Quilting can take a lot of patience, precision, and focus—all qualities that kids can sometimes lack! But don’t let that stop you. There are stacks of simple projects you can take on with the little ones. In fact, quilting with kids can be fun and educational for children as young as six.
Keep reading to learn ideas to help your kids make a project that you’ll both be proud of.
Let Them Choose the Project
Kids aren’t likely to be engaged if they’re not excited to see the end result of their hard work. That’s why, no matter what you want to make together, they should be involved in deciding what project you create.
Need some ideas for easy, traditional quilting projects? Here’s a list to get you started.
- Precut Quilt Kits
- Charm Pack Blocks
- DIY Barn Quilt Wall Art
- Simple Block Pattern
- Hexagon Kits
- Sandwich Kits
You’re not limited to a traditional quilt, however. Feel free to branch out from a classic blanket to these other projects for quilting with kids.
Make a Doll Quilt
If you’re not confident your kid (or you, for that matter) has the attention span to make a full-sized quilt, you can put together a miniature one fit for a doll!
Not only are doll quilts adorable, they’re also easy to put together. Typically, they only require about as much work as a block or two for a full-sized quilt. Depending on how much effort you want to put into it, you can make a mini quilt with backing, binding, and even batting if you want. If not, you can simply piece a rectangle of fabric together.
You can also patch a doll quilt together with whatever scraps you have lying around in your fabric stash. Allow your kid to rifle through scraps you aren’t using for the doll quilt, too—a good way to use up old fabric!
Make a Friendship Quilt
If you’re not familiar with friendship quilts, they’re simply a quilt where each block is made by a different friend or loved one. They come together for a personal, heartfelt end result that’s totally unique.
If you have a group of kids that are learning to quilt, like grandchildren or your friends’ children, a friendship quilt is a great way to collaborate, and takes much less time (good for those short attention spans!).
Friendship quilts make great gifts, too. You can gather each one of the grandchildren for an afternoon to make a friendship quilt square and stitch them all together for their grandparents. That’s a personal present you can’t just buy.
Make a Pillowcase
Pillowcases are a small, manageable quilting project that you can easily tackle with the kiddos. You can make a decorative throw pillowcase or a full-sized bed pillowcase to decorate your kid’s bed—whatever you choose, you can get creative!
Pillowcases are perfect for beginners because you can use them to test different block techniques and patterns. You can opt for a classic pattern like a herringbone or Dresden plate, you can sew fun appliques on a background, or you can use your kid’s imagination and create your own design.
Plus, when you’re quilting a pillowcase, there’s no need for binding (sewing on the borders) or batting (the inner filling). Some think that binding is the trickiest part of quilting, so a pillowcase is a good project to skip this step when you’re quilting with kids.
Piece Together Precuts
Often, the toughest and deadliest bit of quilting is the cutting process. Kids are less likely to be engaged in cutting lots of fabric out, and they’re definitely not going to be very good at precision, either. Precut kits are a great way to cut out this middleman and get right to the piecing.
Possibilities with precut kits are endless. Have your kids choose their favorite fabrics, and help them sew them together in whatever pattern they choose. Even if it turns out a bit mishmash, that’s half the fun.
Teach Them the Sewing Machine
You don’t have to have a project in the works to learn how to sew! Just sewing random pieces together and teaching the kids how to use the machine and other sewing tools can be engaging enough.
Little boys and girls alike can be fascinated by how “magically” the sewing happens with a machine. For a more mechanically-minded young individual, teach them how the moving parts work! This explainer from the Atlantic shows you just how a sewing machine operates.
Whether you’re stitching a proper quilt or just smashing fabric strips together, it’s easy for kids to get in on the joy of quilting. Bring some childlike imagination into the mix and you have a great indoor summer activity. Happy quilting!
Katie Tejada is a writer, editor, and former HR professional. She enjoys writing about events, travel, decorating trends, and innovations for the home, and occasionally writes for a number of brands, including Sit n’ Sew Fabrics.