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Thursday, February 17, 2011

IHAN CEO Goes To 2nd Grade

You know when you have "arrived" in mommy life when you are invited to give a talk at your child's school.  A rare and savored moment when my son was so proud and pleased that it was "his" mommy talking to the entire 2nd grade class.  Remember those days?

The kids are reading a book about a quilt so I was invited to come and talk about quilts today.  I literally had 10 minutes to set up and 10 minutes to take down ....that is why the quilts are piled on the table.

I brought my current sewing machine and an older model (made before I was born...good to know I was not the oldest in the room :)  I was thinking that children who come from families who don't sew might not have ever had the opportunity to see a sewing machine.  There were several who raised their hands when I asked if this was the first time they had seen a sewing machine. 

 I started by showing them a quilt made by Mr. McSteamy's Grandmother (who will be 100 in 2 weeks).
This is a mug rug (one of you will recognize it, it was a gift : ) that I sent around for kids to touch.  The loved seeing such a "small quilt."  I told them that people from all over the world swap these and fabric postcards too. 
Of course I had to get my pitch in for recycling.  I showed them a feed sack dress and shared how it was recycled from feed sacks.....just in case they thought recycling is a new invention.
Nanny, Rick's Grandma, made this one and gave it to Rick and I for our wedding.  She was 89 when she made this and it is hand appliqued.  Could we all be so lucky?  I sure hope so.....especially since I have projects to keep me busy until I'm 124 years old.
Aaron was beaming when I showed this "Crayon" quilt.  I made it for him when he was a baby.
Then just 18 very short months later came Zach so he got a panel quilt....nursing one and two in diapers does not leave much time for piecing....know what I mean?  It has a lot of hand embroidery and trapunto.  (I made it while living in PA.  Took it to Needles to show the girls and they said, "I love your trapunto."  I said, "No that is not trapunto....I stuffed it."  ROFL....I had no idea what trapunto even was...gotta love it.)
My only sampler quilt, "Many Hands."  I thought it would be a good one to show all the variety of blocks.
This was not even was taken straight off the sofa and put into a box and to the school....nice ay?
Of course I had to show them some Hawaiian applique.  I explained the difference between hand stitching, needle turn applique and machine applique.  These were needle turn applique and hand none other than MJ...Thanks again, and again, and again!
My signature quilt, "Crossroads."  Given to me by MJ...she had all my PA friends sign it when I moved away.  I cherish this piece.  The kids liked that you could "write" on your quilts.  Hope they don't go home and start autographing without permission....yikes.
Thankfully, my friend Diane, loaned me some quilts to take with me as well.  Believe it or not I don't really have any "fun" kid quilts.  I need to get that on my list.  Diane shared these with me and the kids absolutely loved them.  This Halloween one was done with machine embroidery so that was cool to be able to show them that as well.
This quilt was just way toooooo coool!  The kids were pointing and talking....Thank You Diane!!!

These two are Diane's stained glass quilts.  One of the kids said, "hey, they have that at my church."    I need to Google "possession" again....because if I remember correctly.....possession is 9/10ths of the law isn't it? 

This was the show stopper.  All at once the room went, "ooooooohhhhhhhhh" and they smiled.  I loved it...Thanks again Diane :)
Another one of Diane's quilts, a photo quilt. Neat for the children to see you can use photos on quilts.

Of course I took my, "Red Eyed Tree Frog" made by Susan Brubaker Knapp.  It was a fun  to see the kids eyes light up.  Who could not love this tree frog?  (my ears are plugged....and I'm humming loudly..I love frogs)
Waldo's grand daughter made this one.  Maddy made this using fabric swatches and she tied the centers.  The kids were interested in a quilt made by another kid.....hmmmmm....I gotta get my co-workers busy quilting too.
Of course I loved showing this table runner made in Kenya at Amani Ya Juu.  What fun being able to share a little of Africa with them today.
Then on to India.....still not quilted...."Passing the Sacred Orb."  Hey, a wild hair may just grab me and it will be done in no time.....oh yeah baby.
This was the insane part.  When I was asked to come and talk about quilting I opened my big mouth and said I thought it would be cool if the kids could make a paper quilt.  That was when it was just Aaron's class....then it was all of the 2nd graders....106 of them.  So, it went from a paper one block!  We cut a zillion little pieces of scrapbook paper and put them into envelopes....a little block kit for each child.  I showed them how they could use their pencil or marker to do the stitching.  Note to self.....cutting a zillion little pieces of paper and counting them into kits takes a lot of time....let them color in a quilt made on my EQ 7 Software!!! 

Speaking of the Electric Quilt Company, I phoned them yesterday to see if they had ever presented to children before and did they have any recommendations.  (Ya gotta go to the experts!!).  They were so kind to e-mail me a little demo so I could show the kids that quilting has gone high tech and you can design quilts on the computer (fascinating to this middle aged mind).  McSteamy came home for lunch and helped me pack up the van and off I went to the school.  Guess what was not in the van? laptop.  He figured I did not need it (he had didn't know what I had planned).  But....I'm ready to go next time :)  Thank You Penny and everyone at EQ who helped me out!  They rock....but IHAN blog readers already knew that, right?  Right!
Well....sheepishly I share this new Tutto Machine on Wheels Bag....was delivered the day before yesterday but I did not open it because I've been sick.  So this morning, I figure if I'm taking Martha to school....she needs her Mercedes to ride I put baby Martha into her new Mercedes and off we went.  Dang....I love this Tutto Machine on Wheels.  Wanna know why I did not pick that pretty Red, Lime or Purple?  Yes you do....don't act like you don't care....ok, so you don't care....just let me tell ya anyway....come on please...... because everything I have gets dirty...this won't show the dirt so quickly. 

Thanks for listening :) 



  1. Kelly, what an inspiration you are to these kids! I'm sure they hung on your every word. I'm sure many are working on their quilt blocks tonight. All of us should do something like this as we all have a responsibility to share and pass on our love of the needle arts.

  2. wow, that's some show and tell! LOL! Wish I could have been there too!

  3. What a fantastic post! Sounds like you had a great presentation for the kids! It kept my interest! Thanks for sharing with all of us!
    Yep, we know EQ is fabulous and so are you!

  4. Hi Kelly! What a wonderful presentation! I know the kids loved it! You're great to volunteer to do these kind of things. I love the old/new sewing machines, great idea. I was surprised to see my quilts on here! LOL Thank you for the kind comments! Please know the quilts have microchips in them....

  5. You really put on a trunk show for the second grade. I know Aaron was smiles from ear to ear. You have been holding out on me...I love the applique quilt that Rick's Grandmother made.

  6. What a great post. I would have loved to be a 2nd grader. The penguin quilt is so cute. I love it!!

  7. From the way you described what went on, I just know you were a hit. Your sons should be so proud of you...the quilts were totally awesome...I just loved this post and felt like I was there.

  8. Wow that was a great talk for the kids. I wish I had been there to hear it.

  9. How wonderful for you to give the kids that sort of experience, I was always a keen sewer from the age of 10 but that would have my my life out of this world.
    I hope you have inspired them to have a bit more fabric and colour in their lives.

  10. I wanna know who had more fun, you or the kids? Loved all the quilts you showed.

  11. What a great presentation. Wish I could have been there too.

  12. Wow! That was a great show and tell. I loved it from here so I can just imagine how much your little kids enjoyed it. Way to go!!

  13. What a fun presentation. I just wish I could have been there to see it and also see how the kids responded. Looks to me that they all loved it. Great job!


  14. What a great presentation! Looks like all the kids are being so attentive to you and your quilts. Who knows how many of those kids will be inspired to make a quilt someday? Kudos to you!

    I really love the curved piecing quilt - I have the templates and just haven't gotten around to making one yet....but I need to do that soon!

  15. You just took me back to fourth grade. The junior league ladies came into our classroom with several prints of famous paintings from the Toledo Museum of art and other Museums. They talked about the artists and how they created their masterpieces. This sparked my deep affection for art.

    You did exactly what those ladies did. Showed them lots of visual aids -- providing them the possibilities, rather than limiting them with details (yay you!). This will spike their imaginations and let them learn to get in touch with creativity, which is SO important at that age.

    Bravo for arriving in the Mommy world! YOu rock, woman!

  16. Fantastic! What a lucky bunch of kids! And I'm sure you've inspire several of them.

  17. What a nice presentation. I have found that my kids' classmates are fascinated with quilts. Good job!

  18. Woo-Hoo! Kudos for braving the elementary world and touching students' lives! I know it's a hassle, but you never have any idea whose life you change by exposing a child to a world outside their experience.

    You go, girl!


  19. How fun! I am not a bit surprised the puppy quilt stole the show!

  20. Kelly-
    I did a quilt project with 1st graders - used 2" squares and gave them 8 1/2 x 11 paper with a 9-patch block printed on it; had them lightly gluestick their blocks on it. Then later I peeled them off and sewed them together, then presented the quilt to the school to raffle or whatever. We tried to get the kids to put a light (or dark) strip down the middle, but first graders don't much understand "light" or "dark" since they are relative. They had a good time anyway, even the boys (whose idea of light glue is far different than girls!). It was an interesting learning experience for all!

  21. What an awesome presentation Kelly. I'm sure the kids loved every minute of it.

  22. What a neat-o mom! Your little guy probably had a smile pasted on his face all day long!

  23. Oh Kelly, how fun!! Looks like you taught those kids something really valuable. You are working to create the next generation of quilters! So cool. Your son should rightly be very proud. :)

  24. How inspiring you must have been to the kids. I bet you got a few kids thinking about sewing. Wish I could have heard it!

  25. Kelly, You sure did take many quilts to show the kids! I always hope to be able to pass on the love of quilting to others! I am always trying. What a great idea to do this at the school. I have been to career day to speak about being a nurse. Good job, Steph

  26. What a great "show & tell" presentation for the kids. Your son had to be busting his buttons over his Mom! Great job, Kelly.

  27. What a wonderful trunk show. I would bet that a few of those kids will get creative because of something they saw or heard from you. That's a great gift to give.

  28. Just wanted to add that Rick's Grandmother's quilt is so beautiful.
    You really put on a great presentation, Kelly. I'm sure the kids were all inspired!

  29. Kelly, absolutely loved your pictures and comments about your experience with the second graders. You have such a knack for writing and love your sense of humor. I know that I absolutely love my Tutto Machine on mine when I started going to quilt retreats in Berlin, Ohio. I opted for the red color..thought since I belong to the gray hair group that I needed to have some color in my life!

  30. I'm so proud of you Kelly. It looks like you did an incredible job sharing about quilts and what you do. I know your little co-worker was proud too. Great Job Mom!!


Thank you for reading the IHAN Blog. I love getting and reading every comment that is left here; however I may not be able to respond to all comments left during giveaways. There are times when I am juggling many tasks at one time and may not reply to all comments. Please e-mail me at if you need a reply quickly. I thank you for your understanding and-
More Later-Beth


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