Saturday, February 8, 2014

Oh rise up, Fruit Loop lovers

I know it's been a bit quiet here on the blog. I am really enjoying the work I'm doing and the company I'm doing it for, but I am feeling the pinch of time that comes with hours spent away from home each day. For that reason, I'm hoarding my family time in the evenings and not really spending much time here.

That said, I've been wanting to share with you a sewing project from prior to Christmas. I love to make gifts for some of the teachers who give their time, talent, and heart to my children. Classic Rock and Zydeco have decided that they are too old to walk into school laden with gifts, but Jazz is all about something fun and pretty for her teachers.

This year, she has a four main teachers - two men and two woman - and we wanted a gift that was useful, colorful, and not overly feminine. Enter the humble placemat:

When rolled, it fits easily into a laptop bag or backpack.  It's personalized for each teacher and guaranteed to make them the envy of the teachers' lounge.  When you unroll the placemat, you'll see a handy little pocket for your fork, spoon, and/ or knife.  And a matching napkin is tucked up in there as well!

For her wonderful science teacher, who was kind enough to let me take over her class one day and talk all about watersheds, storm water drainage, and environmental practices, Jazz chose swimming fish and swirling green.

For her history teacher, a male, who encouraged them to memorize Patrick Henry's famous speech and truly made the colonization of Jamestown come to life, Jazz chose what she thought looked like fireworks and represented the New World.

For her cherished homeroom and math teacher, Jazz picked out the most geometric and colorful fabric she could find.  This is the teacher who writes all his word problems based on the menu at his beloved Taco Bell.  His humor and devotion to his class is greatly appreciated and I am so thankful that Jazz has been in his class for two years!

This fun, swirly, out-of-the-box pattern was chosen especially for Jazz's SAMS teacher.  [Students Achieving in Major Subjects]  This lively and vivacious woman gets one day a week with the students to challenge their thinking, ignite their imaginations, and cultivate their teamwork skills.  Her class is so much fun and I've tried to sneak in and play along.  Apparently, I don't pass for a fourth grader.

As for the construction details on the placemats, I read many tutorials and hodge-podged my favorites.  I cut the top, bottom, and batting (Warm & Natural) about 1/2 larger all around than the finished size I desired.  I cut a 3.5" wide strip for the pocket, folded it in half at the short ends, tucked under the raw endges, and stitched it to the front piece.  I spray basted the main layers together and either free motion quilted or stitched diagonal lines across the piece (but not the pocket area).  My free motion quilting needs a lot of practice, so I liked the straight line look better.  I made corresponding bias tape for the bindings and ties.  I really love to make bias tape!  I'm geeky that way.

I have another project to share soon.  I finally finished something for Zydeco and it really needs to be seen.  

Today's post title from the hilarious Breakfast by the Newsboys.

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I thank you for visiting with me and for sharing your thoughts. I hope your day is fabulous and that you make some time for music - no matter what kind!