I recently received an email from Jan, telling me how she got a handful of kids busy and productive, all having a great time while learning the joys of giving!
Here is her story:
I wanted to tell you about a quilting experience my friend and I shared with our children using one of your tutorials.
One beautiful summer day we got together with my 4 children and her 5 children and we set up 4 sewing machines on the table with a big pile of scraps in the middle. Then we set the kids to piecing onto squares of muslin.
While the younger ones played outside, the older ones sewed and sewed. We encouraged them not to stress out about matching, but to just plunge in their hands and draw out a scrap. It was so fun to hear the kids exclaim, "Oh, this is from my quilt!" or "This is from the one you made for the baby!" or "Hey, my purse has this fabric!"
What surprised us most was the boys, aged 6 and 8. We didn't expect them to be interested in something like sewing, but they were into it in a big, big way. One of the boys put it this way, "Mom, I love pushing the gas pedal SO much!"
As the children were sewing, and the quit was coming together, my friend and I joked that when the quilt was finished we would have to take turns having it at our homes, work out a custody schedule. But the kids had a better idea - they wanted to give it away, and they thought of a widow in our church and decided to give it to her.
The rest of the day, they would say things like, "Mrs. M. will love this!" and "Won't she be surprised!"
Well the kids sewed without pause for hours! We had to drag them away from the machines because it was time for dinner, but by then we had enough blocks for a nice sized lap quilt. They were so excited and proud, and my friend and I were amazed at what they accomplished and how well the day went.
My friend and I finished off the quilt with some borders and then I quilted it, and a few weeks later we invited Mrs. M over for lunch one Sunday afternoon so the children could give her the quilt. She was so surprised and moved and delighted. She shared with us how much it meant to know that people in our church family love and care for each other, and what a blessing it was for her.
Then she said, "You don't know how much this means to me - tomorrow is the anniversary of my husband's death, and I was wondering how I would get through it. Your quilt is a reminder of God's love for me."
What a blessing for the children to hear how their gift made such a difference to this lady and to hear her share her faith. They realized that they were meant to make that quilt and share it, and that God had a plan for their efforts.
Thanks for sharing your patterns with us!
Dear Jan, Friend, and Kids:
Thank you for sharing this wonderful inspirational story with me, and with all of us! I am so touched by the lessons these children have learned. It really is planting a seed with in each of them that will affect their whole lives.
“Generally speaking, the most miserable people I know are those who are obsessed with themselves; the happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others…By and large, I have come to see that if we complain about life, it is because we are thinking only of ourselves.”
Isn’t this true?!