Sunday, December 26, 2010

If He Can Do It...

you can do it!

This is my son, and the free-pieced name panel he made. It was the result of a discussion.

We had been talking about the best way to introduce free-pieced letters to students. I felt that having students make their own name was a powerful motivator to get started. My son felt students should start with the easiest letter - the upper case "L", and then gradually move to the harder letters. I didn't want students to create any self-imposed barriers by describing any letter as "hard". He disagreed.

"OK," I pointed to the sewing room. "Let's find out. I'm going to show YOU how to make the letters."

This was not without small amounts of angst. My son had never used a rotary cutter, never operated a sewing machine, and didn't know the first thing about ironing, but he insisted on doing everything himself. He cut the strips, sewed the pieces together, and pressed them. He added the spacers and decided how to join the letters together.

Whose theory was correct? I could tell by the smile on his face and how he took a picture of the panel when he was finished. "Would you be so proud if you had made the letters L, O, T and U?" I asked.

"Probably not," he admitted, "but I did -start- with the letter L."

So what was the hardest part of the process for him?

Pinning two pieces of fabric together. "How the hell do you get the pin to come back up?"


Tine said...

Hats off for him for doing it!!
He did great, his letters look so pretty - and he's a handsome man, huh?! did you decide to introduce the letters to your students? When I started I chose a word, so I could stay clear of the letters I didn't want to sew, and I could still have a word to show at the end.

Clare said...

Well done that man! I'd say L and O are the easiest, closely followed by B, D, E, F and P.

Quiltdivajulie said...

GREAT post ... kudos to Paul for his incredible learning curve!

Good teachers make so many things possible!

Jill said...


The Selvage Fairy said...

Wow, he is cuter now than he was ten years ago.

He is probably a good first student because he will be honest about how the class is going for a beginner.

And judging by the result, the class went very well indeed.

Is Plus One next?

Annie said...

What a handsome son you have! Kudos to him for taking on the challenge, learning new skills, and doing a fantastic job on the letters!

Rosalyn Manesse said...

Fantastic! He did a great job!

Megan said...

Oooh Lynne. I'm concerned. Your fabric stash might be in danger if Paul decides that he likes this sewing stuff!

As for teaching students: I would think that students who had turned up in a class were probably fairly motivated to begin with and that many of them might have at least a vague idea of a word that they'd like to make. Perhaps those who don't could be encouraged to work on their names.

I think it is valid to say that some letters are more challenging than others and explain why. That way students can make an informed decision about whether to tackle a word if it includes some of the 'harder' letters. Some will thrive on the challenge and 'go for it', but others might know themselves and the way they like to learn new skills well enough to elect to choose a word that has all or mainly 'easier' letters and only gradually tackle the others once they've increased their confidence.

Sydney, Australia

LizA. said...

Way to go Paul! Good job. I agree, better hide your stash.

Tonya Ricucci said...

wheeee! how awesome is that. hope he makes a whole quilt next!