Sewing with Students

Well, hi there! Whew, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged, and it’s been exactly 5 weeks since I last turned on my sewing machine. That has been my life for the past little bit. Work, work, work. That’s why this weekend was so good for my soul on so many levels. This weekend one of my favorite former students came over and she made a quilt for her little brother who will be born in October. I taught L two years ago, but her mother and I have a very close relationship and she keeps me smiling all the time at school. I knew I wanted to make her a baby quilt, but I thought the process would be ten times better with L.  Since leaving my class, L always stops by to inform me about the books she’s reading and her progress in school (top of her class, obviously). Also, she is a natural quilter. Seriously.

She arrived ready with her color scheme (blues – entire spectrum), theme (Under the Sea), and design (strips) ready to go. Then, I let her loose in my stash and told her she could use anything she wanted.  I didn’t even hide the Chicopee. I pulled out every blue I had, thinking she would need assistance. (There were over 50 blue fabrics to choose from, which is kind of embarrassing…) Nope. Not even ten minutes later she had pulled the nine fabrics she needed. What?!

 

photo 1

I can’t believe how beautifully her fabric choices went together, and I have to admit I was doubting about two of them, but I went with it.  I’m so glad I kept my control freak nature in check, because this quilt turned out beautifully!  In fact, I’m going to have her help me pull fabric again.  She said later that this was her favorite part.  (See, natural quilter.)  During down time she would go in and pull fabric selections.  She wanted to make another one with orange, purple, pink, and cerise.  See, favorite student!

photo 3

 

She did all of the sewing herself, after I showed her once.  I only helped by joining the final blocks together because the fabric got heavy and she was having a hard time keeping it straight.  We put on Disney pandora and she belted out tune after tune as she sewed, stopped to check alignment, and sewed again.  It was the cutest thing ever.  We also stopped for the occasional dance party.  Because that’s always necessary.

photo 4Here she is showing off her first completed block.  I can’t even.  She was so proud and after she finished each block she’d run to my husband’s office to show him.  He was incredibly proud of her and kept telling her that this was the coolest baby quilt ever produced in our house.  (I agree!)

photo 5

 

Then, it came time to quilt.  She helped me baste the quilt (sooooo nice to have a helper!) and I went to grab the white thread.  But, then I remembered to check my control freak nature, and asked her to pick out her thread (thinking she’d choose the white since it was the obvious choice…)  NOPE.  She picked teal, and I was all, “hmmm, we’ll see, ok…”  HAHAHA, it’s PERFECT!  I’m obsessed.  She is such a little quilter.  As she was sewing she said, “When I grow up I want a sewing machine.  Then I’ll need to buy fabric… and, well, find a place to store it all!”  hahahaha.  Yes, yes that is the struggle!

photo 2

 

Yesterday was perfect.  I’m washing the quilt now so that she can pick it up from school and present it to her mother this week.  I truly think this will be one of my proudest teaching moments.  Right up there with the time this same sweet student called me to tell me she had finished reading the Harry Potter series.  To her mother, thank you for letting me not only teach your sweet children, but for keeping us connected!  To L, you are absolutely a natural quilter.  I knew you were smart, creative, and detail oriented from when I taught you, but you continue to impress me!  

Now, I’m struggling to balance my pride in her achievement and my jealousy that an 11 year old just created the cutest baby quilt ever produced from Wasn’t Quilt in a Day.  Seriously, I can’t wait to share her finish after she sees it this week!

And, with this soul refreshing weekend, and reminder of why I do what I do both at work and in my personal life, I have been sewing all day and feel completely rejuvenated.  Thank you, L!

 

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13 thoughts on “Sewing with Students

  1. Awesome story, very inspiring. I know from experience it can be hard to keep the inner control freak in check. My sewing time has been greatly reduced lately because I’ve been teaching others to quilt, its very fulfilling.

  2. That is a great story! Thank you for sharing your time and talent with sweet L!
    Her baby brother will have a terrific big sister!

  3. What a fantastic way to pass it on to the next generation! I love that you let her have complete control over every part, and what a natural she is. She has such a good idea for colors and fabrics!

  4. What a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing. I wish I had had a teacher like you when I was growing up. Congrats to L for a beautiful quilt and to you for passing on the joy of making.

  5. This story makes me cry and it makes me miss you terribly. Thanks for sharing. I’ve missed your blogs – I “get” that sometimes we have to take blog breaks. I am on one myself. Hugs from your 2nd mama.

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