Sunday, November 6, 2016

Oops--and a fix!

K stitching her skirt
Last week, while K and I were stitching her skirt, J, happened into the studio.

Now J is a total bundle of energy and joy. She is constantly in motion. (If she is still for more than a couple of minutes, she will go to sleep!) She LOVES tools. When K was the same age, she liked putting fabric pieces on the design wall and creating different looks. K has an excellent sense of design and value. She helps me often arrange blocks and her way IS better!

 J, on the other hand, is all about how tools work. These tools include but are not limited to: marking pencils, spools of thread, wound bobbins, pins, rulers, scissors, fabric and of course sewing machines.

When she has been in the studio, I might find spools inserted into other spools. I might find marking tools in a different place from where I put them. I might find scissors arranged differently. I might find material--loose on the term material--under the sewing machine foot. I've used these instances to tell her how the tool is used and its importance to a particular project.

How my scissors are stored--the Kai scissors are stored
in a drawer. . .most of the time!
Last week, her job was to help me put away my quilts from the Featured Artist Show and to pick out a quilt to hang on a special rack in the bedroom. Choosing the quilt is a big deal and this month it was J's turn to choose. She went through the options and instantly made her choice. K will look at several options several times in making her choice; but, not J! J sees it; that's the one and she's on to her next task. She waited until I hung it and nodded her approval.

What the machine looks like after a J visit
I picked up the stories that were hung with the quilts at the Featured Artist Show to file. When I walked the ten steps into the studio,  J was sitting in the sewing chair working away. She had taken the scissors out of the protective cover and was using them to cut fabric. The problem was her fabric choice. . .it was the quilt that I had just quilted the first line of quilting not two hours earlier!

My heart rate accelerated, my inner voice was screaming STOP!!! In a calm voice, I said, "Whoa, J. Stop." She continued to saw and close those scissors. In a loud voice, I said, "JOSETTE, STOP." She did stop. She dropped the scissors and looked at me with wide eyes. The scissors were entangled in the quilt.

Top: The sliced quilt. Bottom: J's fabric choice

I got in front of her and said, look in my eyes. She immediately started to cry. K was out the door telling Papa that Gran used a loud voice. My response to crying is, "Are you bleeding?" The next sentences I ask are, "Show me where the bleeding is. " If you aren't bleeding, use your words. I can't understand crying."

Instead, I said. "J, is this your fabric?" J was startled because I didn't ask about bleeding. She stopped crying and she shook her head no. "Are these your scissors?" She shook her head no. "Did I give you the scissors and this fabric to cut?" Again, she shook her head no. "This might look like fabric; but, now the fabric is stitched to become a quilt."  "This quilt is going on a bed and it can't have a hole in it."

She is starting to cry again at this point. I said, "No crying--there is no bleeding. You can cut your fabric. You don't cut my fabric unless I said you could. You don't get to use my scissors unless I said you could. So do you know what this means?" She shook her head no.

"It means, I can see how much you want to sew and I love that you do. It means, you need your own fabric and your own scissors. When you have your own scissors and your own fabric, you can cut what you want when you want. Let me think about some fabric choices for you. We will need to go to the store to get you a pair of scissors though. How about that?" She nodded her head yes. K immediately stepped up and said that she "needed" scissors too!

But, back to J. Our conversation continued. "So, can you cut my fabric?" She shook her head no. "Can you use my scissors to cut by yourself?" She shook her head no. At this point, Papa came into the room to survey the situation. I said, "Would you like to play with Papa and come back in a bit to pick out your fabric? She nodded yes and she was off.

The slices in the back of the quilt
I untangled the scissors. Luckily, she cut the back of the quilt and not the front. (Whew!) The back can have another patch which is no problem. The cuts are two small slices and are hardly visible. (Good!) I placed a little bonash on top of a scrap of the same fabric and slid this under the cuts. I ironed the section, melting the bonash. The cut is sealed. (Great!) The best news of all is that the repair will be under the sleeve so it won't even be seen! (Terrific!)

In reality, I've cut the top of a project. I've ripped a hole in the top of a quilt. I've snipped a hole in the back of a project. All done. .  not on purpose! I survived; the quilt survived. I learned a different solution in each case.

I hope J learned too. I hope I was calm enough and hugged her enough so that she still wants to stitch! After all, she's young. In about three weeks, she is going to be three years old! She did choose her fabric and she also chose how much she wanted. I got a kick out of where she wanted to "store" it.  She immediately put it on the design wall! I think I've a quilter in the making! How much more joyful could one be?

I hadn't named this quilt. . .but, now I'm thinking "MBJ--Marked by Josette" might be an option!  :)


Janice Smith said...

Wow, your heart must have stopped when you saw this little one with sharp scissors and your quilt. I think you handled it very well.

Nicole Knott said...

You are well trained to handle a wild one! Glad she learned a good lesson without any blood involved! She's investigative. Wanted to be like gran!

Luann Fischer said...

I think your grandkids are so fortunate to have you closeby. Your willingness to let them learn, and at such young ages, is commendable. Josette will, one day, really understand just how much work goes into a quilt. For now, she's learning about respecting someone else's belongings. Even if that person loves you, what hasn't been given to be shared, must be requested.
You're a good example for all of us.

Unknown said...

Such a good Grammie said...

Janice, she sure did get my heart pumping!! It is all fine. The test will be tomorrow. Will she remember the rules?? :)--Terry said...

Nicole, yes, she wants to be just like me. It sure tickles me and she is so smart. . . .she is so much like her auntie!!--Mom said...

Luann, I think they are fortunate too. . .they like to play and "create." Each has a different flair which is cool to see. Time will tell if she remembers about the scissors rules!--Terry said...

Thanks, Carla. I hope she is ready to stitch her skirt later this week!--Terry

Diane-crewe said...

its hard to learn .. on both sides x Well done for being "calm" xx said...

So true, Diane!! Hindsight is so 20/20!!!--Terry