Summer sewing classes for kids

Students working on a sewing project.

In summers past, I hosted a series of week-long sewing camps at Stitch N Quilt in Mableton. We had a great run, but business has changed due to COVID and Miss Pat recently informed me there would be no more kid’s sewing classes and camps ~ only classes and workshops for adults.

When one door closes…another one usually opens.

I’ve been invited to teach kid’s classes at a shop on the north side of Atlanta. I’ll post details here once everything has been sorted out. One important change for students interested in following me to the new location: you’ll need to provide your own sewing machine for classes. The shop has a limited number of machines available for rent should you need one.

If you live on the west side of ATL (think I-20 and going toward Alabama), the Southeast Quilt & Textile Museum is hosting quilt camps for rising 3rd graders through high school students. Cost is very reasonable and you get your own mentor for the entire week. Camps are in June and July. Visit their website (linked above) for complete details.

Friends, neighbors and coworkers (and their kids) are welcome to come stitch with me in my Smyrna studio this summer. We can sew/craft al fresco or in studio, supervised by Sadie, of course. Sessions will last 1.5-2 hours. We will probably meet in the afternoon, exact time TBD. Text, call or email if you’d like more information.

Only 9 more sleeps (and 600+ student device returns to process) until the school year ends and summer sewing season officially begins! We can do this!

It’s OK to CHANGE Your mind about completing a quilt project

You were so EXCITED when you learned that your favorite designer was coming out with a new fabric line, books, project, sew-a-long or [Fill in the Blank]. You dutifully bought all the supplies, printed out the pattern/sewing guide and waited in happy anticipation for the next project to start. Then, you lost your enthusiasm once it began.

What to do? Honestly, it’s okay to change your mind.

I felt this way about the Flea Market Flowers big quilt by Lori Holt. I was stoked after completing two online quilt-along projects last year. I’m still working on the last few appliqué blocks for the Granny’s Flower Garden quilt and planned to use those leftover fabrics (plus some others) for the Flea Market Flowers project. I ordered the pie and seed rulers. Then, while reading through the sew-along guide, I realized how large the flower blocks would actually be. Not my style for a big quilt. Instead, I opted to convert the flower blocks I love into pillows , a small wall hanging and a table runner. I merely made the project suit my preferences.

I’ll admit that I’ve actually tossed half-completed projects that I know I’ll never finish. They’re usually from a class I took at an AQS show or Quiltcon to try out a new technique and there was no way to convert the parts I’d completed into a smaller project that I’d actually like. The intention to finish was there, but after 3 years in the back of the closet…it’s time to rescue any usable fabrics and toss the rest.

Nowadays, I’m also a bit more selective when it comes to the projects that I choose to make. It’s no secret that I’m a big Lori Holt fan. You can find a number of online sew-a-longs featuring her work at Fat Quarter Shop, The Featherweight Shop and JK Quilts, plus Lori’s own blog and YouTube channel. Today, I learned she has a new fabric line/project coming out in January 2022 called Chicken Salad. The quilt is adorable, but it’s not a project I’m inspired to make. That’s perfectly okay. Some of the fabrics will likely find their way into my stash and I’ll enjoy checking out her blog/YouTube channel while the sew-a-long is underway.

I tell my students it’s okay to return a library book they don’t like. I merely gave myself permission to do the same when it comes to quilting/sewing projects.

Christmas in may?

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas on my cutting table!

Most of us like the convenience of precut quilt kits. One of the online quilting groups I follow highly encourages members to create your own project kits in advance so you can simply grab and go. This way you keep moving projects forward. In turn, this means said projects actually get done instead of languishing in the back of a closet somewhere. Very wise advise!

Early morning was spent cutting out a Twinkle Lights pillow kit using Lori Holt’s Vintage Christmas book while I listened in on a webinar for work. I thought I’d purchased a pillow kit from the local quilt shop last summer, but it must’ve been for a table runner, because I had a LOT of fabric left over.

Not to worry! Flipping through the book gave me ideas for Christmas presents – mainly potholders, placemats and small wall hangings. Potholders are the next projects to become DIY quilt kits.

I bookmarked a couple of potential layouts for my redwork Christmas sampler. I’m currently stitching block 11. Block 12 will be completed during my upcoming trip to Kansas City. The completed quilt will definitely be a two-color quilt with a vintage vibe. I plan to machine quilt this one myself. Hopefully, the ruler work class I’ve signed up for in KC will make it a bit easier.

It certainly felt like Christmas when I dumped out several storage bins of assorted STUFF. Sewing notions I’d been looking for were stashed in one of the boxes. I found several bits of red and white fabrics to add to my scrap bins for upcoming Christmas themed sewing projects. The rest will be donated to the SEQTM for summer sewing camps.

Getting lost for an hour this morning in my happy place was very therapeutic. Christmas is normally not one of my favorite holidays, so the fact I’m working on Christmas projects this far in advance and enjoying it – is a good thing, indeed.

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