How to make a quilt~Gettin’ crafty for a teacher gift

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  Seriously people, if I can do it, you can! If you can using a sewing machine to sew a decent straight line (mine aren’t always straight) you can do this.  This is the third quilt I’ve made, and all in the past year.  I have had many helpers along the way, so I took some step by step shots to help those of you out that might have a hankering to do this.  The other 2 quilts (here and here) I made with designer fabric for the sake of fun photo shoots.  This design was a bit different because we did the handprints and border around each.

I am the room parent for my daughters kinder class and it is her teachers first year of teaching.  I wanted to do something special for her to remember this first year. I planned to give it to her on the last day of school, but then one of my dearest friends decided to get married out of state on that very day, so I hurriedly switched gears and planned it for said teachers birthday.

Here is how it all went down:

March 10th: found out my friend is getting married on May 27th out of state.  This is the last day of school, when I planned to give the quilt to the teacher. I had to be there to give it to her, so moved up the date to her April birthday.

March 15th: Emailed all of class parents and asked them to bring their child to my house in a week (it was spring break, so not everyone got it til the last minute).

March 20th:  Sent note home with kids in envelopes so parents wouldn’t forget.

March 21st:  After running to 2 fabric stores, didn’t see what I wanted and found some on  The teacher calls the kids her Kinder Bugs, so I wanted bugs–the 5 shes uses for their groups had to be in the fabric:  ladybug, butterfly, dragonfly, caterpillar, bees Of course the next days I spotted something similar at a third fabric store, but oh well. Bought fabric paint and fabric markers in the colors of the fabric.

March 22nd: 17 of the 21 students came to my home to get their hand print on a 9×9 white square (actually cut squares to 9.25×9.25 allowing for sewing seam) .  I said I’d be home from 3-7pm and they could come anytime. My awesome friend and neighbor Naomi helped me a ton! All the kinder kids thought it was pretty fun to come to my daughter’s home. (The pic with me init is taken by my daugther below in green).

 March 24: 3 more came to my house

March 25: One childs mom was sick and couldn’t get him to my home, so I went to school and pulled him out of P.E. (luckily the coaches know me) and quickly got his print on a white square.  Saw our kinder teacher in the library and with a wet handprint and toddler, did my best to  hide!

March 28:  My order came–hallelujah!

March 29:  My friend Amy helped me figure out how to cut out the yellow bug fabric (with help from my mom on the phone).  I may or may not have had a panic attack when trying to figure out what to cut. The inbetween strips are 2×9.5 inches each. Allowing for a quarter inch on each side to sew to the squares.  Arranged on the floor to figure out color design.

I chose 5 colors.  With 21 kids, each color got 4  hands with 1 having 5. I made 3 extra sqaures to make an even 24. Got all that math?  Whew!  Annoying that sewing involves so much math!  So roughly, my quilt is 36 across and 54 inches down….allowing a little extra for the seams.

I took my strips and sewed them backwards on the left 3 of each row, leaving the last one without the yellow strip.  It would get it at the end with a longer strip from top to bottom of the quilt.

It was fun to watch the progression.  Below, I have sewn together the strips on the top row while the rows below are awaiting that moment.

Then I pulled out my horizontal strips. Approximately 36 inches wide (with a little extra for seam allowance) by 2 inches tall to sew my rows together. See below.

Check it out!  I did this part all by myself and I am so pleased with how it turned out.  Now…don’t look too closely, you will see that some of my math and lack of straight stitching didn’t turn out swimmingly.

A few steps got skipped in the camera department.  My mom came into town and helped me finish it off.  We got some thin batting and she suggested bias tape for my edge.  It is sold in the fabric store by the zippers and in many colors.  It was 3 yards long and about 4 inches wide, so doubled up, it was the perfect size for my edges and I didn’t have to cut anything! I got two of them in dark blue. I wish I took pics of it before…so sorry. We pinned the top fabric to the back yellow bugged fabric with the binding in between.  I did just a little quilting because I didn’t want to tie it.  I quilted each row of horizontal lines just to hold it all together.  After pinning on the blue bias tape, I then sewed a zig zag directly on top of the edge so it sewed both sides at the same time.  Looking at my edges, they aren’t perfection, but I am completely ok with that!

Ta da!

 Flip over the back…

Here are my baby and I going to deliver the package and donuts.

The kids were all very excited.  Supposedly that hadn’t told their teacher what they did.

She was surprised…it was fun;)

I had to snag a pic with her and my girl as I said farewell to my hard work.  It was worth it, she has been such a great teacher for my daughter!

Any questions I left unanswered? Whew–what a post. G’night.

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