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In the January/February 2018 issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited, Margaret Solomon Gunn shares her experiences with teaching quilting to her daughter, Sophie. The article is full of tips for getting kids to be comfortable learning the many aspects of quilting. We sat down with Margaret to learn a bit more about her experiences with Sophie.
Sophie has some pretty bold color choices in her quilts. Do you help her with the colors, or do you just let her pick the fabrics, even if they don’t match?
I sometimes make a subtle comment like “wow! that is colorful”, but in the end, it only hurts the child if they think the parent/mentor does not like or approve of their choices. She typically picks one or 2 primary fabrics (and they have sometimes been bold). Once she has a feature fabric, I assist her “shopping” in my studio for potential companion fabrics. Despite some initial choices of what I thought to be very bold fabrics, I think her quilts have come out fairly well balanced on color. Some of her fabrics such as the solids have been fantastic choices, but they are prone to showing each and every wobble of the machine quilting. Because Sophie enjoys putting her creations in shows, I have had to select ways of quilting this type of quilt to make it look best.
What’s next for Sophie and her quilts?
She and a friend were here 2 weeks ago piecing a small wall hanging. Her friend took a basic sewing class last year and received a sewing machine last Christmas. Her mother told me she wanted to learn to make a mini-quilt. The two girls had the same quilt cut out and ready to go when the afternoon started. This year, I am having Sophie do her own pressing (Remember, each year I have introduced a couple of new skills into the sewing/quilting process). We need to quilt the top sometime between my winter trips, and I think I will keep her quilting from the frontside of the longarm, working on incorporating multiple designs into her quilting (her quilt has beach hut blocks). Different ages bring more or less interest in sewing. The best advice I have is to sew with them when the interest sparks and not nag when it does not. Even today, she has many more basic sewing skills than the average person twice her age!
Thanks Margaret and Sophie! Be sure to read part 1 of our interview with Margaret Solomon Gunn, and to read more about how to get your kids involved in quilting, check out the January/February 2018 issue!