Quilting With Kids Doesn’t Always Mean Using Fabric

You know how it goes: you think about it all week, planning and smiling about the things you’ll make with the littles. I had grand plans for that “Crafturday”: we’d make doll quilts! Easy, simple, fun, and for the stuffies and dolls they love!

But sometimes, our desires don’t match up with reality. It’s not that my kids (a boy and girl) don’t like to sew or make quilts, but sometimes the spirit to do a project that requires greater amounts of concentration just isn’t there. On my end, I also didn’t want to force them to sit with me sewing, which might sour them on the whole thing. In the end, we agreed to do a mini project that didn’t involve cloth.

For this project, we used the following:
Two large, plain sheets of paper with a 3″ grid drawn on it in pencil (Use whatever size you feel comfortable with!  I just went with a ruler that happened to be 3″ wide)
Two glue sticks (or one per kid)
Construction Paper cut in 3″ squares, some of which then cut into HSTs

You could also use scrapbook paper, newsprint or magazines, pretty much whatever you’d like!

While the kids were locating the glue sticks, I cut squares and HSTS from the construction paper.

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And had the kids help me divide up the paper into the grids we’d use as a guide.

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Then, we talked about how triangles made squares and other shapes if you twisted them this way and that, and I let them pick and choose their own colors and shapes. They wanted to come up with their own color combos, and I had no problems with that! I also want to point out something interesting about color choices: the cones of boys’s eyes (the light collectors) are shaped differently than girls, which means they perceive color differently.  Consider providing some darker colors like black or grey or brown with your brights and pastels; you might just find your boy choosing from them.

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In the end, this entire project took about 30 minutes for them to complete, and they talked about their designs and color choices as they did, which was really interesting to me, and we talked about shapes you could make with the way you changed your triangles around.  I hope you consider paper as a quilting tool in the future!  It is a good way to introduce the concepts of design as well as having less invested in terms of fabric costs and time. If they are particularly attached to their work, consider recreating their paper design in fabric as a next project. Enjoy!

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2 Responses to Quilting With Kids Doesn’t Always Mean Using Fabric

  1. Love this! Boys enjoy craft days so much more than some people may think. This brings back memories of days with my son (now 16, and is a still the quiet self-entertaining type), and a couple of rough-and-tumble boys from up the street and the hours we’d spend in the basement doing activities like this. The boys’ mom could not have been more shocked when she came to get them and saw what they’d been doing all day – it never occurred to her that they’d enjoy something not involving guns. Haha.

  2. This is a great project. I did this with my oldest’s 2nd grade class several years ago.

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