Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Top-Secret Sewing Project

Yes, I know its Thursday, and my Kids Craft Thursday post will be coming up (although, I'm not gonna might not be until tomorrow). But, I have an extra post for today. Remember that top-secret sewing project that I was working on for so long and couldn't share with you???? Well, the gift has been given, so now I would like to present to you....

My very FIRST EVER....


And not only is it a quilt (a big enough accomplishment on its own), but its a memory quilt which was an even bigger undertaking (I will explain why). But, without further adieu...Here it is:

I really started working on the idea of this quilt back in January. I knew I wanted to do something special as an end-of-the-year teacher appreciation gift for Ryleigh's very beloved teacher, Miss Elaine. She's been a huge part of Ryleigh's life over the past 2 years and now that Ryleigh will be moving on to 'big kid' school, I wanted Miss Elaine to have something to always remember the 'Class of 2010' - afterall, we'll never forget her! So, I started searching for teacher appreciation gifts and came across a memory quilt that was made for a teacher. The one I saw was made up of drawings made by the children. Immediately I knew I wanted to make a memory quilt! But, how???? I don't have access to these children...I don't know their parents...and due to confidentiality issues, Miss Elaine couldn't not give me the parents' contact info (trust me - I tried)...not to mention that I've never completed a quilt before! So, I ended up writing a letter, sealing them in envelopes, and giving them to Miss Elaine (hoping she wouldn't read them!) and asking her to distribute them to the class. I had no idea how this would turn out...would anyone even respond? Would they think I was some weirdo trying to get pics of their children? Then I had the task of trying to come up with a layout/pattern - all without knowing who would participate and who wouldn't. It turns out that most of the parents did send me a photo of their child and a couple did drawings to include as well. But, there were a few that I didn't hear from AT ALL. Not a 'that's a great idea, but I don't want to participate', NOTHING. So now what??? Miss Jennie to the rescue!!! Miss Jennie was the class helper this year and she responded right away by calling me and offering to take pictures of the children in school. PERFECT! So, after a couple of weeks of Miss Jennie bringing her camera to class, I had a photo of each child along with a bunch of others of them playing, doing crafts, etc. The only downfall of this was that Miss Jennie had a not-so-great camera at the time and the photos were either very dark or very bright and blurry. Now, I consider myself to be crafty at a lot of editing is not one of them! I spent a ton of time working in Photoshop trying to improve the images so that they would look okay when printed on fabric squares. That was actually the hardest part of the whole process. Then I just started piecing it all together. And this is the final result. I'm pretty happy with it. Its not perfect, by any means...but, it was made with a lot of love and I'm sure she'll treasure it for years to come. A big huge super duper thank you to Miss Jennie! Without her, this quilt would not have been possible! And thank you to Miss Elaine for putting up with my child for 2 years! ;-)

Some more photos of the quilt...

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