Not Your Mama’s Bee ~ June

Last April when I was at Sewtopia, a few of us started talking about how fun it would be to start a quilting bee for our kids. We have finally hit those awesome childhood years. The ones where the kids are more self sufficient, but still think we are the coolest and want to hang out with us. 🙂 My 8 year old daughter can even use the sewing machine unassisted! (Being the overprotective mom that I am, I still handle the rotary cutting and iron.)

This month was the first month of our bee, cleverly named by Jen, Not Your Mama’s Bee. Each month, one child in the bee gets to pick a general design or theme, and the other kids make and send a block using their parents stash and limited assistance. Lee’s youngest daughter was lucky enough to be assigned month one, and everyone is making her rainbow log cabin blocks that feature kitty fabric.

I pulled out my scrap buckets, and some larger cuts of my only fabric that would qualify as having cats, from Alexa Abegg’s Hatbox collection for Cotton + Steel. (I think technically they are tigers.) The kids got to work designing. We tried to focus on one ring at a time. (This was very hard for a certain excited 6 year old boy).

My daughter was able to stitch on her own, while my son sat in my lap and was in charge of guiding the fabric while I worked the foot pedal.

They loved sewing and the final results so much, they both wanted to keep them. 🙂 Don’t worry, they didn’t!

This was such a fun afternoon. Sometimes I am so busy trying to get “business” related sewing done, that I forget what it’s like to sit and enjoy the moment. I am really excited that we will have a chance to spend time creating together each month over the next year.



  1. Reply


    June 11, 2015

    What a lovely idea! My 4 year old is getting much more interested in my sewing and enjoyed choosing the fabrics for some t-shirts I made her. She wants to sit on my lap when I’m using my sewing machine, which is a bit annoying when she changes the settings mid sew!

  2. Reply

    Sigi G

    June 11, 2015

    What a wonderful idea! Wish I would have thought of that when my children were young enough to enjoy. Love the blocks – I can see how hard it must have been to send them off.

  3. Reply


    June 11, 2015

    What a great time you must have had. I can imagine how difficult it was to send their blocks off. I am looking forward to when my grandchildren will be able to join me in the sewing room. Instead of grandchildren on my lap sewing (too young yet) I sometimes have one of their dogs hanging out waiting for me to finish and pay attention to them.

  4. Reply


    June 11, 2015

    I just started sitting with my 4 year old granddaughter on my lap sewing. It is so very fun watching her get excited about it. How fortunate your children are that you are passing your gift along!

  5. Reply

    Rosemary B

    June 11, 2015

    You have two great kids.
    So nice that you can teach them to sew at a young age,
    I did the same and the results are always very beneficial.
    Now they (as adults) can sew their own crazy ideas haha
    Thanks for sharing.
    Well done, kids!

  6. Reply


    June 11, 2015

    Love it! I can see their joy in creating a bit of beauty. And so it begins!

  7. Reply

    Anne Burden

    June 11, 2015

    Great to see, that the kids are having fun.

  8. Reply

    Nancy tatro

    June 11, 2015

    When my two sons were very young, they used to sit on my lap when I sewed. My legs would often fall asleep(!) but it was fun having them so close. When they got old enough to “drive” the machine, they both wanted to make a quilt for their rooms! They only made one, but I think that has helped them appreciate mom’s quilts more as adults.

  9. Reply

    Anne Beier

    June 11, 2015

    How fun is that? What a great idea. I am working on the balance of work and enjoying the moment. I don’t think I know any woman who doesn’t struggle with this in today’s world.

  10. Reply


    June 11, 2015

    How wonderful! Such great memories the kids will have!

  11. Reply

    Judith Oswald

    June 11, 2015

    I helped my 9 yr old grandson sew a lap quilt–as he finished the top, he turned to me and said “I used to think sewing was hard, but it isn’t”. He is ready to conquer quilting next! One more skill under his belt is not a bad thing.

  12. Reply


    June 11, 2015

    This is such a great idea! My girls are older and both creating their first quilts. I love having them in my sewing room with me talking fabric, design and life!

  13. Reply


    June 11, 2015

    Very cute! My five-year-old son is making two quilts right now (one he designed himself and the Farm Girl Vintage sampler) and he sits on my lap to sew too. I love how he uses the most random bits of fabric from my stash. I’m always not quite sure it’ll work at first, but then blown away by how cute it is in the end.

  14. Reply


    June 11, 2015

    Wow! What great designs! It’s in the genes! 🙂 What a clever idea! I am passing this on to a friend who is a master quilter and has taught her grandchildren to sew using the sit in the lap method! Thanks for sharing!!

  15. Reply


    June 11, 2015

    Such fun to see your children enjoying the creative process. An afternoon well spent, I think! And their blocks look great! Congratulations on job well done.

  16. Reply


    June 11, 2015

    oh yeah. I adore this. Woulda/shoulda done this with my own kids! I’m pleased my grown daughter is a quilter…I must have done something right! 😉

  17. Reply


    June 11, 2015

    What an awesome idea!! I love that!

  18. Reply

    Little Black Cat Quilting

    June 11, 2015

    That is such a fun idea, I would have loved it as a kid!! I can’t wait to see what each month brings with this sewing bee! 🙂

  19. Reply


    June 11, 2015

    The kids couldn’t be more adorable. Have fun with them. It all goes by way too fast!

  20. Reply

    Mrs. Plum

    June 11, 2015

    What precious moments! Enjoy your kid’s childhood. It goes WAY too fast.

  21. Reply

    Becky M

    June 11, 2015

    Great idea! Sorry I missed joining this. Your kids are so cute with their blocks!

  22. Reply


    June 11, 2015

    You’re making great memories that will last forever, Faith! Good for you!

  23. Reply

    Diann Bottrell

    June 11, 2015

    I loved seeing your little boy getting involved, too! I didn’t quilt when my sons were little, but I did teach them to do counted cross-stitch and other crafty things! So much fun!

  24. Reply

    Kathleen D

    June 11, 2015

    How WONDERFUL! I’m so proud of you and your children! You’ve taught them a life-skill and maybe given them a way to enjoy themselves and to express their creativity for years to come.

  25. Reply

    Sarah @ Berry Barn Designs

    June 11, 2015

    This is such a great idea! I can’t wait till my kids are big enough to participate – just a few more years : )

  26. Reply

    Audrey B

    June 11, 2015

    Love it! They made some awesome blocks! My 7 year old grandson wants to learn how to sew. I can’t wait to get him started!

  27. Reply

    char quiroz

    June 11, 2015

    I am teaching my almost 9 year old grandson to sew, also. He loves it.

  28. Reply


    June 12, 2015

    My sons(6 & 8) and I have just finished designing the next quilt we will make together. All ready for some dedicated school holiday sewing in a couple of weeks!

  29. Reply


    June 12, 2015

    I remember the day my seven-year-old told me, “I think it is time for me to learn to sew.” Believing that when a child is ready is the time to teach them, I started her on a lifetime of sewing. She was hand embroidering at age 3 1/2 and now it doing it on her machine, as an adult mother of two.

  30. Reply


    June 12, 2015

    Awww, they do look so proud!! What a great idea.

  31. Reply

    DiAnne Craig

    June 12, 2015

    This is so inspiring! In this day and time I see far too many kids that are spending so much time on tablets, cell phones, video games…etc. I am so impressed and say kudos, because some of the best memories of my life are sitting next to my mom watching her sew…then my granny teaching me! I spent every weekend with granny and learned from a pro!

  32. Reply

    cyndi black

    June 13, 2015

    I think that is a GREAT idea. Way to go and the blocks look great. Great skill for boys and girls to have.

  33. Reply

    Betsy Muir

    June 13, 2015

    Great job, kids! Your use of color really makes your blocks pop! Can’t wait to see what you will do when it’s your turn.

  34. Reply


    June 13, 2015

    Such a joy to see the photo’s and read this story. You can see they liked it very much! Reminds me of my children when they were young. You have a wonderful blog. I enjoyed many posts already in the last half hour. I’ll be back!

  35. Reply

    Chris Hart

    June 14, 2015

    What an adorable idea!!!

  36. Reply

    Karen @runsewfun

    June 15, 2015

    Happy faces and fun times! Will you share with me how many children are in the bee? Thanks.

    • Reply


      June 15, 2015

      Hi Karen! We have 14 kids in this bee (some families like mine have siblings participating).

  37. Reply


    June 15, 2015

    Adorable. I plan to do that with my grandchildren ASAP.

  38. Reply

    Rebecca Grace

    June 15, 2015

    Great idea, Faith! Once there are enough blocks for a quilt top, I hope you give the kids a go at free-motion quilting. My kids really liked “drawing” on the quilt with the sewing machine and the BSR is a huge help to kids. Also, kids have none of the intimidation about free motion quilting that adults have — they don’t know it’s supposed to be scary, so they just have fun. 😉 Happy summer sewing!

  39. Reply

    Sondra Borrie

    June 17, 2015

    Fabulous program, Faith. Love it!

  40. Reply


    June 20, 2015

    Such a Great idea. I’ll be watching as the year goes on.

  41. Reply

    Kelly O.

    June 26, 2015

    what a great idea!! Wish I had more quilty friends that would be looking for the same thing for their kids… My daughter is 10 and she literally sews all by herself… this would be so fun for her!

  42. Reply


    July 15, 2015

    I am so impressed! Both with the idea and with the wonderful job!


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