Wednesday, April 2, 2014

An Expanding Alphabet...

I spent a good part of the time before retreat preparing - getting paper pieced templates prepped, sorting the right number of scraps by color, gathering as many black fabrics as possible - so that when I finished the Little One top, I could jump right into my Alphabet Tilted Stars.  These are some of my favorites so far:

Even with all the prep and working two stars at a time, these blocks take a decent amount of time to put together.  Paper piecing combined with partial seams makes you take your time a bit, and it also took me until I finished about 4 blocks or so before I figured out the most economical way to cut and position my black background fabrics to minimize waste.  I'd estimate that two finished blocks take about an hour and a half from fabric cutting to finished block.

But I really love how they are coming out.  I worked and worked and worked on these blocks from Saturday through Sunday of the retreat and got over half of my letters done.  Now I'm hoping to finish at least two blocks per week until they are all finished.  Sorry for the lousy cell photo, but I didn't think to whip out my "real" camera until they were all off the design wall.

I know I've mentioned this before, but I get asked where this block comes from every time that I post pictures.  In case you want to try this for yourself, this is the Tilted Star paper pieced pattern from the book Vintage Quilt Revival.  This book is fabulous - I want to try at least 3 or 4 different projects from it!

And by the way, this is one of those projects where I didn't have a recipient in mind - just an idea of a great finish.  But let me run something by you all because I need opinions here!!  I've been wracking my brain for a good idea for a few months now on a good quilt for my daughter's kindergarten teacher for the end of the school year, but nothing seemed quite right.  But as I was laying all of the finished blocks out last week, it occurred to me that a) an alphabet quilt for a kindergarten teacher could be kind of cute (or maybe she might even want to hang it in the classroom next year??) and b) she has nicknamed their class "the kindergarten rock STARS".  Could it be a perfect fit or is this a little too precious for a teacher's gift?  What do you think??

Linking up:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


  1. I am awwed at the beauty of these cute star blocks. Your idea of using different black fabrics for the background makes these even better. Love it totally.
    This is definitely a precious quilt. It depends on how much you love your daughter's kindergarten teacher. Probably this could be for the school or something. But definitely listen to your heart. Good luck!

  2. I love how you're using different black background fabrics.

    In terms of giving it to the teacher, I think it depends. Will it set a precedence for future teachers? Will they hear that one teacher got a quilt while another one didn't? Just something to think about.

  3. This just gets better! I think it would make a great gift! Maybe kids can sign the back and add their handprint? If you make it a class gift the parents could donate $ so you can buy more fabric! Or just keep it! Your girls might not let it go

  4. I actually think Jen makes a valid point! I made handmade bags for the teachers one year when there were 3 to make and the next year I had 9 teachers to consider. The teachers all share gifts in the teachers room so the other teachers will definitely know! I also like the idea of making it a class gift though by having the families contribute.

  5. Maybe it was just different where I grew up - but we never gave teachers gifts. A batch of cookies to share with the class, sure. But I think a quilt goes a little beyond the "norm". Especially as this is going to be a larger quilt. It's such a good idea though...maybe just make one block? I know there are other alphabet blocks/fabrics out there too, if you don't have enough. And one block made into a wall hanging or a tote wouldn't set the bar too high for years to come.

  6. As a former kindergarten teacher, I would have been thrilled to get this quilt. Believe me, she earned it. Teaching lower grades is rewarding but the kids forget about you as they get older so often those teachers don't get the kudos teachers of older children do. I think you should give it to her.

  7. So sweet! Is that center fabric store bought or have you printed on it?

  8. This is AWESOME! And yes, I think a kindergarten teacher would LOVE it. Such a wonderful idea. Best, Kate

  9. The colors on this really pop. It is beautiful and extremely well executed. Considering your time and effort, I admire your generosity, but my opinion is that it is a bit extravagant for a teacher gift. Keep it for your daughter for her to commemorate her kindergarten year. You can make just one square for the teacher as a tote bag, a pillow, or a wallhanging. The center piece instead of being a letter of the alphabet could be the year of the class. Or maybe you could write with pigment pens Mrs. [Insert name] Really Rocks or Mrs [Insert name], Star Teacher. This quilt is a special intense heirloom work of art your daughter will treasure when she is older, especially for kids of her own.