Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Teacher Gifts Revisited: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Minky Baby Quilt

So my fellow quilt blogging friend Val's Archives Linky Party theme for this week is teacher gifts.   Rather than link up an archived post, I'm doing a new, separate post today because the post I wrote about this project when I finished it back in 2010 was eaten by the Blogger Goblins or accidentally deleted or something.  Let me start out by saying that my goal today is BREVITY.  My last blog post ran on much longer than anyone could possibly have felt like reading it.  Hopefully I can manage to be concise this time!  And now, without further ado, I bring you The Very Hungry Caterpillar quilt:

Very Hungry Caterpillar Baby Quilt, for Anders' First Grade Teacher
My best teacher gift ever that I actually have a picture of is the Very Hungry Caterpillar baby quilt I made for Anders' first grade teacher when she had her first baby.  It's the second baby quilt that I ever used Minky backing on, and it's the first quilt I ever free motion quilted, on my Bernina Artista 200/730.
Minky Backing + Satin Binding
My First Ever Free Motion Quilting Project!
I LOVE my kids' teachers, without exception.  From preschool through today, I can honestly say that although there were a few who weren't good personality fits for one boy or the other, each and every one of their teachers cared passionately about teaching, cared about my kids, and went out of their way to accommodate their various quirks and to encourage their intellectual curiosity and love of learning.  And you know, when your kids are first starting school, you feel like your naked heart has left your body, climbed onto a yellow school bus, and is running around in a minefield somewhere that you can't protect it anymore...  So when your first grader gets a teacher who really "gets" him, who makes him feel loved and safe and excited about coming to school every day, that teacher is like a guardian angel sent down from heaven.  I wanted to do something really special for her when I found out she was expecting.

I chose the iconic Very Hungry Caterpillar panel print because reading was such a huge focus in her classroom that year.  I knew she would be reading this book to her baby, and I even personalized the quilt with a customized monogram.


Machine Embroidered Monogram
Another first with this project is that it was the first time I embroidered the "quilt label" information directly to the FRONT of the quilt, which I ended up liking quite a bit.


Machine Embroidered Quilt "Label"
I like to sign my quilts on the FRONT.  :-)

Anyway, the quilt was a big hit with the teacher, and they even ended up doing a Hungry Caterpillar theme for the baby's first birthday because of it. 

So, I just realized that baby is almost 7 years old now.  He is probably a first grader himself this school year!!  Wow.  I hope that this baby quilt has been loved to pieces by now.  And I hope his teacher is every bit as wonderful to him as his mother was to my little boy.  Happy birthday, Gage, wherever you are!

4 comments:

Lakegaldonna said...

This is the best paragraph ever! You wrote:

I LOVE my kids' teachers, without exception. From preschool through today, I can honestly say that although there were a few who weren't good personality fits for one boy or the other, each and every one of their teachers cared passionately about teaching, cared about my kids, and went out of their way to accommodate their various quirks and to encourage their intellectual curiosity and love of learning. And you know, when your kids are first starting school, you feel like your naked heart has left your body, climbed onto a yellow school bus, and is running around in a minefield somewhere that you can't protect it anymore... So when your first grader gets a teacher who really "gets" him, who makes him feel loved and safe and excited about coming to school every day, that teacher is like a guardian angel sent down from heaven.

I'm 62 years old and this is EXACTLY the feeling when you first send your children to school. Thanks for capturing that feeling.

Janice Holton said...

So many things to compliment here! First of all, I did read your last post all the way to the end because you just have a way with words, Rebecca. My daughter is going to become a teacher so I hope she gets a lot of parents like you. That hugnry catepillar is the CUTEST! And I love minky on the back of quilts. I don't understand why some people don't like using it. What a great gift!

Sharon Deming said...

Rebecca, this one really touched my heart. So true and beautifully stated!

cwade1211 said...

Rebecca - What a great post about a great teacher and a great quilt. And from just the quilting assembly standpoint, I salute you. Using minky for the backing and slippery sating binding in the same quilt in my world would have been a formula for insanity! You go, girl!

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