Welcome to our blog.

….. We make
….. We explore
….. We nuture

Three children *** One big, grey dog *** Two parents *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That’s us!

We’ve been blogging since January 2010.

You can find me here

  • RSS Feed for Posts
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Flickr
  • Instagram
Follow

Craft Projects

Follow on Bloglovin

Just a thought….

“A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe.”

 

Life

Thank you….

  • Craft Mother Interesting that you say they are more feminine. Made me stop and think. Looking around I think I see what you mean. Shape and fitting... 24 Aug
  • Craft Mother It was fun, but glad of a quieter week. 24 Aug
  • Craft Mother It was a great camp site. Fabulous location. 24 Aug
  • Craft Mother I have memories of going with my mother to the fabric shops. It's probably where my love of fabric and patterns come from. Looking forward... 24 Aug
  • Craft Mother It is amazing. 24 Aug
  • Older »

Time to smile

"God has an inordinate fondness for stars and beetles."

- J B S Haldane

Debs Random Writings

first machine sewing project for children

How to make a patchwork bookmark

We needed an easy, creative activity today. We had snow, but not enough to entertain anyone more than 5 minutes outside. Just finger nipping cold, nose chilling wet. I don’t wish to sound greedy, but can someone send us enough to make a snowman next time, please?

After a very short time, everyone retreated inside. Queue activity to head off the requests for screen time.

I love making patchwork bookmarks. It uses up teeny, tiny scraps of fabric, which I cannot bring myself to throw away. Also, there is no right or wrong with it. Perfect as a beginner project or one for children to do, or, to be honest, anyone who likes making fun, pretty things. So long as the scraps overlap each other and more than cover the piece of felt, practically anything goes. I like to quilt as I go and this is a brilliant way to practise the technique.

This is how we do it.

You need:

a bundle of little scraps of fabric
a strip of felt, cut 20cm x 5cm (8″ x 2″) approx
a piece of fabric 21cm x 6cm (8.5″ x 2.5″ ) for the back
small piece of ribbon
thread

sewing equipment (scissors, sewing machine, pins, knitting needle, tape measure or ruler)

Each scrap of fabric needs to have straight edges to keep this project on the easy side. They also need to be at least 1cm wider then the narrow width of the felt piece.

Step 1: Arrange pieces of scrap fabric on top of the felt strip, making sure the edges of the scraps are overlapping each other by at least 0.5cm (1/4″).

Step 2: Take the first scrap of fabric. Right side up, position it overlapping the top of the felt by 0.5cm. Now this part is slightly tricky. Channel your inner school maths self and think rotations. Imagine a sewing line on the scrap (big, bold, arrowless lines in pictures above), 0.5cm from the edge. Now, flip the scrap on to the wrong side, along the imagined line. That wasn’t so bad, was it?

Step 3: Sew along the sewing line. As shown, above left. Fold the fabric up, so the right side is now showing, and iron the fabric in the direction of the arrow in the  picture, above right.

It’s plain sailing from now on.

Step 3: Putting right sides together, and lining up the edges, sew the next scrap to the first one. As shown above. You are sewing through the felt as well. Flip the second scrap down and iron it.

Repeat for all the other fabrics, until the felt is covered. Overlap the lower edge of the felt by at least 1cm (0.5″)

Step 4: Putting right sides together, line up the bookmark with the backing fabric. Sew around 3 edges, just catching the edge of the felt. Leave the bottom short edge open.

(Tip: at the start and the end of stitching, sew back over your stitches. This stops them pulling apart when you do step 6.)Step 5: Clip the excess fabric around the edge and clip the corners.

Step 6: Turn the bookmark the right way round, by pulling it through the open edge. Use the blunt end of a knitting needle, or a stick, to push the corners into a point. Take care not to push through the corners and make a hole.

Step 7: Iron the bookmark and tuck the unstitched ends back into the opening, as if to hide them. Push the ends of the ribbon in too. Pin in place.

Step 8: Topstitch along each of the four edges of the bookmark.

Step 9: Iron, and then slip bookmark into your current book.

All three children (9, 12 and 14) loved this activity. They really got into the selection stage, and the chance to use my old sewing machine. The one aspect of this activity you can guarantee is, that no two bookmarks will ever look quite the same. Colour, fabric and wonkiness just add to the charm.

These make great gifts, especially when giving a book. Often thought they would work well as a Father’s day present or teachers thank you gift. So easy that several can be made in one afternoon.

Hope you have fun making one. I’m off to check if it’s snowing again. Fingers crossed.

Linking up to Sara’s Craft Schooling Sunday and Fiona’s #Trash2Treasure

Trash 2 Treasure

Sharing. Good idea.

An independent owl

making an owl softie 5“I’d like to do some sewing.”

I cannot lie. I do love that sentence. Especially when it is said by one of my children. For a split moment, I’m tempted to suggest all sorts of fun sewing projects, but I don’t.

“What would you like to sew?”

making an owl softie 2“I don’t know.”

She wanders away.

Darn. Have I missed my opportunity to encourage her? I should have said something else.

A few minutes later, she returns with a book. Phew. She was just checking out which book to use from our rather large library of beginner’s sewing. I’m impressed that she selected one so quicky. It usually takes me longer. I’ve been known to take all evening and still not decide.

making an owl softie 3“I’d like to make an owl.”

A good choice. We have all the materials. It is fairly simple. She can use the sewing machine. She selects the fabric I used for the bean bags.

“Would you like some help?”

“No thanks. I’ve got this one.”

making an owl softie 4For once, it feels good not to be needed. She knows what to do. Making changes as she goes along. I should have seen it coming, this independent spirit of mine. It is the same when she is baking. She doesn’t need me as much.

making an owl softieShe’s pleased with her owl, and so am I. Her confidence is growing. She knows she can do it. Not just in sewing, but in so many areas of her life. It’s a joy to watch.

I wonder what she’ll chose to do next time.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Sharing. Good idea.

Photos

There have been cases when people lifted my photos and words, and used them without credit to me or asking permission first. Using them for their own commercial gain. I have now added a level of security to deter people from doing this. Apologies to people who do play nicely. If you would like to use any of my photos, please contact me.

Copyright notice:

All my words and photos are copyrighted to me. They cannot be used for commercial benefit by anyone else. If you would like to use any of them, then please ask me first and don't just take. Written permission only. Don't pass my words, photos or ideas off as your own. It's not nice.