Sharon's class quilt made with first graders in Minnesota
(and a quilt made by the staff for a principal)
We have a non-graded reading program at our school, Walker-Hackensack-Akeley School in Walker, MN. My reading group is made up of 10 top readers in the first grade. In order to keep these children constantly challenged and motivated, I use many resources. One of the most popular authors/illustrators is Jan Brett. The class and I have used many ideas and projects from her web site www.janbrett.com. Jan uses hedgehogs in many of her stories, and that gave us an idea to also use them in a class project. I had each child trace their hand and write their name on a white square of cloth. At home, I embroidered hedgehogs on squares with the embroidery attachment on my sewing machine. We alternated these blocks with colorful squares. Jan Brett was scheduled to be in St. Paul, MN for a book signing, and one of our parents took the quilt there and Ms. Brett traced her hand and signed the quilt for us! It hangs in a place of honor in our classroom.
Our elementary principal retired this spring (1998), and I gave each staff member an 11 inch muslin square to decorate. Some of them embroidered a motif, some used fabric paints, and some appliqued a picture. I received 42 squares from the staff, and joined them with blue calico strips. I backed the quilt with a multicolored calico of blues, reds and golds. We presented the quilt to him and his wife at a get together after school one day. I knew it was a hit when his wife asked me for some of the blue fabric so that she could make tabs to hang it on the wall in their home!
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