Sewing with kids: doll quilts + mattresses [guest post by buzzmills]

I’m so excited to have Jane from Buzzmills guest posting for Sewing With Kids. Jane is super duper multi-talented, currently co-hosting Backyard Art Camp and is no stranger to sewing with her children! Just check out her daughter’s rainbow road dot pillow and embroidery. You can also find buzzmills on facebook, pinterest, flickr and etsy!

Hello there!  I’m Jane and I blog over at Buzzmills where you’ll find me most days sewing, crafting or going on adventures with my two kids.  Today, I’m happy to join you here at The Crafty Kitty with a little sewing with kids project….
Sewing with kidsA while back we found a sweet little (and inexpensive) antique doll bed.  We spied it just as my daughter was beginning to really play with dolls.  We brought it home with the intention to make a mattress and quilt for it, but, alas, we temporarily placed some old blankets on it and they worked out fine, albeit not perfectly.

But now, thanks to Stephanie and a little push from her Sewing With Kids series, we’ve got two new mattresses and two new quilts for a doll bed and cradle.
IMG_1124To start, we measured the base of the bed and cradle, easy enough.  Next, we picked out fabric!  The kids always love that part.  I pick out a few ideas as suggestions, but they got to pick what they wanted to use.  I did the ironing and cutting and pinning, but they did the sewing.


Our kids craft table is not quite conducive to kid sewing, plus I’m not quite sure, at 3 and 5, that they would be able to control the speed of the foot pedal very well…so each sat on my lap, but we went slowly and I allowed them to hold and guide the fabric through the machine.  There was quite a bit of steering to get back on track and in a straight line, but they were excited to be giving it a try.

We started with the mattresses.  After each was sewn, they carefully removed the pins, flipped it right side out (with a bit of help from me to poke out the corners), and began to stuff…

After I sewed up the opening on the mattress we moved on to the quilts.  I briefly explained to each of them why the fabric was sandwiched together the way it was, although that concept is still a bit difficult for them to grasp, it’s always a bit of a surprise for them at the end, but it’s kind of like that for me too sometimes, so…

Violet (five years old) was making her doll quilt using Heather Ross Nursery Versery patchwork which was perfect because it already had straight lines for her to follow.  I had her quilt down after every four squares, any more than that then I was afraid she would get bored.
IMG_1136Afterward, when it was completed she looked at it, proudly, and declared “look how pretty the stitches look!”IMG_1137Henry (three years old) quilted his quilt by hand with a running stitch in a similar fashion as Violet did with a pillow last summer.  I knew he would loose patience with sewing lines on the machine fairly quickly, as he already had with sewing his mattress and quilt together.   

*An important note when sewing with kids know your audience…know what they will be interested in trying and don’t push the things that they aren’t interested in trying.

When I told Henry that he would be allowed to use a big boy needle that is pointy he was in!  I also quickly realized that we weren’t going to be quilting in a straight line here…

We didn’t bind our quilts but instead, for ease, sewed them right sides together and then flipped the right sides out, pressed and then top-stitched.

Baby Boy and Molly are so very happy and comfy with their new bedding.


Molly bed
Baby boy

After sewing up the new bedding Violet and Henry both enjoyed tucking their dolls into bed…

Violet and molly

and reading them stories…

Henry and baby boy

The pillows in the doll beds are Violet and Henry’s first baby pillows.  (If you can tell me what the fabric with the girl and the roosters is I’ll love you forever!  I no longer have the selvedge and I love it oh so much and would love to get some more!)

I’d say Violet and Henry are happy and proud of their sewing projects too.  And, it was a great way for us to all spend the morning together.

Thanks so much Stephanie for letting me stop by and for nudging me to get sewing with my kids!

One thought on “Sewing with kids: doll quilts + mattresses [guest post by buzzmills]

  1. September 3, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    thanks for letting me share our sewing together here with you Stephanie! We had a lot of fun making…and now…playing! :)

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