Last month I was invited to help a brownie troop earn their quilting badge. After doing some digging, I found the lesson plan used by another group that seemed manageable with some editing. After cutting and kitting, planning and revising, I was off to see some brownies.
The experience was positive both for the girls and for me.
Takeaways from the experience:
1. The girls were very enthusiastic about hearing about and seeing the quilts. Even more than I thought they would be. They especially liked the ones that had bright colors. They absorbed all of the information I shared with them and was able to repeat the information back to me. And did I say they were enthusiastic…what a gift that was for me!
2. One hour and 15 minutes really isn’t enough time to fully complete the project (we made a potholder). It was after school (so it was the end of the day) and the girls did fabulously but most of them had never held a needle, let alone taken a stitch. That being said, they did not give up and were very patient with me and themselves. If and when I have the opportunity to do this again I would suggest doing this on a day the girls don’t have school, and to set aside between 2 and 2 1/2 hours to totally complete the project. I would also have one adult for every 3 to 4 girls. In spite of the fact that the little ladies did not complete all of their project on site, they were pleased with what they did accomplish, and this pleased me.
3. Kitting the project was the way to go! Threading additional needles prior to the event was a blessing. Using fabrics that engaged the girls was a good call. Not all the kits had identical fabrics, but there was no fussing, everyone seemed pleased with what they were working with.
I would definitely do this again, and the girls were so positive! One thing we need to keep in mind as those of us that have been quilting for decades may or may not have noticed, if we want the craft to continue we need to pass on our knowledge and enthusiasm for the artform. As I attend shows and classes I’m noticing more and more women of a “certain age”. It’s time to get youth involved. And it’s been time for awhile. We need to get out there and engage the youth.
My dear friend Mollie Willey, was confident in her group of girls and their leader, and she was spot on. I was thrilled and delighted with the chance to meet them and hope to do so again when they are Juniors. And such thoughtful girls. They were kind enough to thank me with these…
I am the one that was blessed by this encounter.
It’s so cool you had the chance to do this!
I think so too. I know that I had as much fun as they did!
You are so very right about teaching young people how to quilt! I am at least encouraged by how huge QuiltCon has gotten – and there seems to be younger women attending. Thanks for working with these girls -looks like a good time was had by all!