Earlier this month, I was given the opportunity to introduce and demonstrate quilting in my community for a second time in my school district (K-8)! For this free event, the PTA requested that artists create a class or interactive project if possible, and, after some thought, I decided it would be wonderful to make a special quilt for a 7th grader at our school who is battling leukemia.
She hasn't been one of my own students yet, but I know that she likes the movie Frozen. So, I chose blues, blacks, whites, and purples that fit that theme. I had such a fun time choosing fabrics at Pennington Quilt Works (I may have been a bit giddy as I pulled fabric off the shelves without a care).
My sister Marisa helped me set up the room (just like last year!) :). I precut the fabric and batting; basically, students chose 5-7 strips, filled a rectangular piece of batting, brought it to me to sew up, and had the option of watching how I work the machine. I found out quickly that there are a lot of Pearl Bracelet fans! Both boys and girls expressed interest in learning how to sew. It was invigorating. :) I didn't get any pictures of when the kids came in because it was madness; I was sewing and talking up a storm. We made about 80 quilt blocks that day!
Both adults and kids could sign the large pieces of fabric for the back of the quilt - I now have four of these filled with names!
Some highlights: my littlest former students (kindergarten/first grade) shyly shuffling in to say hello (with their wonderful parents). Telling some of the kids that my machine's name is Elsa and showing them the Frozen stickers that adorn its surface (I got lots of laugh and smiles!). The second grade girl who was watching right over my left shoulder and decided suddenly to help me guide the fabric through the machine (I slowed down a lot, and she insisted on repeating this process for each piece we sewed - SO cute!). The fascination over my knee lift by both kids and adults. My 5th through 8th graders coming in not only to make blocks and sign the backing but also to request more views of the "show way" I brought in for reading class.
I laid out the top on Sunday, and finished piecing it together today! I let the squares (9 inches unfinished) fall relatively randomly (I tried to space out the all-solid blocks).
The project and my time were generously sponsored by the Lopatcong Township PTA and the Warren County Cultural and Heritage Commission (thank you!). I'm hoping to be asked back next year to work with the kids again. Maybe we can make a quilt every year!