Learning to sew…

Or How To Learn To Sew While Having a Great Time With Your Mom.


That’s what these four Moms and their daughters did a few weeks ago.

Lower right corner – that’s Angela Yosten and her daughter, Paige.  Angela is the uber-awesome web designer here at Moda.  At Paige’s birthday party a few weeks ago, her friends saw Angela’s sewing room and got excited about how cool it all looked, especially after seeing some of the things Angela has made.  They wanted to learn to sew!

While a couple of the moms had sewing machines and did some sewing, not all did.  But they wanted to learn too.  So Angela made a plan.  Her Mom – Karen Smisek – just happens to be the owner of The Retreat Place in Dennison, Texas.  Even better, her Mom is a quilter who has taught many people to sew and quilt using Pellon’s Fusible Quilter’s Grid.

Invitations were sent.  RSVPs received.  A few weeks later, four Moms packed up their girls and headed off for a weekend retreat.

The Moms.


Angela.  Lauren Schafer.  Sarah Hale.  Lisa Marks.

The daughters – ages 6 to 12.  Minus one who kept going missing when cameras came out.


The project was a simple one.  Since all the girls are into American Girl dolls, the girls decided to make doll quilts for their dolls.  For the fabrics, the girls got to pick from a big selection of Moda Candy Mini Charm Packs since they were the perfect size for the project.  Four matching or four different – the girls got to choose.

Then came the fun of laying out the squares on the grid.


It’s very serious work.  Paige chose  Modern Backgrounds Paper by Zen Chic.

Once the fabrics were placed, it was time to press and fuse the squares to the backing.  Then folding on the lines and sewing.


Of course, it can’t really be a retreat without some laughing and hijinks.

It was also a slumber party of sorts.


It was unanimous – everybody had a really good time.  As much as they loved learning to sew and making something, it was the time spent together that made it such a memorable weekend.  The girls are already asking  about the “next” retreat.  (The moms are trying to figure out how to plan a Moms-only sewing retreat too.)

And yes, the girls finished their quilt tops.  All that’s left is the binding.


The point of this is that every one of us loves to sew.  Someone taught us to sew and someone helped us learn to love it.  Whether it was our mom or a relative or a teacher, someone in our life “passed it on” to us.  If you have a daughter or granddaughter, maybe you can arrange something like this to teach her to sew.

Wherever you are, planning something like this isn’t hard.  It doesn’t need to be at a retreat facility, it could be at your home or a friend’s – one with a really big house, of course.  Retreat facilities just make it easier, and a bit more like an adventure.  Ask your local shop if they’d be interested in having this as a class or workshop.

Thank you to Angela for sharing the pictures and the idea.

Before I forget!  Something interesting I learned from Angela the other day – the Moda Measuring Tape that’s used to wrap the pre-cuts is accurately sized.  You can use it to measure something! (Like you needed another reason to buy a fat quarter bundle for a long piece of that ribbon…)


Happy Tuesday!



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15 thoughts on “Learning to sew…

  1. Absolutely fabulous posting. Love seeing our next generation of quilters. Wonder where they will take us in new designs and new quilt products. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Love this post! My daughter was never interested in sewing but maybe I’ll try to get the grandkids involved. It would be a good tradition/hobby for someone to carry on to the next generation!!

    1. I think it often skips a generation, Sally! Both of my grandmothers were amazing seamstresses but all my mother did was mend!! I love to sew! I’m passionate about quilting … and “collecting fabric!” I hope your grandchildren will delight your heart with an interest in quilting with you!! ❤️

  3. my daughters were never interested when they were young, but one is sewing now and so far I am teaching 2 granddaughters to sew. I have 8 more (granddaughters) that I am hoping will want to learn one day. I was taught by my grandma. thanks for sharing this, I love to see young sewists and future quilters


  4. Timing is everything they say! My son just texted me this morning and asked if I could send some fabric and instructions for making a quilt for my granddaughter who is turning 9 on Sunday. I couldn’t ask for anything better. Will gather up all the necessary supplies and send to her. Pretty sure I have mini charms in my stash and some perfect fat quarters. I love the grid pellon idea, will include some in her birthday box.

  5. This is an awesome idea! Love it! I’ve been teaching my early twenties nieces to quilt. There’s nothing better than passing on your passion!

  6. Wow these girls have no idea what a lovely gift they received , perhaps the moms do.
    I have one son when he was in elementary school I had a sewing machine in the cardboard board box it came in, my son unpacked it read the directions and used it to sew something …. I don’t remember what it was but might have been a scout badge on a shirt or a simple repair.
    Currently he and his oldest daughter have designed a king sized quilt for him. He has done some of the cutting and sewing as she is currently away on vacation.

  7. I have been teaching my great nieces to quilt since last summer. Love to see younger generations take an interest in this life skill. What a great idea to use the fusible grid on the mini charms I gave them.

  8. LOVE THIS POST CARRIE!!, My 7 year old sewed with me over the weekend and her favorite part of making Puppy Pillow was putting the “Puffing” in!! Next we are going to make blankets for the puppies. If it weren’t for my 7th grade Home Ec teacher, I wouldn’t have this most awesome sale job with MODA!!

  9. I am so glad Moda picked up our retreat at The Retreat Place in Denison, TX to blog with Angela Yosten. . Home a la mode was the proud sponsor of this retreat with this group and many more. Kids from 3-? years of age have been making quilts here and we love the grid cause it makes the quilt lay out so nice and easy. We had a lot of fun that weekend and had a great storm blew through also. It was a great and memorable time for all. Please check out the blog at Home a la mode to see more pictures on this retreat and many others. The projects on the grid are amazing!!! Sincerely, Karen Smisek

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