My (Kathy) daughter Maggie was graduating from Play Island Prechool in May and I wanted to do something special for her Play Island teacher, Ms. Woller. Originally, I intended to give it to the preschool teacher as a gift from the graduating class. She has been an awesome teacher and made such a positive impact on all the kids.
So I had Ms. Woller get a handprint of each of the kids on an 8″ neutral square using fabric paint. She let the kids choose the color and I labeled each block with that child’s name. Luckily the graduating class had 20, which makes for an easy quilt layout~ 4 x 5. If the number was odd, I would have put the year in one block or a class picture or focal fabric squares to fill each corner and balance it out.
Then the quilt was sashed and bordered with a great print that was very age appropriate. Joyce helped me pick out this great paint splattered piece. The cornerstones helped to keep everything lined up easily. I had to tell Ms. Woller what the squares were for and when she told the board about it, they asked if they could ever raffle it off. So it went from being a gift to a raffle item. No pressure at all!!!
The kids had lots of questions about their handprints in paint and what they were for. As the quilt came together, anticipation among the Play Island preschool kids grew. It was fun to have them asking about the quilt and seeing the excitement about it. I never dreamt they would be that interested in it.
The 2 graduating classes took a field trip to Gathering Friends where they got to pick out colors they would put together, take fabric squares they’d matched up home and see how to machine quilt. But the most exciting part was when I finally showed them the quilt they had helped make. They had so much fun finding their handprints and we loved seeing the pride in their little faces because it was “their” quilt. I showed them how I was machine quilting on it and they had some great questions about quilting and how things are done. It was as much fun for Deb and I as it was for the kids!
My favorite part of the quilt was the label. Using inkjet printer sheets, the class photos for the 2 graduating classes were put onto fabric and serve as the label. The very best part of all this was the night of graduation. Once the quilt was raffled off, the mom who got the quilt walked up to Ms. Woller and gave it to her. So essentially, the quilt had come full circle and ended up right where it was meant to. Ms. Woller will be diplaying it on the Play Island Preschool room wall for everyone to enjoy!