Monthly Archives: July 2016


My kids go to a Montessori school. They were each in Primary this past year, which includes kids ages 3-6, preschoolers and kindergarteners. In the classroom the students have a lot of choice time for work (less so in kindergarten, but it's still there). And one opportunity they have is sewing. I blogged about my son's sewing experiences as school when we started his first quilt a year and a half ago.

My son's first step sewing in the classroom was to stitch using a tapestry needle and embroidery floss in plastic canvas. G started at the outside corner and spiraled his way to the center, stitching (with a running stitch) through each square. His second project was to stitch, again with a tapestry needle, on a piece of burlap with a picture drawn on it. (Sometimes the kids like to add sequins when they are stitching.) The third project he did was to make a stuffed bear. For this one he used a woven fabric and thread with a standard (sharp) needle. He used a running stitch, approximately 1/4" from the edge.

Last Fall, I was asked by my son's teacher to take on the project of making a class quilt with each class of kindergarteners. Um, yes! Of course!

I was excited to take on this project with the kinders. The teacher and I met to plan the scope of the project and to set a timeline. There were 9 and 11 kinders in the two classes, respectively. They each had some sewing experience. A few had done all three projects above, while some had less experience. We decided for each student to make a 4-patch block and to personalize their work by letting them do some painting on one white square of fabric. The painting part of the project was done with the help of one of their teachers before I arrived on the scene. She used Ed Emberley's fingerprint book for inspiration and the kids used fabric paint to make their fingerprints, then used fabric marker to draw on the details. Their names were also written on these squares (though I've removed the names from the photos for this post).

I began with each group of kinders by sitting on the floor in a circle and sharing a finished quilt and a quilt in progress, so they could see what a quilt was, and what parts went into making it.

For the fabric they would paint, I cut the pieces larger and marked their work area with a Frixion pen, then trimmed them to size after they were painted.

I pre-cut a variety of colored fabrics from the scraps in my stash into 3 1/2" squares and decided that one class would use warm colors and the other would use cool colors, both so that the two quilts would look different, and so that each would have some cohesion within it. This sparked a discussion with the kids about warm and cool colors during my initial quilt talk. Then I spread out the fabrics on the floor and we went around the circle three times for each child to choose their three pieces of fabric to accompany their painted square.

At this point I worked with kids in smaller groups (4-6 at a time) to get them started on their stitching. We determined that it was easiest for the kids to have their squares pinned together and to have a line drawn to stitch on. (Some preferred lines on both fabrics, front and back.) Oh, they also like their thread tied onto their needle, so the needle doesn't easily slip off when they pull too far. One class seemed to be a little more self-motivated than the other. I ended up checking in with them regularly, but most made progress when I wasn’t in the classroom. The other class had some more reluctant sewers, so I spent small amounts of time many times a week with them. Some were willing to take only 6 stitches each time I visited. Eventually, everyone finished their 4-patches. Here are a few.

We worked as a full group again in each class to talk about composition of the overall class quilt. Specifically, we discussed having the blocks placed so that none of the white squares shared a side, and so no like fabrics were adjacent. In one class we had two students choose three identical fabrics, so we discussed having them placed farther apart so that was less noticeable to the eye.

After these discussions, I took the blocks home to press them and machine piece the quilt top. I also did some machine quilting (in the ditch-ish) and bound the quilts using remnant binding pieces. The quilts are now hanging in the classrooms. Here they are!


In one class, many students did bonus sewing. Four kids did a significant amount of bonus sewing. One girl has a quilter in the family, so she worked on her project outside of class as well as in class. She didn’t want finishing help and intends to get help from her family to finish her first quilt. Another girl meticulously pieced 24 squares to make a finished 12” x 18” quilt. She hand pieced the entire top. A boy, with the help of a friend, completed a 24" x 24" hand pieced quilt top. There were a couple generous seam allowances and some not quite square pieces of fabric which resulted in the two halves not lining up, so I offered to piece in some filler fabric so we wouldn't have to trim off excess from one half.

For both students, I pieced their chosen backing fabric, then met with them to label their backing fabric, to work with me to pin baste the quilt, and to choose fabrics from my leftover binding bin. I brought my sewing machine to school so that they could each machine quilt their projects, and I finished the quilts at home by trimming them up and binding them.



I had a great time working with the kids on the class projects as well as these extra quilts. Unfortunately (for me), both of the students who made their own quilt have moved out of the area, so I won't be able to work with them at school next year. I sure hope that they will keep sewing!

Linking up to Needle and Thread ThursdayTGIFF and Finish It Friday.


This month marks the start of two fun new projects for me. The Star Light Star Dark Quilt Along with Jessica of Quilty Habit and Meadow Mystery, a mystery quilt with Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs.

Jessica’s Star Light Star Dark is an exercise in different values of the same color. She’s offering a 3-color lap quilt or 2-color baby quilt option for the quilt along. I’ve chosen the hybrid 3-color baby quilt. ;-) I started with purple, the most abundant color in my stash. I had a reasonably easy time pulling a variety of values of purple fabric. For my “second color” I struggled to find a range of values in any one color, so I decided to go with yellow and orange. This afforded me the ability to pull all the fabrics from my stash for this project. Yay! Below are my fabrics: light yellows/orange, dark yellow/oranges, dark purples, and light purples. You can better see the values in the black and white photo below it.


This is my second online mystery quilt with Cheryl. I did the Midnight Mystery quilt last year. The requirements just came out for our five fabrics for the Meadow Mystery quilt. She indicated by value what we needed. Last year my colors and fabrics chosen for my quilt were both driven by my stash. Generally I stash half yard cuts of fabric, so I went scrappy to fulfill each color requirement. This year, I decided to pull fabrics from my larger cuts first, since those options are minimal in my stash. I picked the white tone on tone for my background fabric since I had a bunch of it from a project I decided to go another way on. Then I chose the butterflies, which ironically, were a castoff from an earlier stage of that same old project, what became the Purple Ninjas quilt.

This left me with needing a half yard of a medium value, and 1 yard each of a dark and a light to medium. I was able to find the other fabrics in my stash. I may need a bit more of the Kona solid than I have on hand. I’ll also pick up more of the multicolored print (Mosaic in Glacier by Tula Pink), since I really love it and I haven’t decided if I’ll try to fussy cut to avoid the darkest portions or not. For those of you participating in the mystery quilt, I’ve labeled my photos with the letters corresponding to the pattern. (Sorry they aren't in order.) :-) Once again, I have a black and white version of the photo below to better show the values of the fabrics.

So much for working outside of my favorite color, but I’m excited to see how these project both shape up.


I finished 5 projects off my Q2 goal list. And one of them was a whopping 36" x 48". That said, I look at this list and I have made significant progress on at least six of my larger sized projects. It was a productive quarter, even if the finishes don't exactly represent all I've accomplished. I'm adding six new projects to the list. A couple small quilts to be given as gifts, helping my daughter finish her first quilt, two new quilt alongs and my bee quilt.

My six new projects are added at the top of this list. It's so hard for me to prioritize (so the list isn't otherwise in any particular order), but I have three that are gifts I'd like to give in the next month, plus helping my kids to finish their quilts while they are on summer break. I guess those are the short term priorities. :-)


  1. Baby quilt. I've drafted the pattern and picked out the fabrics, but no pics to show yet.
  2. Race Car quilt. Again, I've drafted the pattern and chosen some fabric, namely the race cars and related blenders.
  3. In the Middle quilt. 12 bee blocks so far from The Bee Hive #beehiveswarmtisha.
  4. Star Light Star Dark. With Quilty Habit. Join us!
  5. Meadow Mystery. With Meadow Mist Designs. Join us!
  6. Help my 4-year-old daughter finish Rainbow Swift 2 (named after Rainbow Swift that her brother made for her), her first quilt. She's started quilting it.
  7. Help my nearly 6-year-old son finish his latest quilt, a twin sized bed quilt for his sister. He's still piecing it, and I think we've decided to send it out for quilting.
  8. Ocean quilt for my daughter. Need to make a second attempt attaching fish and hope my fabric doesn't bleed again.
  9. Midnight Mystery Quilt. Finished Quilt top. 
  10. 2004 Baseball Quilt. Quilt top is done and I've had my brother "try it on" (he's 6'5"). Now to finish it.
  11. Color Strata Quilt. My stratas are made. New up I need to  figure out how I'll set it. 
  12. Cotton & Steel (and low volume) HST Quilt.
  13. Patchwork City Metro Area Quilt. 
  14. Little Letters in Blues/Greens Quilt. I might need to change gears on these two to make them faster finishes.
  15. Little Letters in Brights Quilt.
  16. Very Hungry Caterpillar baby quilt. Quilt top finished.
  17. Very Hungry Caterpillar small lap quilt. Quilt top finished.
  18. Very Hungry Caterpillar twin quilt. Quilt top is complete, backing fabric is washed. I need to piece the backing. Somehow I don't have a picture of this one. Just look at #14 and think "twin sized."
  19. Batik SCVQA philanthropy quilt. I just need to quilt it.
  20. Roman Stripez with butterfly backing. Some blocks done. (see #21)
  21. 2nd Roman Stripez.
  22. Memory House Vol. 1 Quilt (2 houses complete
  23. Swoon Quilt. 
  24. Primary mini quilt. Same pattern as my Cotton & Steel mini swap. Hoping to get better at adding those bias edge triangles to finish it. 
  25. Rainbow Chain. The pattern is Autumn Chain from The Bee Hive quilts. 
  26. My Floating Squares improv project. (from The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters by Sherri Lynn Wood.)
  27. Creative HST project from Jeni Baker's class at QuiltCon. I'm close to 144 units. Here's my latest photo of the group of them.
  28. Rainbow Remix from Rebecca Bryan's class at Quiltcon. Blocks are all done. Next up, the big job of piecing together irregular blocks.
  29. Wonky Cross quilt from Rossie Hutchinson's class at QuiltCon. I added a second palette of fabric that I thought worked with the first. Here are the blocks I've completed so far.
  30. Quartered Log Cabin quilt from Rossie Hutchinson's class at QuiltCon
  31. Purple Royalty quilt. 

Other Sewing

  1. Zippered Pouch with my EPP hexies from Johanna Masko's EPP class at QuiltCon.
  2. Frog shirt for my son. Bowling Shirt (pattern by Scientific Seamstress). 
  3. Winnie the Pooh Skirt/Shorts for my daughter.


Stats: I love data. I think I'll try to start showing the following graphically, buy I think it's a great metric for seeing my progress and not feeling like my lengthy WIP list is solely a bunch of languishing, forgotten projects. Those 20 that are in progress... many are much farther along. I promise.

  • Planning Stages (pre-fabric pull): 4 (Q1), 0 (Q2), 2 (Q3)
  • Fabric Pulled: 1 (Q1), 1 (Q2), 2 (Q3)
  • Fabric Cut: 1 (Q1), 0 (Q2), 0 (Q3)
  • Piecing in Progress: 15 (Q1), 20 (Q2), 20 (Q3)
  • Quilt Top Completed: 7 (Q1), 9 (Q2), 7 (Q3)
  • Quilted: 0 (Q1), 0 (Q2), 0 (Q3)

Bucket List: Because I need more projects, right?

  1. Triangle Squared quilt.
  2. Equilateral triangle quilt, perhaps Chopsticks pattern.
  3. Raspberry Kiss lap quilt.
  4. Technicolor Galaxy.
  5. Polaroid quilt.
  6. Chopsticks quilt.
  7. Pirate Quilt. (I have fabric, but no firm plan on design yet.)
  8. Leah Day's Dancing Butterflies to develop my free motion quilting. (I joined, but never... um... started.)
  9. More Mini Mini Quilt Swaps on IG.

I'm linking up to the Q3 Finish-A-Long. Thank you to all the co-hosts for this year! I'm very thankful for Finish-A-Long helping me stay organized and motivated.

Thank you for visiting!

2016 Finish-A-Long

Things I Make