Sunday, June 14, 2009

Giving those Kindergarten Quilts away

On Friday, the kindergarteners had a little show about bugs and ants and things like that. The room mom thought this would be a great time to present the quilts, and I agreed. It was nice for everyone who contributed (which between the money and the time with the kids to make the squares, in addition to the extra time that many of the moms spent helping to assemble it) was just about everyone. I told the room mom that I could present the quilts, no problem. She was going to hand off one of the quilts and I was going to hand off the other.

So I got up there to present them and the assistant teacher was looking at me and (seemingly at least) starting to tear up. Then I started to tear up (and totally forgot what I was going to say and blew the presentation!!). Then they opened the quilts and they both started crying and of course, half the moms in the room joined in.

But it was a totally rocking end of school gift if I do say so myself. Check it out. This is the head teacher holding her quilt.

Here's the assistant teacher with her quilt:

All done with that- now on to the next project! And here's one last photo of my little pumpkin with her much-adored kindergarten teacher- aren't they cute?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Putting it together

I only bring this up because when I put these two quilts together, I used three techniques I'd never used before. The first technique was using a basting spray to baste the quilt instead of 200+ safety pins. I wish I had taken pictures (story of my life), but here's how we did it.

1. Using duct tape, we taped the corners of the backing fabric to the floor. The backing fabric was wrong side up.
2. We liberally sprayed one side of the batting- cut so that it would roughly fit the backing fabric- and pressed it down to the backing fabric, starting in the center and working our way out to the edges. HINT: use latex disposable gloves so that your hands don't get covered in the extremely sticky and hard to remove basting spray.
3. We sprayed the face-up side of the batting, then took the quilt top and pressed it down on the batting, again starting in the center and working our way out to the edges.

Voila! Two quilts basted in about 10 minutes flat.

The second technique was tying the quilts instead of quilting them. I know this is a common technique for beginners, but I had never done this before. We wanted the kids to participate in the tying of the quilts, so I enlisted the help of a few moms and the aftercare teachers and we put all the the threads in and let the kids tie them during aftercare. The kids did pretty well, although some of them had to be shown how to make a square knot before they could help. I found out later that it's best to use curved needles for this, but we just used standard embroidery needles and four strands of floss. We tried to leave 4-5 inches of floss to give the kids enough room to make their ties. After tying we trimmed the floss down to about an inch each.

The last technique was attaching the binding entirely by machine. I had attempted this once and gotten so frustrated that I never tried it again. Luckily I found a post on the Sew Mama Sew forum that gave me better details. It was actually a link to a binding by maching tutorial. This worked like a charm. I love the look of a handstitched binding, but this was so easy I may never go back!