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Summer Camp Spotlight: Handcraft and Quilting

So from the very last camps of the summer, rewinding to the very first!

The last week of June I hosted a Handcrafts Camp and a Quilting Camp at the studio. These were two super special camps to me and I may have not slept the night before Kid-at-Christmas-Eve style.

Handcrafts Camps

Sewing is my fist crafty love, but I really enjoy all kinds of textiley, thready, fabricy kinds of crafts and couldn't wait to share a few of my current favorites with the campers. So first up was Handcrafts Camp where we dabbled at frame loom weaving, macrame, embroidery and of course sewing. Take a look at these projects below-- these ladies accomplished all of this in a total of 10 hours!

Weaving was, far and away, their favorite activity. The moment they arrived each day they asked if they could work on their weaving, anytime they had a breather from another project they asked if they could work on their weaving, anytime they decided they didn't like another project.... you get the idea.

All the weaving was completed on Black Sheep Goods pop-out looms. You can buy these online, and I have a couple for purchase in the studio. These looms are the best solution for weaving classes: small, portable and inexpensive enough that each student can bring her loom home! They include everything you need including the yarn though we added some different fibers from my own stash to give it a little more oomph!

Look at this beautiful work!

Next up was macrame. I was so, so, so excited about this one because I love how the simplicity of a knot can make something so beautifully complex. The kids were not as excited, but they stuck with it and I think their hangings turned out beautifully! Check out all the photos in the slideshow below to see the details.

Lastly we tackled embroidery and sewing!

First we drew on the faces and learned how to do a backstitch, running stitch, and satin stitch. Next, we fused on flowers using a double sided fusible webbing. The webbing should keep the flowers in place by itself, but we added more decorative embroidery stitches like french knots to give the flowers a bit more texture.

On the last day we tackled the sewing machine. The sewing experience of the girls was all over the map, from a true beginner to having sewn with me for a year, so we concocted a project that could accommodate everyone. And really, who doesn't love a big bag?! (The more experienced sewist added a nice slip pocket on the inside too!)

Then just like that, Handcrafts Camp was a wrap! I loved sharing all the different ways you can tie, knot, stitch, and sew fibers together with the girls and can't wait to bring this camp back again next year!


The afternoons of that week were spent learning how to quilt. Quilting was my first foray into sewing and there's something just so gratifying in sewing a project you can snuggle up under.

The campers all chose their fabric ahead of time, so we had nice big squares waiting for them on the first day. We whipped up a series of half square triangle squares then basted and quilted the blocks on to a square of batting. While that's not a traditional quilting method, it's much easier to handle a smaller square than work with a big 5' x 5' quilt!

When the squares were ready they fussed with the layout-- always a difficult decision! We used every inch of space on our floor determining the perfect layouts and chevrons were an overwhelming winner.

The quilt was assembled "blanket style" meaning that instead of a traditional quilt sandwich and binding, we sewed the back and front Right Sides Together leaving a little gap to turn Right Side out. Think of it like a HUGE pillowcover. Once it was turned, the girls stitched the gap shut and tied little yarn tufts to secure the layers together.

Here are the grand reveals!

Planning the timing for camps is always a tricky one. You never know exactly how quickly the campers will pick up the project, how much ripping out to account for, if they will be a serious and focused group or a more bouncing-off-the-walls distracted group. These ladies were super on the ball and most finished up their project in just 3 days!! So it was on to more quilting fun including these oversized rail fence pillow covers!

I hope you're as impressed as I am about everything these ladies accomplished! They worked so hard and have such beautiful quilt projects to show for it.

Next week I'll show you all the fun from the Home Ec Camps in the last of the Camp Spotlight series!

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