During the month of July, I am teaching 8 to 13 year-old children about patchwork design during the women’s Bible study at Fort Bragg. I’m combining a Bible story lesson with design ideas via traditional blocks named for Bible stories. Read about Week 1 here and Week 2 here.
For the Early Bird activity I challenged the children to creatively arrange simple squares each made of a colored rectangle and white rectangle. Most seemed to favor a “Simple Pinwheel” arrangement. I am sewing the blocks together and will assemble them into a baby quilt for the NICU of a local hospital. (For instructions in making a “Simple Pinwheel” quilt, click “Patterns” on my blog header. Scroll nearly to the end of the page to find the “Simple Pinwheel Charity Quilt” link.)
This week’s lesson revolved around the Bible story of the Wisemen who followed the star to Bethlehem to worship baby Jesus and give him priceless gifts.
In my research I discovered that many quilt block designs are called “Star of Bethlehem;” I chose a simple one for my sample.
Besides discussing the Bible story, the kids were also involved in pinning their placemats right side down to batting and backing fabric. Karlyn sewed all around the four sides, leaving a 4″ opening for turning right side out. She also gave a running commentary on how sewing machines work and why a seam ripper is a valuable tool and why you should keep your fingers a safe distance from the machine needle. The girls then used shears to trim away excess batting and backing. Once the corners were clipped diagonally, they were ready to turn their placemats right side out.
I’m thankful Karlyn and Karlene could come to my house on Friday to sew the turning openings closed and to machine quilt all 23 placemats. Most are stitched in the ditch for simplicity’s sake.
It was so interesting to evaluate the design elements employed by each child even though they only used squares, the simplest of all quilt shapes. Stay tuned for a blog on this subject!