Have you shared your beloved hobby with your grandchildren?
I have to some extent...such as it is. I do a dab of writing and I like to scrapbook. But my niece Lisa shares a hobby with her granddaughters that I am so in awe--Lisa quilts and she's passed down the skill to her granddaughters. How wonderful! Here, I'll let her tell you in her own words:
It began with a promise to help their Girl Scout troop get sewing badges. Once they had a taste, every visit became...."Memo, can we sew?"
True quilters are "fabriholics." The first time I took the girls to my fabric closet, they said in unison, "Ooooohhhh, FAB-RIC". It was then that I knew they were quilters at heart.
Any day spent quilting is a good day!
One yard of fabric, like one cookie, is never enough.
My girls would come to spend the weekend. Their short attention span meant I could only get one or two seams out of them before they would run off to see what Poppa was doing. I definitely didn't want to force them to stay and sew, but I did encourage them to finish each block before moving on to something else. While they learned to quilt, I used the sewing as an opportunity to teach them about other terms as I showed them my quilting rulers. I explained about triangles, angles, and squares that made up each block. I let them choose their own fabrics to express their own personalities. In time, I even let them pick which block they wanted to make. I admit I got frustrated with them a time or two and pressured them to stay and finish a block rather than running off to play with Poppa. I also admit I might have been critical of their sewing, or fussed when they didn't listen to me.
I tried to remember that it really didn't matter how it looked. if it was really bad, I could fix it for them. Or--even leave it, so that they could look back at it later in life and see their own first mistakes. I looked for the middle ground--instill in them a desire to do quality work, but not be so hard on them that they would begin to hate sewing. I also learned that it was less frustrating to split them up and work with them one-on-one. One would spend time with Poppa while the other sewed, and then switch out.
At the beginning, I had to prepare everything in advance, so they wouldn't have to wait while I cut and ironed fabrics. If things weren't ready, I knew I would lose their attention. Later, they were capable of doing much for themselves. Eventually, they ironed for themselves, and yes...from time, to time, someone got burned.
And so it went, one block at a time, we constructed the quilt and the memories.
At the end of each weekend, they would hang their blocks on the design wall, and take a picture to memorialize and share the event. When we finally had enough blocks, we put them on the design wall, locked down the layout and took a picture.
One weekend I took the girls with me to an organized quilt retreat and with the help of my friends Gaye and Joyce, we cut sashing and handed it to the girls to sew together until the tops were finished. Attention spans were longer by then, and they actually stayed focused on the project long enough to finish.
However, quilt retreats are notorious for all the soft drinks and candy for the taking. One of my granddaughters slipped away and found the dark chocolate and Dr. Pepper. I remember she tossed and turned that night for hours....finally flopping over and saying in frustration, "I could play all night." I laughed and told her it was the caffeine and sugar and she should probably stay away from those things in the evenings because she was obviously sensitive to them just like her Memo.
Once the quilts were finished, we entered them in a quilt show, It was amazing how proud they were of their quilts, standing by them during the show to tell people about them. That was a fun day. Now that they have finished their first quilts, they don't seem anxious to start another. I won't push them. In time, they will come back and say, "Memo, can we sew?"
To quilt is human, to finish divine.
Blessed are the children of the piecemakers....for they shall inherit the quilts!
Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!