Saturday, August 27, 2011

Quilt Kids on the Move!

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:

Hi Bonnie,

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?!


  1. What a lovely story! I love it children are able to show what a wonderful heart they can have for others. Thank you for sharing!

  2. What a lovely story that is and how well the children have been brought up to give their quilt away rather than keep it for them selves.

    Re boys sewing.... my youngest son is very talented with his hands, does some wonderful woodwork, although it is not his occupation.

    When he was about 8 I bought a new, very expensive then, sewing machine which had a vast number of patterns built in.

    I had been testing it and left it on the table in the dining room whilst I prepared supper, I thought I heard it wirring but did not really take any notice, then I realised it was my son using the machine. Heart in mouth I crept to the door of the dinning room and he was gaily sewing away, combining patterns as if he had been sewing all his life......he spent more time using that machine than I did.....mended his own clothes, latered things for his friends and then under instruction started making things. At this point I was not quilting but dress making, he soon became quite adept at making things for presents.

    He jas a home of his own now, but sadly does not sew any longer, although he shows great interest in my quilting. I often wonder if he will take up quilting when he retires........

  3. Bonnie, thank you so much for sharing that wonderful story, it brought tears to my eyes this morning, and really started my day off in the right way! What a wonderful thing for those Children and Mothers to do!

  4. What an incredibly lovely story... kids are just THE BEST!

    Thanks so much for sharing... reading the story brought tears to my eyes!

  5. What a very touching story. Glad the boys liked sewing too.

  6. What a wonderful, touching story! Thanks so much for sharing it.

  7. Great story!thanks for sharing. Kids just love learning if we can take time to teach them. And I think they are naturally more generous than adults. Thanks again.

  8. GREAT story! What a wonderful way of encouraging kids to think of someone besides themselves, without making a chore of it, and making a fun experience out of it instead.

  9. Bless them - what a little bunch of sweeties to think of her as the recipient - when you hear about horrid people in the world this restores your faith in humanity :)

  10. Thanks for the lovely story, I have to say giving and doing something special is a great reward. Our church did a retreat and we set up a room to make quilts, the room was open for two days. I was amazed at how many boys came and participated, they stayed and enjoyed doing the sewing. The last day we had the quilts hanging all over the hotel and they were so proud of their work. We ended up with 32 quilts.

  11. What a beautiful & timely gift! Thanks for sharing this story. It brought tears to my eyes.

  12. What a sweet story. You made my morning. I would love to get my grandchildren to sit still long enough to do this. Soooooooo sweet.

  13. I'm so glad you shared this wonderful story. Thank you!! When my grandsons were young I let them sew on my machine and they loved it! It is a 'machine' after all, and running it was the focus, not 'sewing'. I noticed the same thing years ago when a friend and I went to grade schools to demonstrate spinning. My wheel was a Columbine and was all metal. My BFF's wheel was a beautiful hand-made wheel with turned spokes, all made of maple. The boys always wanted to use my Columbine and the girls wanted to use the wooden wheel. Kids are great!!!

  14. What a great story! WTG Kids!!

  15. I love seeing kids quilt! Makes me smile every time!

  16. A big "Thank-you-Hug" to both Bonnie for sharing this story and also to Jan, for all the wonderful pictures that made it come alive!

    Bonnie, I especially love the quote at the end of your posting. Can you please possibly credit the author? Thanks again!

  17. Absolutely, positively precious!!! What a great bunch of kids and what wonderful mom's! Love the quilt!

  18. What a great story and lovely gift-helping kids learn the pleasure one gets from giving to others. Thanks for sharing the day brightener. Their quilt is really beautiful.

  19. Truly heartwarming. This story, and it's message will stay with me.

  20. Anonymous12:25 PM EDT

    This story gave me a shiver!


  21. thanks for sharing that moving story. It brought tears to my eyes.

  22. Lovely story...and such nice kids to have thought of giving it away...

    BTW, ask Jan how she worked 4 sewing machines and 6 (in picture) kids...what did the other two do while the 4 were sewing???

  23. Lovely story, just the motivation I need to finish a top and backing to send off to Jackie who is quilting for free to donate to the needy families here in the Bronx of NYC.

    We are blessed to have the gift of quilt making to
    help others.

    Happy Sewing, safe travels, I hope Irene is letting you enjoy your cruise.

  24. So nice to see that others are sharing their love of quilting and the "end product"... Thanks for sharing Bonnie. Hope that your trip is going well and that all are safe!

  25. Anonymous5:23 PM EDT

    Wait, where are the tissues? HONK!! There, now I can see to type. Fabulous story...these children learned so many life lessons with this project: "We can work together. We can remember the good things when we see the scraps of our lives. It really is better to give than to receive." Thanks to Jan and her friend and families for such a wonderful story; thanks Bonnie for sharing.
    Faye Bushey, Maine

  26. Don't know if Bonnie posted this site or not, but you can go here and look up the Carnival Dream to see where it is and in some cases, view a web cam. http://www.cruisecal.com/portal/ The Dream is pretty far down the list on Sat. evening. Not sure how the postings move.

  27. Thank you, I think we all need reminding at times what the really important things are in life - this week I needed a reminder! Happy quilting, Sue SA.

  28. What a wonderful story and very thoughtful children. Thanks for sharing the story with us.

  29. Congrats, Jan, on sharing your gorgeous quilt and unique writing voice with more of the world. Looking forward to 'following' your blog someday...

  30. Love this story!
    P.S. I also love the crocheted rug at Mrs. M's feet!

  31. Anonymous7:56 PM EDT

    I am so happy to read this story and to see such a pretty quilt made by the kids. What a huge lesson they learned and all of us that read it are reminded why we are really here.
    Ray J in CA

  32. What great kids. The story really made me tear up a bit. I am amazed at how wonderful even young children can be and what a perfect gift for anyone.

  33. Thank you for sharing this story.


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