I recently blogged about my niece R's first quilt. I just found out that my niece C, wants me to quilt her first quilt as well. So, while first quilts are on my mind, I thought I would share my experience helping my own son to make his first quilt...
Last summer I helped three of my husband's nieces make tote bags. I told Cheetah that I would be happy to teach him to sew as well. He was excited about it and wanted to start with a quilt. It should not be surprising that my Cheetah, wanted to make a "Fuzzy Cheetah" quilt. It just so happened that I had the perfect fabric in my stash. :o)
I have given a lot of thought to what is the ideal quilt for teens and pre-teens to start with. My mother likes the Turning Twenty pattern that she used with the granddaughters, because the blocks are large and don't have many points to match. The challenge with that twin size quilt is that it is hard for a beginner to quilt. (My mom had originally planned on tying the quilts with the girls, but my dad thought the quilts were too nice to tie.) That is why I am now quilting them.
So I thought about what would be easy and help youth feel successful with quilting. I thought that something not too large they could quilt with the walking foot would be a good idea. That is why I suggested to Cheetah that we make a stripe quilt.
I let him be involved in the design process, and asked him if he wanted all the strips to be the same size. He did. Then I asked him if he wanted them to be in a specific order or be random. He wanted the fabrics to follow a pattern. This is when I learned that he likes things to be symmetrical, just like me.
I cut all fifteen of his strips out at 4.5 inches, so they finish at 4 inches. (His quilt finished at about 42 x 60 inches.) We put everything up on my design wall, and he started sewing.
Here he is with the completed top.
We went the next morning to select a backing. He really wanted minky fabric, even though I told him that it would be more difficult to quilt. He was fine with the challenge, because he REALLY wanted a fuzzy quilt. This minky is so thick and soft. It feels like a fur coat.
We went home and basted it with basting spray and a few pins. We used the Warm and White batting.
I set up my craft room so that he could get it quilted. He got right to work and was counting down the seams. Only fourteen to finish.
I actually had to stand behind him and help him guide the fabric through to help it be more even. ;) It was a little hard on my back hunching over him, but was well worth it. Just look at his excitement. (I am sure he is thinking, "Hurry up and take the picture so I can finish quilting.")
As you can tell, he really enjoyed the process! I asked him if he wanted me to do the binding for him, and he said that he did. (I figured that if Natalia Bonner of Piece-N-Quilt could still have her mother bind her quilts, that it would be just fine for me to bind my son's first quilt.)
I cut the binding out at three inches because of the thick minky fabric, and bound it completely by machine.
So we finished his quilt in two days.
That evening Cheetah was cuddled up in his first quilt... But I took this picture today. ;)
He loves his quilt so much that he could hardly stay off of it while I took pictures.
He was acting silly... really silly.
I had to take this picture between his head and his arm.
I loved sewing with my son, and would definitely use a stripe quilt for a beginner again. Cheetah plans on making a cheetah/leopard tote bag next summer. :)
I thought that you would like to see how he sometimes makes his bed. (Other times, he makes his bed with this quilt hidden between his sheets.) It brings a smile to my face every time I see it. He has dogs, wolves, and cheetahs on his bed. When he was younger he wanted us to call him "Puppy Pup." Gotta love it when children pick their own nick names.
What do you think is the ideal quilt for a young beginner?