Quilting Blog

Let Your Kids Help Quilt! 8 Tips to Get Started

Quilting is a fun, creative activity, so it’s no wonder that kids want to get in on the action! As a teacher, I’ve helped children as young as 6 years old learn how to sew on a machine. If your child is interested in sewing (or if you want to pass along your passion), read on!

Our best tips for quilting with kids

Make sure your child is interested!

While anyone can learn to quilt, some children will be more interested (and capable) than others. Quilting is a long process, so consider whether your child has the attention span to sit and focus and listen to instructions.

Let them choose the project

The best way to keep kids interested in sewing is to get them involved early. Your kiddo can choose a pattern and pick out fabric. After all, little people have some very big opinions! They will feel a greater sense of ownership if they’re a part of the ideation process.

Start with a tour of the sewing machine

Take your child on a “tour” of the sewing machine. You don’t need to go over all the different stitches or how to adjust stitch width or length (they won’t need this anyway). But it’s a good time to talk about the pedal and speed controls, the presser foot and bobbin, seam allowances and, most importantly, keeping fingers away from the needle. I also like to put a piece of washi tape at the ¼” mark — it’s easier for kids to see.

Play it safe

Depending on the age of your child, some tasks might not be safe. That is, while a 10-year-old might be able to handle pins and sewing machine needles, you probably want to keep these sharp objects away from toddlers.

Decide how you’re going to quilt it

If you have access to a long-arm machine, let the kids try using it. Both boys and girls get really excited about a huge machine that quilts a project, and with guidance, they can quilt their own names or designs into their projects.

Hand-quilting is another great technique to teach children. It teaches them the basics of hand-sewing (threading a needle, basic running stitch, how much thread to use) and is also a fabulous bonding experience if you have a stitching project of your own. Kids love to chatter while they sew!

What can kids quilt?

There’s no limit to what kids can make, but for your first project together, we have a few simple suggestions.

Simple quilts

Like A Charm Dreamfield Expand-A-Quilt Kit

Like A Charm Dreamfield Expand-A-Quilt Kit featuring Lily & Loom Dreamfield fabric

Yes, you can make a full quilt with kids! But to keep them engaged (and to actually get the project done!) we recommend sticking with something simple, like patterns that use lots of patchwork squares. Plus, the simpler the pattern, the less cutting you have to worry about.

Placemats, coasters and mug rugs

Imagine the joy on your child’s face when they eat every meal off of a placemat they made themselves!

In fact, the more your child can use what they make, the better! Try other useful projects like kid-sized quilted oven mitts or aprons.

Projects for dolls

Quilted placemats, blankets and more for dolls are perfect for kids who love to role-play and might want junior versions to go along with the “real-life” versions they see at home.


Quilted Pillow

Made with Lily & Loom On Deck fabric

Decorative pillows for their bedrooms are also a big hit! It’s just like making a quilt top, except you’ll finish the project with a pillow instead of batting. We recommend this strip-piecing pillow, which minimized the cutting.

The most important thing to remember while you’re quilting with kids is to teach them a love for the craft. It’s not about perfect seams or ideal technique as much as it’s about a love to create. (It’s a good lesson for the rest of us, too!)

Lily and Loom Space Camp Fabric

Our Favorite Fabrics for Kids

Whether you’ve got a budding cook, an wannabe astronaut, an animal lover or someone else, Lily & Loom has a fabric for every kid.Start Exploring

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2015 and was updated in March 2018.


Charlene Lindenmayer

I agree. My First sewing machine by Winky Cherry is a great book to teach a child about the sewing machine. I find that when they learn the sewing machine, they don’t want to sew by hand; but I guess quite a few of us are like that

Phyllis Elrich

i have been quilting with my seven year old Granddaughter for three years already! She knows how to thread a machine and even how to put the bobbin in. This year I bought her her own featherweight! It is so much fun for us to work together. Beautiful memories together are the sweetest!

Judi Clark

My 2 Granddaughters 11 & 9 have been sewing with me for 5 years now. They each have an Elna Lotus, but are allowed to use my machine (under supervision) for embroidery. We love it.

Brenda Kult

My 8 yr old granddaughter and I have been quilting for 2 yrs now. She has made a small baby quilt and a table runner for her mom. Took her to a quilt show in April. I couldn’t get her out of there. She was having so much fun picking patterns and material for our next project. She was telling the vendors how different quilts were inspiring her. It was so much fun!

Lynn Kahn

I am just starting on this — so I think the smaller projects — might be a good idea for me —


Any ideas for projects that little boys who want to use that machine with all its buttons and levers would enjoy? Can’t picture my grandson making pillows for his room!


My 9 year old grandson made a Minecraft themed rag quilt. It’s kinda ugly and green but he designed it on graph paper, chose fabrics and backing color, did all the sewing ( I still handle the rotary cutters), and I helped him with the clipping. As soon as he finished it he announced he’d be taking it to college with him!

He entered it in the youth division of a local show and won first in the viewers vote for the category!

Stevie R.

Just read your comment and hope in the last two years you have had a great time sewing with your grandson. One year ago my six yr. old grandson made a pillow and entered it in the county fair. He won a first place ribbon in the junior division, first time quilter recognition, and a ribbon from the state quild. This year at age seven, he is entering a quilt he made. He loves to sew on my Jenome Horizon and does his quilting on my grace frame.


Thanks for the great gardening tips! 🙂 I had a question though I was hoping you would please help me with…
How does Preen (Trifluralin) stop new weeds from growing without killing grown plants?

Dale Robin

My oldest son learned to use the machine when he helped me make his younger brother’s baby quilt. Then, one summer, the boys and I made a rainy day project of using bandanas to make each of them a summer quilt. They learned to sew their Scout badges on their shirts and sashes. When in high school, Son#1 took a class on making a quilt…and he did a fabulous job! Now in their 20s, I don’t think anyone sews anymore, except for a few mendings and such, but they could if they had to! 🙂

Chris Logsdon

I was asked to help a 11 year old girl, who is battling leukemia, with sewing an easy quilt or do some other easy sewing project. She has a new sewing machine…any ideas please??


Crazy quilt blocks? Does her machine have any dec stitches? If so, there are lots of fun fabrics and colors plus embellishments that could be used. If she likes animals perhaps a theme quilt with blocks from different fabric featuring the animal or other interest.

Monica Chavez

I like how you suggest to start with a tour of the sewing machine. That must be really important in educating kids about sewing and how they can be safe while using the machine. My neighbor wants to teach her daughter how to quilt. I think it’s a great idea so that they can have a new hobby together. They’ll need to find some nice fabric to get started.


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