Sunday, June 12, 2011

Kindergarten Quilts

If anyone ever asks you to make 23 of something, I'd strongly urge you to say no.  I, however, tend to say yes, which is how I ended up sewing a quilt for each kid in O's kindergarten class.  I suppose they're technically blankets, since they aren't pieced, but his teacher called them quilts, so I am too.  :)

Each kid sent in a yard of muslin, a yard and a half of a printed fabric, and some fusible web.  Some of the parent volunteers cut off several inches of the print fabric, ironed it onto the web and cut out the letters of each child's name.  I took the rest home and sewed up the blankets.  I wanted them to have mitered corners and thought this self-binding blanket method would be fastest. I also referenced this tutorial.  For some reason, I thought that since it was basically a bunch of straight lines, it would go pretty quickly.  While the sewing itself was pretty fast, the ironing, measuring and pinning was really time consuming.  It pretty much occupied every free moment for nine days of my life.  I was a woman obsessed.

It was fun to see the fabrics that all the kids picked.  See the one that's just solid blue?  Yeah, that's O's.  He said he wanted blue because "it's the color of water Pokemon, oceans that pirate ships sail on, and the color of my eyes."  Obviously. 

I was really happy with how they turned out overall, although the first few aren't as nice as the ones later on.  I made O's first, and only cut his main fabric 2.5" wider than the muslin.  I thought the border would look better wider, so the rest were 4".  

After the quilts were sewn, some of the other parents ironed on the letters of each child's name.  The kids used fabric crayons to draw pictures about what they learned this year, and his teacher ironed on those.  They each got to take home their quilt on the last day of school.  I didn't take pictures of O's finished blanket until after he'd slept with it, so it's pretty wrinkled, but you get the idea.  

After sewing 23 of these, here are my tips for neatly mitered corners using the self-binding technique linked above.  First, measure carefully.  Second, iron, iron, iron!  Third, take your time sewing the corners.  It's worth it to putz a bit to make sure they end up without puckers.  I took some pics of the process.
Mark the 1/4" seam allowance on each corner.

When sewing, try to stop exactly at the intersection of the two lines.  
Futz around as much as necessary to make this happen!

The seams should meet perfectly.

This will make it easier to fold the corners with the two side seams on top of each other.  Then mark your line for the miter starting exactly where the two seams meet.

Sew carefully so that all three seams intersect in the same spot.  

Once it's trimmed, ironed, turned, ironed some more, pinned and top-stitched (gee, I wonder why these took so long?!), you have a perfectly flat mitered corner.  


  1. You are insane! Insanely talented though too! They are wonderful . . .

  2. What an incredibly cute idea!!! I love it! I can't believe only one of them chose Packer fabric ;)

  3. Wow, this is unbelievable. I did these for my son's class (he is now 20). It was an idea me and another room mom came up with. That school still does them to this day. I can't believe someone else is doing them too! Small world!

  4. Amazing job on those corners! I have only tried this once and it was no where near as perfect looking as yours. I will have to save this tutorial for the future!

  5. Wow! What a wonderful idea! Love the owls on your blog ;-) Greetings from Iceland

  6. Your corners are sooo neat. Great job! Want another follower? I'll follow you if you follow me :-)

  7. You are a super amazing crafty Mom! I'm talking ROCKSTAR status!

  8. How in the world do we live up to you?!?! I've known you were quite amazing for quite sometime, but the evidence just keeps pouring in! Wonderful job, Sarah. :)

  9. I had my first mitered corner experience this summer in sewing fleece blankets. I wish I had known about marking the lines before, because it was a bit of a pain and I did have some fudging to do. I've got one more blanket like that to make, so I will try your method soon. Thanks for sharing! And those kids will love those quilts forever. :-)

  10. Sweet idea for the kindergarten quilts. I can't wait to try my mitered corners using your tutorial. Since mitered corners defeat me most all of the time, I usually send my quilts to my sister in another state. Her mitered corners are perfect and beautiful just like yours. If she doesn't have time, I end up doing them by hand. Maybe now I won't have too. Great tip!



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