Friday, January 18, 2019

Learning to Sew & Entering the School Block Challenge

Last summer, I had the opportunity to visit The National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky. Though I had heard of the museum I had never traveled to Kentucky to visit. It was travel to and from Nashville that finally got me there for my first visit. I am so glad to have viewed the exhibits and learn about the wonderful programs they have for sharing the art of quilting and sewing.

The quilt exhibits were fabulous and at least for someone who sews, like myself, very inspirational. The museum also offers excellent educational programs for all ages. It was because of my visit that I learned about the museums annual School Block Challenge, a contest sponsored by MODA fabric.

Despite her interest in learning sewing skills, I wasn't sure if my teen daughter would be interested in submitting a quilt block for the exhibit. As a senior in high school, 2018/19 would be her last opportunity to enter the annual event. As a homeschooling parent, I have found that exhibit and contest opportunities provide excellent opportunities for motivation and a framework that includes a beginning and end for learning a skill and completing a project. Research, applying a learned technique, a deadline and feedback are all included in submitting something to an exhibit or competition.

Completed for submission to the
National Quilt Museum's
School Block Challenge 2018

We have been doing crafting and sewing projects together since my daughter's little fingers could begin to manipulate supplies. It has been rewarding to share my love of sewing and creating with her. Her continued interest in learning to sew fed right into learning about quilt block patterns and designs. It is a joy to see specialty craft skills be embraced by the next generation in our family. 

My own interest in sewing was with the goals of creating clothing. That interest began as a young teen when, given my families limited resources, it required creativity to have more items in my own closet. I initially learned to sew and knit from my paternal grandmother and continued learning on my own. My skills improved by taking home economics classes in both jr. high school and high school. The same  desire to have more choices in what she wears has fueled my daughter's interest in learning to construct garments. Late last summer, we completed a couple of clothing sewing projects together.

It was following the making of those garments that she took off with her own research on quilt blocks and chose a design to model her own after. The School Block Challenge gave her the framework of guidelines and a deadline. Created, submitted and happily finished with the positive feedback of an honorable mention in the 9th - 12th grade category in the contest.
See the winning entries at:
All of the entries are currently displayed in The National Quilt Museum's galleries. Now we gotta get to Paducah to view the show!

My daughter used Simplicity 1370 Women's Shorts,
Skorts, and Skirt Sewing Pattern, Sizes 6-14
to make a summer outfit for herself.

This is not a beginner pattern but it was fairly easy to follow and construct. The result turned out well. The Simplicity pattern can be ordered on Amazon at:

No comments:

Post a Comment