Friday, July 1, 2011

Quilt Camp

best. job. ever. Seriously.  Each year at work, around the end of June we hold Quilt Camp for kids.  Obviously this falls into my job description and I spent several weeks looking for & deciding on projects for the kids, choosing & prepping materials, registering kids, gathering volunteers and working with the sewing machines to gear up for camp.  Then it was time for camp itself where I got to teach kids how to quilt and work on sewing projects for 2 weeks straight.  So fun!  

Here's the breakdown:
 Each session lasts 4 days, meeting each day for 2.5 hours and along with the sewing, it includes a snack and forays into the galleries for inspiration & a stretch break.

Week 1 - mornings - Beginner ages 5-10  - 20 kids
               afternoons - Beginner ages 10-17  - 7 kids
Week 2 - mornings - Intermediate ages 10-17 (learning to rotary cut)  - 9 kids
               afternoons - Advanced ages 13-17  - 5 kids


It was difficult to decide on projects since each level (Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced) works on a different project with different skill sets.  I pre-cut the pieces for the beginner kids, so they just sew 'em all together and pillow-turn to finish their quilts.  This sounds easy, but with 20 kiddos it can get complicated really quickly. They made snowball blocks and sewed 'em all together into scrappy quilts.

For the beginners, I cut a total of: 250 - 8" squares, 1240+ 3" squares, plus backing & batting times 20.

The Intermediates learn or refresh their rotary cutting skills, so they get to cut out their own pieces, sew them together, quilt them and attach binding. This pattern is called 'Pave the Way' designed by Karen Gray and shown in the Spring/Summer 2011 Quilt Sampler Magazine. 

 Our Advanced campers also get to cut, sew, quilt & bind their pieces, but are usually working with more complex designs/patterns/techniques.  This year we paper pieced a star and then set it on point.

It's so great to see what color combos the kids put together, how they choose their fabrics and to watch them create a quilt of their very own.  By the end of the week, it tends to be a race against the clock to get that last border stitched in place, the final turns of the binding completed or the label attached & signed.  In the end, as the parents are trickling in to pick up the happy campers, we're working to get everyone to smile for a group photo before they all head home with quilts in hand and smiles on their faces.

*the photos are my samples of the projects - I should have some of the kids' work coming soon!

I've cut more fabric, wound more bobbins, threaded & re-threaded the machines and switched the feet more times than I can count in the last 2 weeks.  Today was the last day and it was wonderful to see all the finished products from these young quilters.  It was just as wonderful to know I had made it through my 1st quilt camp successfully and had loads of fun doing it!  :D

1 comment:

  1. That sounds fun! It's great that you have landed a job that suits you down to the ground.