We decided to offer summer camp sessions this year because after a year of teaching kids to sew three days a week we learned that there were more and more children clamoring to learn how to make something. We get requests for knitting, crochet, and sewing almost every day. When I was a child I spent most of my summers with my grandparents in rural Iowa. While there I learned to sew, embroider, knit, draw horses, play a mean game of Scrabble, make jam, and grow prize winning tomatoes. I am so grateful to have spent all those summers making and learning from my grandparents. Laying on the porch embroidering a tea towel while my sister made doll clothes and my grandmother shelled peas is a cherished memory. Each time I make a new set of tea towels for my own home I remember Nita and believe with all my heart that she lives on in every stitch I embroider into the towel.
<PREVIEWEND>The second week of our summer camp series is coming to an end and I'm beginning to think I should have named the series "The Nita Memorial Summer Camp Program". These children are really sewing! Making wearable pieces designed to teach them everything from buttonholes, setting sleeves, hemming and shirring. Many of them have never sewn before. Or they've learned in our after-school program and are eager to learn more. They now know to inquire about seam allowances and stitch length. They labor over what fabric to use. And discuss hem lengths. Watching them patiently seam rip their mistakes makes my heart swell with pride. Their desire to "do it right" is a reminder that craftsmanship is not dead.
Next week is the first ever fiber camp and we've designed awesome embroidery patterns, crochet pillows, needle-felted monsters and a knit friendship bracelet that will surely be a "wear-it-until-it-falls-off" accessory. A series of projects designed to broaden children's craft skills. We'll be tie-dying on the sidewalk just like I did when I was eight! The only thing missing is a front porch to sit on with some lemonade.
I am so proud of these young ladies. They made these garments in three mornings! They picked the fabric, cut the pieces and stitched every seam. And they ran to the bathroom to put on the finished garments as soon as the last thread was clipped. I got a little misty listening to each of them ooh and ahh at one another. They couldn't have been more positive about the fabric choices each one made or the buttons they chose. Girls supporting girls. Sewing leading to friendships. Confidently exiting Gather Here wearing handmade. I am overjoyed.
If you have a crafty kid aching to learn to sew or knit or crochet, there are more sessions available this summer. Sessions are one week long and run from 9 AM to 12:30 PM with a 15 minute snack break. Camps are $325 for the week, all supplies are included.
June 25th Fiber Camp (knitting, crochet, felting, fabric dye, embroidery). Sign up here.
July 9th Fashion Camp for beginners/intermediate stitchers. Sign up here.
July 16th Fashion Camp for intermediate/advanced stitchers. Sign up here.
July 23rd Fiber Camp (knitting, crochet, felting, fabric dye, embroidery). Sign up here.
August 6th Fashion Camp for beginners/intermediate stitchers. Sign up here here.
August 13th Fashion Camp for intermediate/advanced stitchers. Sign up here.
The crafty Nita with my partner in crime, Noah. Thank you Nita for teaching me to sew and knit and crochet and be an all-around-crafty genius.