Thursday, April 8, 2010

Zoe starts a new quilt

At the risk of sounding like an elementary school art teacher (not that there’s anything wrong with that) I’m going to write about kids again today. Seems like my blog has been full of little people lately as I’ve welcomed a new baby to the family and recalled lots of babies in my past, not to mention my project for kids at a Pittsburgh museum. But yesterday our granddaughter Zoe spent the day with us and the first thing she said was, “can we make a quilt today?”

In her last quilt, Zoe did the sewing but I cut the strips and pressed after every seam. This time I decided she could learn to do these tasks for herself. After an extended lecture on rotary cutter safety (ask me how I know) we worked out a routine. First attempts to have her both hold the ruler and cut didn’t work very well, so she positioned the ruler where she wanted it; then I held the ruler in place while she cut.

In hindsight, think my work table is a little too high for Zoe and she didn’t have enough leverage to lean on either the ruler or the blade with good force. For subsequent cutting projects we’ll either give her a stool or move to a lower table. Yesterday it was simpler to let her concentrate on wielding the blade without having to worry about the ruler slipsliding away.

Then, after a lecture on iron safety (fortunately I have no burn horror stories to relate, but didn’t let that get in the way of a good lecture) she got to iron her fabric and press her seams.

We had another milestone yesterday – we had to raise Zoe’s sewing table two inches because her knees weren’t fitting properly underneath! Not really a surprise, as she’s been using it for almost two years at its low level.

Oh, the quilt itself …. We scoured every fabric drawer in the house for hot pink, which I would always tell you is one of my favorite colors but for some reason has all but vanished from my stash. I thought I owned enough print fabric of every conceivable color and color combination to satisfy anybody’s needs, but I was mortified to find so little pink. We did eventually find enough to get us through the day, but  the next step in Zoe’s quilt education may have to be a trip to the fabric store.
She’s making blocks of random-width strips that are going to finish at 12 inches square. We’ll eventually arrange them in rail-fence fashion, with alternating blocks striping horizontally and vertically. She’s more than halfway through her initial piecing.

(We thought we had started with nine strip sets, so the finished quilt can have nine blocks, but two of them joined together in the course of chain-piecing.  We'll deal with that at the next session.)

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