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A new demographic...

A new demographic...

Written by: 
cnelson

We've all seen the surveys... the "average quilter" is a woman in her late 50s.  We may need to skew that number down a little bit.

This sweet young man is 3-1/2 years old and he stitched that pillow on a sewing machine.  He picked the fabrics too!  But more on him in a moment...

Kids are learning to sew at home, in school and in quilt shops.  They learn from family members who sew, and they're interested because it's fun - isn't that why we do it? - and because of the satisfaction of being able to say "look what I made!"  Teachers are using quilting to teach fractions, geometry and other math skills.  (Think about it... calculating the required yardage for a quilt involves multiplying the number of strips of each size, adding up the various numbers, dividing it by 36, maybe adding 5% for straightening cuts and errors, then turning that number into a fraction.  Ack!)

These young men and women are quilters.

They submitted blocks for the National Quilt Museum's Annual School Block Challenge.

The School Block Challenge is a competition and exhibit for children grades K-12 nationwide.  Three challenge fabrics are provided to applicants and the fabrics must be included in the block entry.  Using math skills, creativity and whatever techniques they choose, they work to create a quilt block of their own design.  Students can make a block on their own, at school, in a home-school program, with a Girl or Boy Scout Troop, in a 4-H club or just about any youth organization or club.  The idea is to participate and have fun.

The exhibit hangs in the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky from early January to mid-April.  As a proud sponsor of the challenge, Moda Fabrics donates the three challenge fabrics.

Three quilters/artists from the local community are chosen to judge the blocks based on craftsmanship, creative use of the three challenge fabrics and overall composition.

Blocks can use glue, iron-on fusibles, embellishments and trims, and additional fabrics but they must have some form of stitching done by hand or by sewing machine.

This is Sunrise by Naarah White of Paducah, Kentucky - the First Place block for the Kindergarten-4th Grade division.

Over the River and Through The Woods by Cameron Tiefenthaler of Mechanicsburg, Ohio is the First Place block in the 9th-12th Grade division.

The Grand Prize block is Naughty Kitty in the City by Caity Kerlinger of Paducah, Kentucky.

Caity is in the K-4th Grade division.

To see ALL of the winning blocks in the 2017 School Block Challenge. 

Some of the block titles are Memories of Halloween, The Frog That Lost It's True Love, The Universe, Lady Lady Legs, Potato Head and Here's That Rainy Day.  Click the images to see the names of the super-creative kids who made each block.

There were 204 blocks submitted by 255 students from sixteen different states.  Participants are invited to a reception and Awards Ceremony that kicks-off the opening of the exhibit.  For more information on participating - 25th Annual School Block Challenge.

Now about that young man and his pillow... the Moda Bake Shop was an Exhibitor at the Asheville Quilt Guild Show a few weeks ago.  (September 29 - October 1.)

Our fearless leaders - Kim Polson and Debbi Duckworth!  They're funny, friendly, knowledgeable and they were mixing Cakes at the show.

One of the features for the Asheville Quilt Guild Show is a Kids Sewing Station.  Children ages 5 to 16 are invited to participate in the free activity where Guild members will teach and guide them in the use of a sewing machine.  Kids chose eight pre-cut squares of Moda fabrics to make a pillow.  They joined squares for the front and back - four squares each - and then assembled the pillow.  It was stuffed and stitched closed.

This little cutie might be difficult but the pillow obviously isn't - look at how well he matched those seams!  He's got skillz.

So does this young man - he made a pillow and got his picture taken with Mr. Dunn.

I love that purple button.

Sewing for kids is so popular that there will be a seminar-presentation by Generation Q Magazine at Fall Quilt Market for "Kids Really Are Sewing."

So do you sew with your kids or grandkids?  What kinds of projects do you make?

And how old were you when you learned to sew?  I was nine.  My Mom refused to teach me, she insisted I take a Singer Sewing Class so I could learn my own bad habits instead of hers.  My Mom was really smart that way.

Happy Friday!

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