Sewing – Cooperative Teaching

by Darla on August 23, 2009

in Home Education


Teaching cooperatively hasn’t really been an option for our family in the past.  This has been an incredible learning experience both for myself and the children.  The benefits have been that my children try harder to listen, follow directions and I am more prepared and methodical in my presentation than I have been in previous attempts.

Sewing has been a love of mine since I was about 10 years old.  Teaching sewing then should be easy, well no.  I have done things so long I don’t think about what I do, it is second nature.  Two years ago I found this incredible resource – Bunkhouse Sewing.

These guides are incredible.  They are simple line drawings that are clear and easy to follow.  If you are teaching yourself or someone else I recommend them.  They keep adding  on additional books such as Heirloom sewing and Quilting.

My personal preference for learning to quilt would be Eleanor Burns series.   Start with something simple like the Log Cabin.  http://quilting.about.com/od/picturesofquilts/ig/Log-Cabin–Pineapple–More/Eleanor-Burns-Log-Cabin-Quilt.htm The quilts come out looking great even for beginners.

This class will be ongoing for the next 3 to 6 months before they are ready to tackle individual projects on their own.

The First Class: (I forgot to take photos the first class but we reviewed threading the machines and winding bobbins.  Posts are so much better with photos :))

  1. We spent time getting to know our machines (terminology):  threading it, the different parts, their uses.
  2. We practiced learning straight and zig zag stitches on a pattern provided from our book.
  3. When they were finished they changed their needle and practice threading their machine.
  4. The class wrapped up with practicing all the stitches their machine could make on a piece of fabric.

Homework:  Practice stitching and keeping it on the lines.  This will teach them control.

Told them next class we would learn to make pillowcases.

The Second Class:

The children did really well the previous class on their straight stitching exercises, if they had not we would have spent the first part of this class with more stitching exercises.

I had prepared a sample of what the children were going to learn.  I had it started but not completed so I could show them what I meant.  In the book it had you purchase fabric for one piece pillowcase.  Due to an unfortunate circumstance, my students fabric came up missing so we ended up using scraps that I had.

The scraps were prepared by ironing and pre-cutting the fabric to dimensions that would come out looking like a pillowcase.  Strange perhaps but a pillow case none the less and good practice.

Our fabric requirements were 1/2 yard main body of pillow, 1/8 yard accent trim, 1/4 yard edge of pillow.

Finished pillowcases:

They did a fantastic job.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Roxanne August 24, 2009 at 8:08 pm

Very inspiring! We just moved to Doha a month ago. We’re also homeschoolers. I love sewing, but am not that good at it :-p, BUT I’m very happy to say that I purchased that same book before we moved so that I could teach my girls. Thanks for the inspiration! Can’t wait to get started!

2 Laurie August 25, 2009 at 2:39 pm

I got an error so I’m trying this again. One of my first quilts was EB and that was my last. That’s cool if you can make great quilts with her techniques. I use other guides now. How neat to teach the kids.
Blessings,
Laurie

3 Darla August 26, 2009 at 7:05 am

Roxanne, Thanks for the encouragement.

Laurie, I wonder why you keep getting errors. What browser are you using? I’ll try that to see if it happens for me. What guides do you use for quilting?

Darla

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