Homeschool · Simple Living


My mom is big-time into sewing. She has a sewing business and sells her creations at gift shops on the island. She also loves to make quilts. I don’t have the sewing bug, mostly because it is so detail-oriented and requires so much concentration that I can’t do it for very long before feeling like my brain is overloaded. My mom probably goes into that flow state while she sews, the same way that I do when I’m riding or training horses.

This year one of my goals is to learn more hands-on, real life skills. My day job requires a very specific knowledge set that is completely useless outside of a medical office setting. I’d like to get some more real life skills, and sewing is about as practical as it gets. With that in mind, my daughter and I went to my mom’s for the afternoon to make a Chihuahua quilt.

Choosing our squares and laying them out.

“What is a Chihuahua quilt?” you might ask. It’s simply a Chihuahua sized quilt! In your house a more appropriate name might be a cat quilt, if you have cats instead of chihuahuas. My daughter and I each sewed a little quilt for our dogs.

You might also ask why my son didn’t make a quilt. I do think boys should learn to sew, and he will at some point, but right now he has neither the attention span nor the dexterity for this particular project.

This is not a DIY blog post to tell you how to make your own Chihuahua quilt. There are plenty of sewing tutorials on YouTube and Pinterest. I’m just here to show you pictures of a lovely afternoon with three generations of women learning a hands-on craft that is useful for day-to-day living, and fun for people who are creative. I’m also going to show you really cute pictures of my three Chihuahuas.

Granny giving Elle a tutorial on the machine.

Because my mom does this as a business, she is a perfectionist. She oversaw each step, from sewing the blocks together to ironing them just so, to the final step of top stitching. For a couple of total amateurs, I think they turned out really nicely, even though my corners need some work!

My corners aren’t square. For shame.

My daughter is an artist and all-around creative type, just like my mom. My daughter likes to paint and draw more than she likes working with fabric, but I want her to learn how to sew so that she can mend her clothes and have the ability to make something simple like a dish towel or a set of cloth napkins. Right now we’re able to buy those things cheaply at the store, but it’s nice to have the ability to make it yourself if you ever needed to. Once creative people learn a new skill, it’s usually only a matter of time until they think of some cool project they want to do with it.

When we brought home our finished quilts, the chihuahuas played tug of war with them first, and then settled in for a nap. My daughter’s quilt is on her bed, where her dog Minnie sleeps.

First they had to fight over it.
Then Minnie settled in for a nap.

My quilt is on the chair that doubles as my office, since I work from home. The other two chihuahuas, Pearly and Bitsy, snuggle up with me every day while I work.

My son with all 3 chihuahuas on my work chair.

The dogs are both enjoying the quilts, and it cuts down ever so slightly the amount of dog hair on my clothing!

Do you sew? Who taught you? I think anyone who sews would agree that it’s a supremely useful skill to obtain! Is there another skill you’d recommend getting a handle on for the sake of being more self-sufficient?

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