The Next Generation of Quilters

I absolutely love the enthusiasm that children express when discovering all the possibilities in the world. They inspire me to consider different perspectives, options and possibilities. Children are so good at this because they haven’t been conditioned to limit themselves yet. So when a child comes to me and says “How do you do that?” I find a way to satiate their curiosity in that moment. Something I heard when my boys were very young was that when a child asks you how or why, they aren’t seeking mastery of the subject. They just want a synopsis that will show them whether or not they want to explore this subject further later after they mull it over.

20160322 170003 Earlier this last spring I had the perfect opportunity to spend a few days with my nieces, Kelsey, Eliza and Sylvia. I gave them each what is called a charm pack, about 40 5″ squares from a fabric line. Fabric designers come out with a line fabrics that are all coordinated making it easy to choose what you need for your next project. These pre-cut packages allow you to get a wide variety of choices without having to buy too much of any one print. This works great with some quilts and not so great with others. It’s just another option.

All three of my brother’s girls really enjoyed sewing their squares together. It was a very basic introduction to sewing. It was a pleasant experience with a successful outcome, so the chance of them doing more with this in the future is pretty good! Eliza and Sylvia being only 4 years old needed more assistance that Kelsey who is 8. I sat Eliza and Sylvia on my lap and I worked most of the machine while they guided the fabric into the needle. They learned a lot. They were introduced to how a sewing machine looks and feels and sounds. They also learned about a little about how the machine works and how to use it safely. They became more familiar with design, what fabrics look good together and when you sew two squares together properly at the points it makes it easier to sew all the rows and columns together later. They did not really get to understand the feel of the foot pedal and how fast or slow to regulate it. They also didn’t really get to see the consequences of not sewing a straight line and the importance of staying consistent, but that’s ok! There’s plenty of time for that later. Meanwhile they have a real example of completed project that they did (with a little help).

Kelsey being 8 is really at a prime age to start managing a sewing machine on her own. She did get to experience how much pressure is necessary to apply to the foot pedal and how easy it is to sew a crooked line. She wanted to make a purse and a quilt out of her charm pack. She was very meticulous and purposeful with her design. It was lots of fun to discuss this with her. We laid out the squares and talked about symmetry and balance. When I said goodbye to her I told her that I had really enjoyed this visit with her because I could see how much she had matured. If I had had more time there or if I lived closer to them then Kelsey would have been able to sew it all herself.

I took all their projects home with me so that I could finish them on my machine and send it back to them completed. I took time to talk to each of them about how they wanted it to look, what colors, how big, etc. I did make a change with the purse. I added a zipper to the purse because I thought it was a better application considering the design. Unfortunately it took me longer than I expected, but I got the projects finished and sent the box off to them. It’s all done and looking good! I wish I could be there when they open the box to see what they started all finished!

I do love working with kids, so I’m open to working with the local community and having classes regularly here at my shop. Let me know if you have a child who is interested! They can choose a simple easy project designed to be completed within a short amount of time, and I’m more than happy to assist. Keep in mind this is not a gender biased hobby. There are lots of fabulous male quilters out there. For more info on what I offer here go to my Quilt Class page.


Quilt-as-you-go Table runner Retreat at The Light Center

Think of all the ways you love to create in your life. Create delicious food to nurture your body. Create a comfortable space to rest your body. Create a source to feed your soul. Create a relationship. Create abundance and wealth. Create a child. Create a new idea. Create or creation is the secret of life! It’s what makes the world go round! It makes you feel good! It makes things happen! Doing is creating! I’m Silver Swan, the quilting shaman and I look forward to guiding you on this creative journey.

Friday June 10th begins a weekend of creating at The Light Center, 1542 Woodson Rd, Baldwin City, Kansas 66006. Friday evening we’ll start after dinner, 7pm. You can use this time to get started on your Saturday project or bring a project from home such as knitting, crochet, or other such creations that you can enjoy while visiting with others. At 8pm we will have a guided group session of Qigong. I’m also open to doing Akashic Record Readings Friday night. Love donations accepted.
To spend the night at the Light Center they have a suggested rate of $25 for space in the barn loft or $55 for one of the 2 private rooms to be paid to them.The+Light+Center+Kansas









If you will just be joining us on Saturday try to be there by 9am.
We will be creating a table runner or it can also be used as an altar cloth. This project consists of a 2 – 5 different fabrics of your choosing sewn together in a quilt-as-you-go technique allowing it to be completed by the end of the day! This work is all machine sewing until the last step which is attaching the binding by hand.
Once you contact me at or calling 417-646-8090 to register I will get you a supply list and guide you from there!
The suggested rate is $35 but I’m leaving this open to love donations.

Let’s create delicious food! For those of you spending the night bring what you can to contribute to breakfast the next morning. We’ll just put it all out on the counter and share. For lunch, let’s focus on tacos/taco salad/burrito kind of thing. So whatever you think would go great with that. I will bring a crockpot full of beans and meat. Other ideas include a vegetarian option and tortillas and chips, salad, sour cream, cheese, tea and/or lemonade?

Join us at the Light Center Friday June 10th and Saturday June 11th and let’s create some good energy!