The dog days of summer are upon us, and the long sunny afternoons are winding down. In just short of another month, the kids will be back in school, and the opportunity to spend long hours enjoying county fairs, swimming holes, and silly picnics at the park will become happy memories.   I love summer!  And I love hearing about all of the fun and adventurous things going on, especially when it comes to anything crafty.

When I was growing up, summer mornings were spent at the elementary school summer rec program.  We made bracelets and kites, we painted with watercolors, we glued layer over layer of tissue paper, and we made just about anything (and everything) with fabric from my mothers sewing stash;  including pot holders, aprons, place mats, and pillows.  I remember it well, because my mom was the craft program, volunteer teacher.  And boy, did she make those summer days memorable.

I was reminded of all of those fun summer days this weekend, when a friend posted photos of her grandchildren, who had been visiting her.  As she was sharing all the fun photos,  I reminisced in the summer days of my youth, through her photos and comments.  Her three grand daughters had  a fabulous time swimming, going to the fair, earning a license to drive a golf cart, and exploring antique shops.  And what else?   You guessed it – sewing with their grandmother.

The girls, Mia – 7; Gabi – 9; and Sophia – 13, all spent some time in the sewing room. All of the projects they made began from quilt squares that were purchased at a Mennonite thrift shop. Of course, the added fabrics were carefully selected from a stash in the sewing room.

Sophia’s Summer Quilt (2015)

For Sophia, this was not her first time sewing.  Last summer  (2015) she designed and put together a quilt, shown below.  The blocks surrounding the center are , a nine-patch blocks.  a Nine-Patch is one of the best basic blocks to learn; it has straight lines, and your sewing has to be accurate enough to allow the intersections meet. The other blocks she used were half square triangles (HST’s).  Learning how to sew accurate point-to-point seams is also an essential sewing skill.  Of course, when she was digging through the stash (aka: fabric treasures), she couldn’t resist adding kitties to her project.

Dog days1
Sophia’s bear. She has a big Dr. Who bow.

This year, Sophia  wanted to make a bear.  She began with blocks purchased at the Mennonite Thrift shop, and added her own flair AND she hand quilted it!  Take a look.

Gabi’s pillow, which she quilted on a domestic sewing machine.

F0r Gabi and Mia, this was their first time at a sewing machine. Their projects also began from inspiration of the quilt blocks they purchased at the Mennonite Thrift shop. The photos of their pillow may not show the squares around the outside in detail, but one had puppies and one had kitty cats. They selected the backing based on colors and their personal choice. All fabric was “shopped for” in grandmothers stash.

Mia’s’s pillow, which she quilted on a domestic sewing machine.


 I love these pictures and those projects so much for a couple of reasons.
One: Because they brought back memories of summers spent sewing with my mom and my grand mom. Those times when we were given free range of their scrap box (they never called it a stash) were priceless.
Two: Because sewing is a great skill to have, one that isn’t as valued today, as it was back in the day. Knowing that makes it all that much more special.
Three: Because passing down your love for sewing is like handing them your legacy.  They will never forget learning how to sew, and (hopefully) they will continue to be enthusiastic about creating something hand-made.
And last, but probably the most important thing is the bond they create, and the blessing they share, when the love for sewing is passed down through the family tree.

Here are a few other photos of their summer adventures!

Pool fun!
Pool fun!
State Fair Fun!
Fun with animals at the state fair.
Earning an operators license
Earning an operators license
Enjoy the dog days of summer and time with family and friends!