21 February, 2011

Playing with Scissors

It was Sunday morning and I didn't quite clue in to what she said. I was settling in to the comfy chair with my morning tea. The girls were all set with their new favourite show (Wild Kratts). Then the little one sometimes known here as Smilosaurus but more commonly known in this house Evil Genius says to me, with load of pride in her voice, "Mama, I cut that thing you use."

Sure, Babe, I thought, as I sipped my tea. Whatever you say. Mama needs her caffeine this morning.

Once the caffeine kicked in I picked up the quilt next to me. Thread, thimble, scissors, and needle threader all present and ready for some handstitching. Then I went to actually thread a needle. Hmm, those fragile, thin diamonds of wire were suddenly missing from both ends of my Clover threader. For 30 seconds I actually thought I wrecked them when I put it away the night before. Then... wait a minute, I remembered that random comment from earlier from that child of mine.

I called my kidlet over and asked her to show me exactly what she cut. Proudly she pulled out my needle threader. Somehow, I couldn't even get upset. (As I normally would, let's be honest.) When I asked her why, this is what she answered:

"Mama, I'm just like Curious George."

Sigh.

In honour of all of us quilters, artists, crafters, and creative folks I thought I would do a series of posts on trying to quilt with kids around. Tips and tricks for actually getting things done with kids around. I'll do a new post every Monday for a month. Please send in any tips or stories you've got, I'd love to share them too.

Stay tuned next week for my first post on setting up your space to work for you and your kids.

26 comments:

Bridget said...

Keep it in perspective: After a nap at grandma's, I told my mom, "I ate these!" and pointed to a bottle of sleeping pills. So your little "Curious George" is just fine.

Megs said...

I put a small bit of cotton batting on the wall and a pile of scraps on the floor so my 3 year old could have her own "design wall."

Esch House Quilts said...

Yes, I'm quite familiar with that hearing the words, but not understanding the content situation :)

howtobejenna said...

I love that you're going to do this series! I have a two year old boy and I work from home. Almost every project I take on is broken up into stages I can do that are quiet (cutting and ironing), stages I can do that are loud (sewing machine blitz), and stages that I can do anywhere (hand-sewing). Not always the most direct way to complete a quilt, but it's the only way to make the most out of my time!

Natasha said...

I love this idea. I have a 6 year old and 5 year old girls. The 6 year old could care less what mommy does but the 5 year old wants to "help" run the sewing machine and more.

MariQuilts said...

Great idea....my four are grown up and out of the house,but I remember it well.

Becky said...

aww, that's pretty funny! My little one has some games and coloring programs on my ipod and she loves to sit in the sewing room with me and play with it so I can get work done occasionally..

elle said...

I'm defintely UP for this Cheryl. I was a pretty relaxed mum and I'm a bit dismayed to find I'm not quite so relaxed as a grand mum! Too much alone time in between, me thinks! I could use the tips! lol

Barb said...

Love your idea...most of my sewing gets done during quiet/sleep time, so I'd love some ideas. And my kids love Wild Kratts too!

pinkbrain said...

I live in a very small space with a very curious 20 month old. I have to pack everything away when he wakes up from a nap. I've been working on hand basting hexagons in the evening so I don't make too much noise with my old Singer.

When the sewing machine is out and he's around he loves to turn all the nobs and open up the doors. He likes walking around with an empty spool in his hand.

Valerie said...

Just found your blog - love it! And with 3 preschoolers, I am looking forward to any tips you have-Great idea!

BijouxBaby said...

At least it wasn't the quilt she cut up. That's what I was imagining with after the first sentence. Now the the question is whether she wrecked the sewing scissors cutting through the wire. I caught my husband about to use my sewing scissors to cut wrapping paper at Christmas. We had to have the little talk about how different scissors are used for different things.

Barb said...

Mom, I wanted jelly on my toast. (sigh) So simple :)

Kate said...

I just had a scissor incident too with my daughter too! What is it with kids and scissors?

I could do with some ideas for sewing with kids around :)

jbr said...

I love this idea. I had a friend over a few days ago to sew and she was amazed that children running around making messes didn't faze me much. This will be a great series.

Elena said...

How about dogs? I'm frequently stuck dogsitting, but want to sew at the same time. Any tips?

Jan | Daisy Janie said...

That kid cracks me up!!

amandajean said...

at least she didn't cut your quilt! my little guy cut the binding of my quilt once, when i was in the process of handstitching the binding. it was not a good day. not a good day at all.

i guess i can be thankful that it only happened once in all my years, come to think of it...

Dütt un Datt said...

I've started sewing and quilting when my kids were old enough to be trusted. Sort of.

But I really got into gardening when they were little. Mom relaxing in the sun is a mom with too much time. Mom digging up dirt is busy, so they just got busy as well. We've had some issues with little stumps left of what I had previously planted and disappearing tools - but, hey, what is a flower, a piece of fabric or any other all material thing compared to an hour of self-absorption? ;-)

Annie Crow said...

Oh, I will look forward to what you come with. All sewing (and other creative projects) right now is done when my own monkey is not around. Otherwise it's all about him. (And he's fine with entertaining himself a lot of the time, just not when anything creative comes out.)

Suzanne said...

Though it's sad that any quilter's tool might have met an early end, I'm glad it was a needle threader and not a quilt. I'm looking forward to your Monday posts.

Juanita said...

Back in the day when my girls were small, I would draw a simple shape onto a piece of felt with a sharpie and have them stitch buttons along the line, but the 2 year old couldn't be trusted with needle and buttons, so I bought a package of new shoelaces and a box of Fruit Loops and let her string up cereal. Then if she ate it there was no panic. She would occasionally get frustrated when the string of 'pretty colors' didn't get any longer due to her snacking, but it kept her entertained.... and fed. Good times! Looking forward to your tips to come:)

LOTJE said...

Just reading all of this while preparing for a WIP post, a giant spiderweb has been created in my room this morning
http://slootjesschilder.blogspot.com/2011/02/spinnenweb.html
Love to hear more of these stories!

felicity said...

"Mama, look what I cut!" -- words that strike fear in the heart of every parent! I think maybe you got off easy....

sewkatiedid said...

Roan's just so use to it he never bothers, just plays with his things next to me on the cutting mat.

Victoria said...

What a hoot! Thank goodness she didn't cut the quilt!

It's been a long time since I had to juggle quilting with little ones under foot, and I remember that most of my work had to be done in the tiniest of moments, as interruptions were frequent, (Once I actually timed it, and found that the longest anyone could go without requiring my attention was 5 minutes.)

One thing that helped a bit was I gave each of them each a nice size piece of muslin, a hoop, needle and thread, and a pillow case which I let them fill it with my left over fabric scraps. Then when ever I was sewing, if they wished to join in they could pull scraps out of their bag, and stitch them onto the muslin. (Of course every 60 seconds they wanted me to stop what I was doing to look at what they were doing!)