Thank YouThere’s always something new up my sleeve. Combined with being a crafty (as in sly) grandma type, I had a very creatively fulfilling time this week. I also had the privilege of helping our pastor’s eight year old twin daughters and his ten year son learn how to sew. Their first project? A pillowcase with a contrasting cuff and flange. Way easy and a lotta bang for the buck as they say.

Our adventure began on Tuesday with a trip to a fabric store with their mom. To my delight they swiftly moved beyond the Valentine novelty prints. Although the girls both love all things pink, they opted for contemporary fabrics with more sophisticated designs and color schemes. Their brother Daniel? He wanted something soft like satin…but in greens and brown! I love how kids embrace the creative process and make it their own.

As sewing day approached I realized with three kids and one sewing machine there’d be a lot of down time for two of the kids while the other sewed. This is where my crafty/clever grandma gene got fully expressed. I’ve discovered small 500 piece jigsaw puzzles at the dollar store. An easy day’s entertainment during winter weather, once they’re done, they’re done…unless you can do something creative with them. Like smooch shades of green paint all over the puzzle while it’s still assembled. Dried and popped apart, the individual pieces are great for simulating foliage on a tree. A brown paper bag stamped with a wood grain pattern made wonderful tree trunks and branches using each kid’s arm and hand as a pattern. Prompted by Psalm 1:2,3 – a man’s delight is in the law of the Lord…he is like a tree planted by streams of water, they added star-burst punched suns and grass clumps, and streams of water. I’ll be borrowing these as project prototypes when I teach a workshop next year entitled Altered Papers/Altared Images at Montreat.

We moved from the cutting/pinning area to the sewing machine to the ironing board all afternoon with excitement…and a little apprehension about using the unfamiliar…namely the iron. All three of the kids took to the sewing machine with ease, a learning process that requires hand, eye and foot coordination. All three were very satisfied with their first experience sewing. And then there were all the head bands they made from the scraps. The twins wanted to know if they could come back next week to begin their quilts! Mom had to remind them they were headed to the coast for spring break. ¬†Going to the beach? Making quilts? Going to the beach? Making quilts? That’s a tough one…

And of course, during the course of the afternoon, each one stuck her/himself with a quilting pin. There was even a wee bit of blood involved. Rather than have that be a discouraging experience that might dampen their sewing enthusiasm, I simply enthused that one wasn’t really a sewist until one had drawn blood sticking themselves with a pin. What had been a painful experience all of a sudden became a badge of honor!

My young friends headed home very happy with their new pillowcases and an art project to boot. It was my pleasure to introduce three new sewists into the wonderful, magical, creative world of sewing!

If there was a crafty/clever older person or grandparent in your past, what was something new you learned from that person? What is something in your “bag of tricks” that a young person might love learning from you? Think outside the paint box…cooking, carpentry, home maintenance, knitting, bird watching, gardening, music, sharing a particular field of interest…anything at all that others would appreciate having handed down to them. With your particular flair attached, of course!

PS – Since sewing is no longer a gender specific activity, the term seamstress is no longer appropriate. The new term sewist is now currently in Vogue….pun intended.

7 comments to New

  • Judi

    You make your world “wonderful, magical and creative”…and you share your world with others.

  • Esther Smith

    Wow! What great ideas! I’ve printed this out and will use the ideas next week during Spring break. You are incredibly creative!!!

  • Lori

    I love how you keep an “inventory” of ideas, and then recreate them to make a new experience. So very creative, Lynne! It’s like you have a magic treasure chest that you pull gems from and then remake the gems into beautiful jewelry. And then you share the beautiful results with everyone, helping them to grow and learn as well. Thank you!

  • Just think what the puzzle pieces would look like in autumn colors. Or shades of pink for cherry blossoms. Or…

  • cynthia Hashbarger

    Hi there.. can I join your class.? Do you accept grandmothers.. ?Now I am sorry I don’t have a sewing machine.. but I do have a glass jar
    with some fresh ss on the bottom and can spot those little lady bugs with my two cute little granddaughter. Kate and Madeline.. Do you”grow lady bugs in your town? We want to know.. Love and hugs. Cynthia

  • cynthia Hashbarger

    and the word is fresh GRASS on the bottom.. oops.. Cynthia

  • Ginny Starkey

    We miss you Lynne! I am so glad that our children had a chance to enjoy your creativity from time to time…and you have made me smile remembering my grandmother who taught me to paint furniture and arrange flowers…and my parents for letting me have the freedom to paint my room and have creative messes around the house!

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