Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Boys' #MugRug Sewing Journey

Check out this gorgeous little ditty my kiddo made! I'm so proud of my Big Boy and the creations we're making together.

With all my work travel -- I've been gone in fits and spurts for most of the last two years -- we haven't done much sewing in a very long time. Still, he hasn't lost a bit of his skill, and with the maturity that comes with being 8 years old, he cranked out this pretty Christmas tree a few days ago. My only contribution: The quilting and binding. Period. He did the cutting, piecing and pressing for this beauty, and he designed the quilting motifs. For the next one, though, I'll let him go to town on the quilting, too. My only regret is that I didn't get a picture of him holding it. (This one was made primarily from leftover scraps of Cherrywood Fabrics from my entry in their August 2014 Wicked Challenge. If you haven't checked that out, whoa. Just whoa. You gotta.)

Two years ago, we made our first #mugrug together, and it's become a holiday tradition for him to make them for his teachers and a few special adults in his life each Christmas.  Here's the star effort from last year (2014) -- he loves doing raw edge applique.

Here he and his brother show off their first effort from Christmas 2013 (before binding):

We gifted them rolled up with a simple ribbon.

I knew your basic scrap, quilt-as-you-go technique was something my little guys could handle, and would be a good way to introduce them to sewing and quilting. When starting kids sewing, it's important to pick a project where precision cutting and sewing aren't required to create a nice final product. Here's how we tackled it in 2013:

At the time, Bitty was only 4 years old, so even the cutting was a bit of a struggle.  He got discouraged pretty quick.

No matter, though. Some colors and a huge post-it pad brightened his spirits... 


...and got him back in the holiday mood!

Big Boy, at 6 years old, was serious about his first real quilting project. 

Wow, he looks SO young in these pictures! He's grown SO much. 

He did a great job cutting batting and backing to the size he wanted.

The strips they cut were pretty ragged, but I didn't want them trying to use rotary cutters or even adult scissors. For what it's worth, even though the kids' safety scissors they used made really short cuts, they did go through the fabric and batting with relative ease.

He did a great job of mixing the colors and values!   

Such concentration!

We started by stitching the batting down to the backing around the outside edge. Then we anchored a strip to one edge through all the layers. After that, we added on by laying a new strip right sides together with the anchor strip and sewing through all layers on the loose edge of the anchor strip. 

He learned to press it open, then to lay the next strip down and keep plugging along across the project.

Over the course of a couple of days, we assembled four of them.

Here's our beautiful mess after the piecing was complete. No need to worry about perfectly cut strips... 

...or perfect sewing lines!

Bitty decided to team back up with his big brother for some clean-up trimming.

They did such a great job making them. All. By. Themselves. (As any parent knows: That's important!)

There was nothing left for me to do except bind them. By the way, these are great projects for flatlocking small scraps of batting. Waste not, want not.

Finally, a picture of the finished product with one of our favorite Christmas decorations...

My sweet mother saw this Christmas display and just knew SuperHusband had to have it. I love it.

Once we finish this year's lot of mugrugs, I'll share some more pictures! Have a blessed Thanksgiving Day and a Merry Christmas. Thanks for stopping in!