Then when the quilt was finished, we heard he was sharing the district retirement party with another teacher...but not just any teacher...Katie's current teacher. It just didn't feel right to not have something special there for her when she's been so good to Katie all year. I almost just dropped it because there was so little time, but after talking to a few mutual friends, I just knew this quilt had to be made...and that it should be something representative of her...and I only had a couple days to get it done.
After talking to some of her good friends, I found out Katie's teacher loved to read and she liked green, so we figured a book quilt would be perfect. (I used the tutorial from Melissa at Happy Quilting.) Then as I was sewing it together, I had a last minute stroke of inspiration and added some appliques to add interest and personalize it.
I already knew she loved music. I was originally going to try to applique a grand piano, but I was worried that it wouldn't be recognizable in fabric. The harp was just easier, and even though Katie's teacher doesn't play the harp (at least as far as I know) it symbolizes her love of music. I should have saved templates of the appliques...but I was in such a hurry that I didn't...I just searched "harp silhouette" into google image search and found one I liked. I quilted the strings in with marching thread and I think that made all the difference with the harp.
I also knew that her LDS faith is a big part of her life. I'd also heard parents of other faiths express their appreciation for her quiet example of faith, so I used an outline of the temple to symbolize that.
And the apple is, of course for being a teacher.
I finished it up just in time to sneak into her kids' PE class (seriously...I think I had about 5 minutes to spare) and have them sign it before the retirement party. Then after talking to the principal, I found out that the elementary school was having a second party for her themselves...so the quilt was a week early for that party which gave the teachers and other staff at the school time to sign it as well.
All of the fabric came from my stash, except a neighbor made a run to the fabric store and was able to find the perfect brown print for the shelf part. (I'm never sure whether I should be proud or embarrassed that I can make entire quilts from my stash without making much of a dent in it.) Most of the greens came from a fat quarter bundle I ordered a while ago from Patty of You Keep Me in Stitches. (One of my new sponsors.)
Patty has also been incredibly generous in sending fabric for me to make I-Spy quilts for Seattle Children's through Katie's Comforters. I've really got to get busy with those! (And watch in the next couple weeks for our next I-Spy swap.)
Patty is also sponsoring a giveaway right now on her blog for a prize pack of fabric from her shop, You Keep Me in Stitches! The giveaway is jointly listed both on this blog and her blog, The Simple Stitch. Patty says if there are more than 100 entries, she'll choose a second winner as well, so be sure to share with all your friends.
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|Spring House/Queen Anne fabric from You Keep Me in Stitches||Sew Stitchy Charm Pack from You Keep Me in Stitches||Goodnight Moon fabric from You Keep Me in Stitches|