Quilting with your kids is a great way to spend time with your family, bond over something creative, and share the joy that can only come from—Tyler! What are you doing to the cat? That is not a crayon sharpener and you know it. Put the crayon down. No, not there! Not there, either. Tyler, you put that where I think you’re about to put it and you’ll never see another crayon again, got it?
As I was saying, quilting with kids can be a lot of fun if you are prepared and have just the right project. Some kids will want to go with a theme quilt: dinosaurs, or robots, or fairies. No, Tyler, you don’t have to have fairies. Of course there are boy fairies; don’t you remember that Tinkerbell movie we got for your sister? It had—for goodness sakes, Tyler, get your finger out of your throat and stop making that noise. You know if you keep that up, you’ll throw up for real and then you’ll have to go to bed for the rest of the day. Is that what you want? I didn’t think so.
Tyler here has chosen to do an I-Spy quilt. So we have about 144 5-inch squares, each with a different novelty print. I found these squares all pre-cut as a kit on eBay! Tyler, why are you making that face? They do not smell weird. Give me that. (Sniff!) Oh, good God. (choking) I think somebody died on that. Where are you going with that piece and why are you giggling? What is on that fabric, Tyler? Don’t you stuff it down your pants. Let me see that. Now. What is so—oh, my. Well. I didn’t even know they made pornographic quilting fabric. No, we are not giving it to daddy. Go sit down.
Okay, well. I guess the lesson here is it’s probably best to use your own stash or get your kit from a trusted source, and not some random stranger on the internet who is probably on parole. Still, it’s best to have the squares cut ahead of time, because we don’t want curious fingers getting tempted by the rotary cutter, do we? TYLER, DO NOT STICK THAT SEAM RIPPER IN YOUR EAR. No, you cannot try to “touch your brain” with something else. Please just play with your Nintendo for 5 minutes and then you’ll get to start sewing. Won’t that be fun? Don’t you roll your eyes at me, young man.
You’ll have to decide whether your kids are old enough to try pinning the fabric themselves. I’m pretty sure Tyler here would try to eat the pins or use them to attach a tail to his little sister or something, so I’ll just handle that part myself. Once you have two pieces pinned, you can let your child try sewing a seam on his own. Now, Tyler, come sit over here in front of the sewing machine. Not on the floor, in the chair. Sit up, please. I said sit up, not stand up. Bottom on the seat, Tyler. Bottom on the seat. Bottom on the seat. Tyler, sit your butt down on that seat this minute. Let me tell you something, kid, and listen very closely. I will not be taking anybody to Chuck E. Cheese tomorrow if this keeps up, do you understand me?
Once you’ve shown them how to guide the fabric under the presser foot, set the machine speed to low, and let them try it, keeping an eye on them the whole time to…Tyler! How on earth did you manage to get your underpants caught in there? I only looked away for two seconds. Stop squirming. Stop squirming! No, it will not sew over your winky, if you just stay still. Calm down; I’ve almost got it. There! Okay, now I just have to get this fabric mess out from under the needle and…
What is this?
You better look scared. Is this GUM? DID YOU PUT GUM IN MY SEWING MACHINE?
So. Sewing with kids. Did I mention that it goes better if you have several shots of tequila first? And no kids? Yeah. Much better. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go lock myself in the bathroom until Tyler jimmies it open with my Purple Thang.