Whew! I finally have a chance to write the post about the kids' art quilt that I recently finished for Sunshine's school. I'm happy to tell you that I delivered it a week and a half ago, a few hours before they had their back to school bash, and they were beyond thrilled. The art teacher who requested this quilt actually cried when she saw it so I believe that counts a "Mission Accomplished". Therefore I'm happy to reveal to all of you....
Our Own Art
I am totally thrilled with the way this one turned out and I love it even more than the kids art quilt that I made last year. It is just so bright and colorful and fun.
The school's name was appliqued using their actual letterhead font in the school's colors.
Although it is really hard to see in this picture, I straight stitched around the edge of each letter in matching thread.
The school's letterhead has a daisy as the dot for the i so that is what I did too.
As I was trying to quilt this I shared with you my struggles to come up with the right quilting design in the right color. In the end and as a total surprise to me, after testing out all of your thread color suggestions, I ended up liking the most the Glide 10GC3 Cool Gray. If you look at the color on their website, it looks a lot darker than it is in reality and I think it works perfectly on this quilt. It shows up just enough without competing with any of the sashing colors too much.
The right quilting design was my other angst besides the thread color choice and while drawing out many of your suggestions on a photo printout of the top, I had an epiphany that totally changed my complete way of thinking about the quilting design for this one.
I think that one of the biggest problems with what I had been trying, besides the fact that this was only 1 inch wide sashing and I'm not an expert at this yet, is that I was trying to quilt it as an adult would quilt it, all neat and perfectly spaced. Then during the doodling session, I remembered that when the art teacher and I were talking during the planning stages we talked about wanting to make this quilt look like the kids did it, or at least as much of it as possible. So that was my epiphany! I needed to quilt it as if my kids were doing it instead of me. Once I tried that and completed the 1st row, I knew I was on the right track. I quilted it with ribbons as if the kids were trying really hard to make it look good but also knowing that it would be a little wonky. To me this approach totally worked. It truly mimicked the "all over the place" look and feel of the kids' blocks and does look like kids work.
The art teacher provided the border fabric and this helped to reinforce the quilting design since the print is of kids' drawings. I did simple loopy quilting in that area.
The binding is a mix of one half WOF strips from all the solid colors used in the sashing.
As usual, I sewed the first side of the binding as normal but when it came time to sew down the back side, I kept the same epiphany in mind. The kids would not have sewn it down by hand as I had been planning to do, so instead I did a decorative elongated serpentine line, just a little unevenly spaced in areas, that again I think blends well with the rest of the stitching.
The school's director and all the teachers were so happy with the final result. I was a bit worried that they wouldn't understand my quilting design idea but they totally "got" it and agreed with my take on it. To do anything else for the quilting wouldn't have made it look like the kids themselves did it, which is what they wanted.
The quilt is now hanging in the school's front lobby for all to see as they enter and I keep hearing back every day how the kids from last year continue to look for their own blocks and the new kids at the school this year love checking out all of them too. And the new kids are asking if they get to make a quilt block too.
Overall this quilt was a joy to make and I'm so happy that they love it so. It definitely taught me a lesson about how sometimes I need to think outside the box to find the perfect solution.