Friday, March 30, 2012

Old Timey Day–The Report!

The day dawned bright and lovely ---

It was 69 degrees as I pulled out of my drive at 7am to make the 25 mile drive to Lewisville Elementary School to take my place as Quilt Assistant for our “Old Timey Day 2012” pioneer demos.

Do you see that sun rising big and golden in my rearview mirror? The radio was on, the weather report said “Today’s high – 80 degrees” and not a cloud in the sky!

I got there in plenty of time to load one body-bag of antique quilts onto my little rolling cart and make my trek across the parking lot, down the side walk, and to the doors to the gym where our portion of the event was being held. Old Timey Day is a special treat for the entire 3rd grade ((I thought it was 5th, I was wrong!)) and have this activity after studying the history of NC through the colonial years and into the civil war era ---and they dress up!

Today Karen and I were cracking up at one little guy who looked quite the dandy in colonial day knickers, lace-trimmed ruffled shirt, vest, tricorn hat ---a real Beau Brummel to be sure!

And next to him, his fellow classmate was dressed in a civil war uniform complete with red stained bandage around his head.

What was even funnier, as this civil war soldier went from demo to demo to demo – they get 15 minutes at each station --- his bandage changed locations. First it was on his head, then the next time I saw him it was wrapped around his leg --- and then it finally wound up ((literally –WOUND UP!)) around his arm!

I love the kids this age, their bright smiles are full of big teeth, and they are so eager to learn.

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I displayed the quilts over the bleachers ---I thought they made a very fun display!

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Karen arrived and we set her teaching handouts and other object lessons on the table – the log cabin quilt is a family heirloom passed down from her hubby’s side – it’s about in shreds, but the fabrics in it are SO COOL! And the crazy patch quilt was given to her by a friend and dates to about 1920. It wasn’t long before the bell rang…and students started coming. The WHOLE 3rd Grade! Divided up into groups of 8 ---They had candle making---

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Popcorn stringing! Though I think they got more on the floor, and more in their mouths than they got on the strings --

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School house cursive writing with pen & ink, butter churning, so many different activities! And of course, they had QUILTING!

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LOVE the pants tucked into socks and the suspenders and hats..and of course the girl’s outfits were fun too. At this age they aren’t worried about “looking dorky” They just PLAY!

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Since each group only got 15 minutes with us…we got right down to talking about fancy quilts ((whole cloth and applique)) and how only really wealthy people could afford to by long lengths of fabric specifically for quilt making. And we talked about the old scrap bag and how patchwork patterns evolved over time to use even the smallest of scraps, many quilts being made out of the good parts left from worn clothing.

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Of course, most weren’t interested in the lecture part --- they wanted to start arranging shapes to make blocks!

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Turning those triangles the right way and putting them on the flannel board is not as easy as one would think, right!?

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Let’s take some stab stitches in the quilt in the hoop --- this is NOT as easy as it looks either to keep those stitches small and close together so the quilts don’t fall apart too quickly! What is always so interesting to see is that the BOYS love the sewing part, and often don't want to stop to move to the next station until they've finished all the thread on their needles!

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Doesn’t this sweet girl just look like Holly Hobby?! I LOVED their effort on the costumes!

(photo by Karen Fridy)

We really did have a great time, and noon and lunch time – marking the END of our activities was there before we knew it!

I “almost” missed not being dressed up in my pioneer dress. Next year, Karen, RIGHT?!

(Photo by Karen Fridy)

I’m off to Davenport Iowa this morning. Very excited to be meeting up with several quilters I’ve only known via the internet ---we have a great time planned out, and I can hardly wait to get there --- yes…hexies all the way!

Happy Friday, Everyone!


  1. How fun was that? Those kids are lucky to be able to see your collection of old quilts. One of the best things about quilting is sharing it, and with third graders is really cool! Great to show them that it is an old skill that has evolved and still lives today.

  2. This was so fun to read and enjoy through the pictures. I just love this "hands on" experience for the kids. I'll bet the younger grades look forward to being 3rd graders so they can do this. Thank you!

  3. Safe travel blessings to you! The day looked like so much fun!!!

  4. Oh how sweet! Love to see those children enjoying the activities and so interested in the quilts and actually sewing! Great job bringing some great history to those kids and making it FUN at the same time Bonnie!

  5. Makes me want to put on my pioneer dress and join them! It's always fun to see how interested kids are in learning about sewing (especially the boys!).

  6. Looks like a great day! How nice for both of you to spend your time with the kids doing that sort of thing. How impressive that the school still does stuff like that!!!

  7. Bonnie this looks like such fun. I remember when my kids classes spent a week doing old time school with a bell and doing lessons the old school way, and dressing the parts. They even had old fashioned names they went by. We, because I had to help hold things still until the glue dried, built a diorama of an one room school house. They also did candle dipping, and hand stitching and such. They had a great time. These type of activities make learning fun and the lessons are more likely to stick with the kids.

  8. Kelly in PA9:56 PM EDT

    I sometimes demo sewing with a treadle or hand crank machine at local museums and historical events. I also find boys are usually more interested in sewing, especially in how the machine works. I helped with Heritage Day at a local school a few years ago. I think we had 3rd graders, too. We had them sew fabric strips together with hand crank machines and by the end of the day we had a strip quilt top to hang in the hallway for them to see on the way out to the buses.


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