Cross Stitch with Kids ~ A New Adventure

Cross Stitch with Kids at Fresh Lemons Quilts

Last week, a bit out of the blue, my daughter announced she wanted to learn to cross stitch. In my usual style, as soon as one of my children expresses the slightest interest in a crafty hobby, I go all out. I can’t help myself! We headed straight over to my friend Amanda’s website, The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. I had a feeling my daughter would love everything in her shop and I was right! She immediately picked the Leaning Tower of Macarons for her first project.

Cross Stitch with Kids at Fresh Lemons Quilts

I decided I needed to make her a little tote to carry around all her project supplies. (I did mention I can’t help myself, right?) I happened to have the Road Trip Case Pattern from Noodlehead and decided it was perfect! I made one easy modification and put a vinyl zipper pouch on both sides rather than just one side. It holds pretty much everything she needs!

Cross Stitch with Kids at Fresh Lemons Quilts

Then for my final splurge, because I couldn’t resist the cuteness, I bought a thread organizer from my friend Holly over at Bijou Lovely and a llama needle minder from A Needle Runs Through It on Etsy. (For those of you who knit, Holly also sells a version of her heart that is a knitting gauge.)

I bought two sizes of Aida cloth for my daughter to try out – 6 count and 11 count. She doesn’t like the idea of 6 count because it’s so big (even after I explained to her that it would be much easier for a beginner). So she is going to try the 11 count first. We will see how it goes! I promise to share progress and any lessons learned along the way. 🙂

Snowflake in October

Snowflake Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Things have been very busy here over the last week. I’ve completed my Snowflake quilt top! These blocks went together quite quickly. I think I spent one morning cutting and then one day piecing. However, once I had all the blocks laid out, I decided that some of my fabric choices weren’t the best suited for the design. Basically anything too “busy” and with too much contrast really took away the focus. So I ended up remaking about 8 blocks (which is always a bit of a downer when you think you are done!).

Snowflake Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

It only took a morning to sew the blocks together to form the quilt top. We were on the go a lot the weekend, so it was nice to spend Monday relaxing and stitching away.

Snowflake Quilt Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Today I’m planning on basting and getting started on my quilting! I can’t wait to share this pattern with you all soon. As I mentioned last week, I’ll be posting directions as a 3 week quilt along over at BERNINA’s We All Sew blog. If you want to be notified of when the posts are going up, you can always subscribe to my email notifications here.

Not Your Mama's Bee : Fresh Lemons Quilts

In quilting bee updates, my kids had off school last Thursday and Friday so we took advantage and whipped up their October blocks for Not Your Mama’s Bee. (Yes, my son keeps me on my toes. 🙂 ) These blocks are for Katie of Swim Bike Quilt’s daughter. She requested 9 patch plus blocks using fabric with dots. The squares are cut at 5″ x 5″. We were all assigned a color so that her quilt will have a great variety. This month I decided not to tackle sewing with both kids at the same time. It was much less stressful going with a one-on-one plan. Lessons learned every month!

Not Your Mama’s Bee ~ July

Not Your Mama's Bee : Fresh Lemons Quilts

July was the second month for my kid’s Not Your Mama’s Bee. If you happened to miss June’s post, a group of friends have put together a quilting bee for our kids! We have ages 5 to 9, boys and girls. And I think the parents are learning as much as the kids.

Not Your Mama's Bee : Fresh Lemons Quilts

This month happened to be my daughter’s month to request blocks. Recently we have been talking about giving her bedroom a little makeover. I decorated it back when she was 2, and although I think it still works great for an 8 year old, she is ready for a change. I can’t really argue too much with her, as I change things here and there all the time.

She really likes the idea of a navy, pink, turquoise and gold room, so she requested Star Quilt Blocks of any size in those colors. She made a wonky star herself, and my 6 year old son made a sawtooth star. Not sure I’d recommend making flying geese with a 6 year old again, but we survived! 🙂

The kids are doing great with the sewing machines. I have my daughter using my BERNINA 440QE and she can now pretty much sew independently on it. My son is sewing with my help on my BERNINA Ambassador machine (the 750QE). He loves to push the thread cutting button when we are done stitching. This month I started letting him push the foot pedal, but I still help guide his hands as he guides the fabric. To say he’s accident prone would be an understatement! Much to their dismay, I am still keeping the speed turned way down on both machines.

Not Your Mama's Bee : Fresh Lemons Quilts

So far she’s received 9 of her blocks. Above you’ll see the 6 we had back when we took the photos. She is talking about doing a random layout with blocks of solids/prints mixed in. (Similar to my Starfall Quilt).

And now we are already into August, and ready to sew a new block for a new friend!

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.