21 June 2018

Double Delight


Back in about October, I bought a diamond paint-by-number kit for my eight-year-old neighbor to make for her parents for Christmas. She's been coming over for about an hour every Monday night (that I get off work in time) for about two years now to learn how to quilt (and help me use up my scraps). She'd already made a quilt for each member of her family and two for herself, and I thought she might enjoy doing something different for her parents for Christmas.


She was excited at first! Her family includes a pair of dachshunds (who don't have quilts of their own... yet), and she tried so hard to finish by Christmas. Diamond-painting is tedious, though, and by February, she had decided she would try to finish by summer and give the completed artwork to her parents on her birthday, which is tomorrow.

Every week we met, she would work on it for a few minutes, then hold it up to show me how much it sparkles when the sun hits it. Sometimes she would get discouraged because she couldn't finish a color in one night. When she started saying she was never going to do another paint-by-number in her life, I told her she probably will be the only eight-year-old in the world who has ever finished an entire diamond paint-by-number all by herself. That renewed her motivation and enthusiasm!


In May, I realized she might not make her revised deadline unless she had more than an hour every week or two. My husband had to work on Memorial Day, but I was off, so I invited her to come over the for the entire day. She got so much done! But it looked like she would need another entire day. So I took another Monday off, and she worked steady from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., with a brief macaroni and cheese break at lunch, and finished at last!

She rolled it up and wrapped it in my new owl wrapping paper.

I can't wait to see her parents' reaction! They think she has been working on a quilt all this time!


It was so awesome to see her mature through this project. She went from racing through each hour, caring more about speed than accuracy, to taking her time to make sure she was doing it right.

I saw the maturity in her sewing when she came over this week, too. All her quilts were at breakneck speed. She loves "driving" the sewing machine, and oh, how she loves to make it go fast! I've often had to help her gently remove stitches when she gets into too much of a hurry.

I wanted her to be able to finish a sewing project in a night to reward her for all her hard work. I thought she might like to make a pair of shorts she could wear and show off during her birthday party. She'd fallen head over heals for a Calypso jelly roll on my dining room table, where she sews, so on Sunday night, I spent two hours piecing and pressing about half the jelly roll into a mini race quilt top she could use to make a pair of shorts. Then I dug through all my old patterns from when my own kids were pre-teens, pulling out all the appropriate-sizes so she could choose what she'd like to make.


Before she finished the diamond painting, she kept asking if she could make a skirt next. Each week, she asks me what I have finished, and I have worked on or completed a few dresses and three pairs of shorts in that time. I think that's why she wanted to make clothing. I'd told her how easy skirts are, and she thinks my scrappy tropical shorts are awesome.


Her eyes about popped out of her head when she saw the fabric I'd "made" for her, and without even thinking about it, she wrapped the cloth around her waist to see if it was big enough for a skirt. I asked if she was sure she didn't want shorts, reminding her she could wear them to her birthday party, but no, she wanted a skirt!


One hour later, she was wearing her brand new skirt!










Happy birthday, my little friend!

Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict and My Quilt Infatuation.

12 comments :

  1. That was great of you to take the day off so she could get it done. Watching her mature and finish must have been great too. Looks almost exactly like my sister's wiener. She did a wonderful job indeed.

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    1. It was fun to spend the day with her both full days, Pat. They grow up so darned fast!!!

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  2. Wow, she is doing fabulously and you are an amazing mentor!! I wish every child had one. LOVE her skirt and good for her really knowing exactly what she wanted to have!!! Happy Sewing and making! from Iowa

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    1. Thank you, Melody! I wish everyone could have a sweet neighbor like mine!

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  3. What a generous heart you have. She looks SEW proud of herself (thanks to YOU!)

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    1. Thank you, Joy! It was such a thrill tonight to come home from work and find out she wore her new birthday skirt all day!!!

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  4. You are a saint. I'm not sure that I would have the patience to do what you do. This little girl will remember you for her entire life.

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    1. Thank you, Kathleen! I know I'm sure never going to forget her!

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  5. What a wonderful story. You 2 are lucky to have each other!

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    1. Thank you, Debby! I am indeed very blessed to have her family as neighbors. They are like family to me!

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  6. Perfect match for her T-shirt too! Good work, both of you. :)

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    1. Thanks, Sue! I thought her T-shirt went perfect, too! Unplanned!

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