron, and help with pinning from time to time, she does it all by herself.

  28. I learned to sew at the age of 5 or 6, I believe. We’d go to Arizona almost every summer when I was growing up to visit my mom’s family. If my cousins & brother & I would complain that we had nothing to do my mom, aunt & grandma would pass out needles, thread, scissors, a pencil & newspapers for us to draw out a design then we’d sew a purse or wallet for ourselves out of the newspaper. Then my best friends & I started drawing & cutting out our own patterns from our dolls & Barbies clothes. We hand sewed our baby dolls & Barbie dolls clothes until I got my first sewing machine probably around 6 or 7 for Christmas. I still have my Holly Hobby sewing machine today & it still works & looks wonderful in my sewing room. I also still have some of my Barbie doll clothes & some patterns that my best friend & I made together. Oh, plus I still have my best friend. 😉 I’ve made quilts for my children, my granddaughter, sister & a few others. I entered one in our state fair a few years back & won a second place ribbon for it. I ventured out & I made my granddaughter some clothes right after she was born. I tried teaching my daughter to sew & even bought her a little Singer sewing machine for her 13th birthday because she wanted to sew too but she wasn’t very interested. She graduated this year & gave me back her sewing machine 🙁 but I’m going to hold onto it in case she has a daughter. My oldest son got married 2 yrs ago to a Ukrainian girl & she sews, knits & crochets. YEAH finally someone to sew with. When they moved back to the states this year I gave her one of my sewing machines, she was excited because she’s never had her own machine. I was happy that I had an extra one to give her. We both sit & Crochet together too. It’s sew, lol, much more fun sewing & crocheting with someone. My great grandmother, one of my grandmother’s & my mom quilted but I’ve taught myself by watching videos on YouTube. My mom taught me how to crochet & the basics of sewing but unfortunately she passed away 2 1/2 yrs ago at 69. She would be so proud of the things I’ve made because she was my biggest cheerleader & my VERY BEST FRIEND!! I miss her TREMENDOUSLY, she taught me so much! Thanks for letting me share my story & reminisce. Happy Sewing Everyone & God Bless You all!!!! 😉

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