Monday, December 17, 2012

Lesson of the day: Stick with what you know

First of all, we have a winner in my Blog Hop Party Giveaway - Lisa C! - She has been emailed, and hopefully she'll get back to me soon with her mailing address.  Thanks, everyone, for playing along!  I see I am not the only one with hordes of UFOs lurking in every corner of my sewing room!

I've decided not to continue with the after-school program, Ready To Quilt, next marking period.  It is unfortunate that its beginning coincided with my Hurricane Sandy project, but the result is that I have had virtually NO TIME to quilt for myself in the past 6 weeks.  No many Christmas projects coming out of my sewing room this year!  I hadn't really considered how much prep time would go into this.  Shame on me - having been a teacher before, I should know better.  But I guess I always taught older kids and adults, people to whom I could just give instructions and let them go.  Perhaps during the final marking period of the year I will do it again, or maybe next year - it is a 3-year grant, and I have a standing invitation to return whenever I want.

I say this because while Saturday was busy with me gone ALL DAY, I was home all day on Sunday.  Time to quilt, right?  WRONG!  I needed to come up with an activity for the kids to work on by hand while I worked with them one-on-one on the machine.  That's what I did last week, and it worked wonderfully!  I had them play Quilt Bingo while we sewed the blocks together for our fair quilt.  I drew a 5x5 grid of 1.5" squares on a paper, copied one for everyone, gave them all a glue stick, and then dumped my tin of 1.5" scrap squares on the floor for them to choose from.

(and I nearly cried - with 30 kids that's about 750 1.5" squares that I can no longer use in my scrappy creations - oh, grow up, Erin, and share nicely!)

I created cards with categories - colors, stripes, stars, hearts, dots, animals, solids, 5 colors or more, something man-made, etc. - and let the kids take turns calling out the games.  The winners took home an embroidery hoop and a needle - we're about done with those, and I don't need 20+ embroidery hoops.

While that happened, we sewed together the quilt top (well, they sewed the blocks into rows, and then I sewed the rows together at home).
A and D are up there, my co-worker just has short arms. (hee hee!) Z will be in the bottom row, along with the name of the school and the name of the workshop in smaller letters that they colored and embroidered.
For today's meeting, I figured we could make something that the kids could give as a gift this holiday season.  Maybe a necklace, like this one I found at The Cottage Home.

I like it, but I struggled getting my beads into my little fabric tube, so I know the kids would, too.  Moving on...

Maybe this beaded necklace from MommaGoRound?

I couldn't find beads as big as hers, so with my little beads, it was pretty fiddly.  I could do it, but I don't know about the little ones.  Back to the drawing board...

A ric rac bracelet like this one from Elizabeth Abernathy?

This was easy and fun, but all I have is yellow and black, and don't want to have to go ric rac shopping today. Hers in red and blue, though, is super cute!

I have felt, so maybe some felt barrettes, like these from The Purl Bee? (by the way, there are also some rose barrettes there that took my breath away!  I definitely plan to try to make some of those for my niece!)

Not bad, the kids could do this for sure.  But what if they don't have a woman or girl in their life with HAIR to gift it to?  What if the females in their family look like me?
This is me (with my super short hair) working with one of my favorite students on our denim rag quilt 
Donald said he could make some for his cousin, which got me to thinking, I need to give them an option that would be useful to everyone.  Everyone I know has a NOSE, so how about tissue holders - they are always a hit on my ETSY shop and at craft shows.  I just need an easier version, maybe with the felt that I bought for the barrettes.  Using these holders from Martha Stewart as an inspiration (had to change the size, though, to 5.5"x7"), I came up with this.

But, darn it - I don't have enough felt for everyone!  What I DO HAVE, however, is lots of denim scraps from our denim rag quilt project, so I whipped one up in denim, too.

OK, by far my favorite project of the day!  I love denim!!

Whew!  That's a lot of prep for a one hour class!  See why I will be taking a break from it next marking period?  All that searching for the perfect project, and I should have just started with a project that I know and have made dozens of times!  But it isn't just about the results, it is about the process - and the process was fun!  If you are inspired to do some sewing with a little one in your life, I hope you find all the links useful!