In November, our school hosts the Great American Teach-In where they invite parents and members of the community to be a teacher for a day and share about their jobs. In 2014 I helped out when my husband’s aunt came as a nurse from Shriner’s Hospital and it made me think that I could share about quilt making the next year. After much thought I decided to do it for the 2015 Teach-In. Now that the 2016 Teach-In is only a couple months away, I thought I’d share how I went about this.
I thought a lot about how I was going to share my hobby with the students. I wanted to show them all the different stages of a quilt going together but I also wanted it to be interactive. I cut out a 6 1/2″ square for each student and ironed it to a piece of freezer paper to stabilize it. Then I collected all my Sharpies and bought a few packages of Tulip fabric markers so the students could create their own design on their block.
I knew there was going to be quite a bit of preparation to get the fabric squares for two classes (my son’s and my daughter’s) together. I also had a secret plan to add those student-designed squares to a quilt as a Christmas gift for each teacher. I even cut blocks for the rest of the quilt so I could start sewing them together soon after the Great American Teach-In.
Then, I was told that I would be teaching to a combined classroom – both my child’s classroom and its sister classroom. I was immediately overwhelmed with the idea of making 4 teacher quilts and decided my plan would have to change. I still wanted all the students to be able to create their own fabric so I added about 40 more white blocks on freezer paper to my existing stack of 40. And then decided to play it by ear.
I shared and taught about making quilts to my son’s 4th grade classmates first. They were all very interested in the process and how I put things together. When they finally got their squares and the markers we were running out of time. I needed the markers for 2nd grade but I promised I would send the markers back so they could work on their squares the next day during “fun Friday.”
2nd grade was a little tougher audience than 4th. I sped through the process a little more quickly and then doled out the markers and fabric. Some of the 2nd graders did not want to color on the fabric and others could care less what they put on the fabric so I decided that they could all keep their fabric squares and take them home.
On Friday afternoon my son brought home a fabric square from each of his fourth grade classmates and I decided that I would make a wall hanging with them for his teacher. But not for Christmas as I had already moved on to table runners as teacher gifts.
Originally I planned to have this quilt finished some time in the new year but it always got pushed to the back burner. I completed it in April 2016 and decided it would be a great gift for Teacher Appreciation Week. I brought it in to class at the end of the week and the students gave it to their teacher. The students were super excited to see their blocks in a quilt and their teacher will have a great memento of the 2015-2016 4th grade class.
Size: 25 x 25 inches
Sashing: A solid grey I had on hand…any pattern I tried took away from the blocks
Quilting: Straight lines, both vertically and horizontally in the sashing and horizontal lines at the top and bottom.
Binding: Super fun silver polka dot – I will use this again for binding! In the interest of time, I used a zigzag stitch to sew the binding down to the backing. I also added a pocket on the back for hanging.
Backing: (Not shown) Leftover grey and white sheet from another project