Saturday, March 3, 2012

Alannah's 100 Day Quilt

On the 16th February the kindergarten classes celebrated their first 100 days of school.  As part of this celebration they were to collect 100 items and with the help of their families, put them together in a display to present to the class.

Alannah has been interested in sewing for awhile now and as it was the middle of winter and we weren't getting out much, I decided perhaps it was time to let her have a go.   She could gather 100 pieces of fabric from my scraps and stash.  I could cut them into squares and she could sew a simple squares quilt.

Of course before embarking on this project, we had a little trial run to see that she enjoyed the process and could kind of sew a straight line.  With a few modifications to the set up, presser foot on a stool and chair on its highest setting, she was all keen and ready to go.

Firstly we hunted through my stash and scraps for fabric, initially we tried for 100 unique pieces of fabric but it turns out that, that is a lot of different pieces, my stash is large but not that large.  Oh yeah and I did the cutting.  I was not too keen on my fabric being attacked by a 5 year old with a rotary cutter, and of course I was concerned for her safety, 10 fingers suit her!  To have a nice size finished quilt we chose 5 1/2 inch squares.  There was lots of playing with the layout and counting and re-counting of squares on my fancy design floor.  

Then the sewing, she did great but needed lots of encouragement to get the top all put together on the first weekend.

Second weekend and she put together a simple back.  I was quite surprised at how good she was at pinning the long strips together.  Then we stuck the fabric to the living room floor to baste. Unfortunately we ran into a few difficulties with it being -20 outside and the heating struggling a bit. The floor was to cold, or damp, I am not sure but the tape was not sticking (I have since basted another quilt with same tape fine?!).  We pressed on best we could with the quilt sandwich.  Basting pins turned out to be quite tricky for little hands so we recruited Daddy to help out.

Now it is not a big quilt but even I struggle with machine quilting on my machine and prefer to do it by hand.  So I decided she could try knotting the quilt, not a technique I have used before but 100 knots, one in the centre of each square would continue our 100 theme and be quite achievable, a handful at a time each day.  To save time and as I suspected the markings would not be accurately followed anyway, I decided she could eyeball the centre of each square for her knot.  She found threading the needle very tedious (hey don't we all) but completed all the knots.  Then trimmed the tails to about 1 inch.

Finally the binding, I had considered she could sew the layers right sides together leaving a gap and then turning the quilt out to avoid this step (would have had to do this before we did any quilting).  But she enjoyed the machine work so we went with a traditional binding.  She really liked a Sandi Henderson stripe I had, so I prepared the binding.  I would normally hand sew the binding down, but there way no way Alannah would manage that in the time we had left so I let her use the heart stitch which she had been begging me to use since starting the quilt.  I figured that would give her a better shot of catching the seam on the back as the stitch has depth. 

Yay she was finsihed!!  Time to remove all the basting pins.

Here is one very proud little girl presenting her 100 Day Quilt to her class.

So yes most kids stuck 100 bits or pasta, money or lollies to a poster which took them (or there parents) about an hour.  But Alannah has a quilt that she can keep forever to remind her of her first 100 days of school.  Plus other than the cutting, basting and some of the ironing she did it all on her own (supervised the whole time).

This was a great project, but I did learn that next time we sew together, we would both enjoy it more if there were no time constraints. To get a 5 year old to finish this in 3 weeks took a lot of coaxing...........So I guess her sisters will be starting their 100 Day Quilts on their first day of school!

1 comment:

  1. Hey :) I am an advocate for macaroni on cardboard, maybe some glitter too.

    Did make me think I could probably manage to make my own quilt though...will have to get your help (or Alannah's) when you are over here :)