Art: Quilting. Several students returned this week with finished nine-patch blocks! They worked on reinforcing their seams to get rid of any holes while the rest of the class continued to work on their blocks. I have been most impressed by two of our younger students in the class (ages 4 1/2 and 5 1/2). They had almost finished their block before we left today, and they were sewing very nicely. Hopefully, this is encouragement for some of our older students.
What is the benefit in sewing a nine-patch block? Firstly, the students have been so excited about this project because they realize this is not just an activity to keep them busy, but they are making a real thing, a blanket to be used by some child somewhere. They look at the seams in their clothes and realize they, too, can make clothes, socks, dresses for dolls, even priestly vestments! They are learning a real job. This means a great deal to young children (to learn to do adult things and to learn to build useful things), and this gift of the child should never be devalued, lest they stop wishing to become adults. To help them understand more fully the nature of their job, I recommend reminding your children that needles are tools and as such should be treated with special care. They would never play with Dad’s chainsaw! The same rule applies to very small tools.
Secondly, the hand-eye coordination that is needed to sew helps the child with the virtues of patience and fortitude. This is a difficult task especially for our youngest students, and they must sit quietly and focus on their task if they wish to do well.
Finally, for those of you who prefer the mundane argument over one of idealism, sewing will also improve the fine motor skills needed for writing.
Completed 9-Patch Blocks are due next week.