The auction quilts
February 24, 2009
I promised that I would write about the quilts and I am keeping my word. I made them for the two first grade classes' art projects for our school auction. The idea is not original to me - Daria made one last year and I basically copied her formula, with a few tweaks.
The first grades did the artwork for these quilts in October - one class drew zoo animal and the other class drew sea creatures. I gave them sheets of paper pre-cut to 5" so I wouldn't have to adjust the size of the drawings. And then I waited and procrastinated (ahem) and finally scanned the artwork into my computer and printed it onto the fabric. I used the same fabric that Daria did - I printed 2 drawings on each 8.5" x 11" sheet (which I had cut down from the 11" x 17" sheets I bought).
To set the image on the printable fabric, you soak it in water for a specified amount of time. The only problem I had in this entire process is that some of my fabric shrunk a tiny bit after soaking. My original intent was to cut the artwork to 5.5" squares. On some of the fabric sheets, this wasn't possible as the sheets were no longer 11" long. To solve that problem, I cut all the artwork to 5.5" wide and then used my judgment on the height - some are 5.5", some are a bit less.
I matched each drawing with a suitable fabric and then sewed 2.5" strips around all four sides. Once I had that finished, I used solid Kona cottons to complete each block - a tan for the sea quilt, white for the zoo quilt. I cut long 4.5" strips and chained pieced as many as I could to each strip. Daria said that this was a huge time saver for her and it was for me, too. There was some fabric waste, but in the time vs. money debate, time was more precious.
Once I had all the squares sewn, I used my 12.5" square ruler to even them up and then sewed them together in a grid (5 by 5 for the sea quilt, 4 by 6 for the zoo quilt). I added borders by using scraps of the colored fabrics and some additional bright solids on the sea quilt. For the backs, I used two solid colors separated by a patchwork strip. I asked the teachers to have some of the children write the quilt's name, their class, school and the year on paper. I scanned that in and added it to the patchwork strip. It's my favorite part.
I quilted the zoo quilt first. I didn't want to quilt over the artwork, so I came up with a geometric pattern by sewing a certain distance away from seam lines. I can't really pinpoint exactly what I did - I think I have quilter's amnesia. Regardless, the quilting took concentration and way too much time. I rethought my idea for the sea quilt. Because it is square, I decided to go ahead and do an allover diamond pattern. I sewed diagonally from one corner to the other, using a strip of masking tape as a guide. From that point on, I used the guide on my walking foot to sew the grid lines 3" apart. It was fast and somewhat brainless. And even though I hadn't wanted to quilt over the artwork, I really like how it came out.
After binding, I washed the quilts. The printable fabric cannot be dried with heat, so I threw them in the dryer with the air only cycle on. Although it took some time for them to dry, it worked well. I folded them up, took them to the auction.
The quilts were a big success - they both went for a good amount of money. I'm purposely not telling you how much. You won't be able to get it out of me. Why? Well, let's just say that one matches my family room pretty much perfectly. If you think I planned it that way, you are right.
I like my new quilt.
Erin, these are SO amazing. You did beautiful work! And you so deserved to keep one. ;) (I'm very glad you did.)
I'm really stunned by both of these. They look incredible!!!
Posted by: Grace | February 24, 2009 at 10:08 AM
He he he. Funny how that happened.
Posted by: caroline | February 24, 2009 at 10:09 AM
they both look awesome! And i am loving that you bought your own quilt!
Posted by: rachel | buttons magee | February 24, 2009 at 10:13 AM
I love your new quilt. And the other one too. They're both stunning.
Posted by: Sarah Jackson | February 24, 2009 at 10:18 AM
ha ha ha . . . that is hilarious. I'm glad that you got something out of all the effort, too.
Posted by: Jessica | February 24, 2009 at 10:30 AM
they're beautiful. well done!
Posted by: julia | February 24, 2009 at 10:52 AM
Great job, and I can't wait to steal this idea when my daughter is in first grade!
Posted by: jess | February 24, 2009 at 11:15 AM
They came out great! Funny how you come home with one ;) (I don't blame you!)
Posted by: katie | February 24, 2009 at 11:33 AM
they're beautiful! congratulations on your new purchase - although how you walked away with only one is beyond me! such self control. :)
Posted by: Pam | February 24, 2009 at 12:00 PM
Your quilts are awesome. After all the hours of work you deserve to "win" at least one of them back.
Posted by: Carla | February 24, 2009 at 12:07 PM
they are fantastic! i want my kids to go to your kids' school!
Posted by: sarah | February 24, 2009 at 12:08 PM
I love it!!! Not only did you make the quilt but then you bought it!! What a good Mom!!
Posted by: Leslie Renee | February 24, 2009 at 12:33 PM
Lovely! I love auction quilts and they normally raise a lot of money. I'm glad you managed to snag one back.
Posted by: anina | February 24, 2009 at 12:56 PM
Those are amazing! And I think it is so funny that you ended up buying one of them. :)
Posted by: Ula | February 24, 2009 at 01:23 PM
They are both gorgeous - so glad you "got" to keep one :-)
Posted by: Amber | February 24, 2009 at 01:27 PM
Hahaa... that is funny! That totally made me laugh out loud - way not to give the impression you had it planned until after you bought it! Great quilts too! They are pretty amazing!
Posted by: Ariane | February 24, 2009 at 01:31 PM
so nice! be proud :) I am glad you have one for keeps. I am on winter break this week if you want to get coffee one day. Hope you are enjoying the sunshine!
Posted by: Katie | February 24, 2009 at 01:31 PM
under the sea in your family room?
Posted by: emily | February 24, 2009 at 01:42 PM
What a fantastic idea for a fundraiser. Thanks for the inspiration. My kids go to a small independent school that is always looking for ways to raise money.
Posted by: Maribeth | February 24, 2009 at 01:55 PM
Beautiful! But, um, is that a flip flop? Are you trying to make me cry?
Posted by: Melissa Crowe | February 24, 2009 at 02:31 PM
you are so cute. Quilters amnesia. I get that.
I am halfway through quilting my big quilt and totally enamoured with knitting now instead. Procrastination. Ugh.
Posted by: Tracy | February 24, 2009 at 03:00 PM
They both came out beautifully!
Posted by: amy h | February 24, 2009 at 03:21 PM
the quilts are gorgeous! and good for you for buying one back. :) how handy that it matches your living room.
Posted by: amandajean | February 24, 2009 at 03:41 PM
erin...i am SO happy you got one..........and i am trying to figure out which one.......zoo?
Posted by: leslie | February 24, 2009 at 04:29 PM
I would buy it back too. So gorgeous. The school is lucky to have a talented + generous parent like you in their mist :)
Posted by: kat \ Taylor Made designs | February 24, 2009 at 05:34 PM
They look great!
Posted by: AJ | February 24, 2009 at 05:54 PM
So the zoo is at your house? I'm just proud they didn't both come home with you.
Posted by: Mama Urchin | February 24, 2009 at 06:57 PM
I am so impressed! Thank you for providing such fantastic directions for the rest of us.
Posted by: Suzanne | February 24, 2009 at 08:13 PM
these are fantastic. what a fabulous idea...i may just copy you!
Posted by: Kelly in Canada | February 24, 2009 at 08:38 PM
These are so awesome! I love that you purchased a quilt that you created. :)
Posted by: tiennie | February 24, 2009 at 09:01 PM
ha! perfect. I love that you bought it back. It's in a good home.
....okay. I'm really getting excited. Emily and I are talking on the phone tomorrow specifically to discuss our weekend with you! I can't wait.
Posted by: molly | February 24, 2009 at 10:05 PM
you're a super star, erin. for creating these wonders, and too for making sure one stayed with you.
Posted by: cloth.paper.string | February 25, 2009 at 12:14 AM
That is one gorgeous quilt. I like it too!
Posted by: mary smith | February 25, 2009 at 12:14 AM
what a sweet surprise to your story...you are amazing to tackle two!
Posted by: darlene | February 25, 2009 at 01:38 AM
Well done. I love the idea and the quilts are stunning! I also admire you for spending so much time and effort on the project, I'm sure the children loved seeing their art work displayed in that way, and enticed parents too.
Posted by: Claire | February 25, 2009 at 01:43 AM
I love the way this post ends, especially the very last sentence. It actually made me chuckle out loud. Beautiful work, as always I am in awe.
Posted by: Jessica | February 25, 2009 at 01:58 AM
Oh, how funny you are! I didn't catch on until I read the comments. I have been trying to decide what to do for a quilt for my son -- now, I know how to take some of his beloved "lego bionicle" artwork and let him "sleep on it"! Thanks so much for all the info.
Posted by: Linda | February 25, 2009 at 08:35 AM
They turned out great, Erin! I like your pieced borders. (And now I'm trying to remember if I dried my quilt with heat...yikes!)
Posted by: daria | February 25, 2009 at 11:29 AM
You school auction moms blow me away. Congratulations on being the high bidder. Nice way to play it.
Posted by: sulu-design | February 25, 2009 at 12:21 PM
they are both to die for! I am so jealous that you are able to wear flip-flops!
Posted by: katie | February 25, 2009 at 12:30 PM
what a treasure! I love the colors. YOu are so talented.
Posted by: Amy | February 25, 2009 at 10:11 PM
nice job. i will be doing the same thing for my daughter's class this year. this will be my third year. we have the kids draw the pictures on the paper, then we trace with fabric pen onto the fabric and they color them with fabric inks under close adult supervision :o). they always turn out so cute! love yours.
Posted by: Tina | February 26, 2009 at 01:56 AM
Thank you for the tutorial. the quilts are amazing. I love that you bought the quilt. My hubby would have shook his head in disbelief.
Posted by: mary | February 26, 2009 at 09:21 AM
They turned out so great! The kids art quilt I did last year for my daughter's school ended the same way...I won that baby right back! So glad I did! We ended up leaving that school and now we have this great memory from our time in Germany!
When we did our quilt, I had the kids draw directly onto the pre-washed and shrank cotton fabric. It was just a large group art project, not pieced blocks. Then I ironed on the wrong side to heat set the ink.
Enjoy your new quilt!
Posted by: sheree | February 28, 2009 at 10:13 AM
These quilts are fantastic!
Question for you - did you pay for all of the materials used to make the quilts or were you able to get others to donate either $$ or materials?
Posted by: N. | March 01, 2009 at 05:11 PM
what gorgeous quilts!
and what a brilliant idea!
Posted by: knitting sandwich | March 02, 2009 at 06:55 AM
Found this searching for school auction ideas. I of course have always LOVE Daria's. I don't know if I am this ambitious, but I love it!
Posted by: sew katie did | January 22, 2010 at 10:58 AM
Do you make these to sell?! This is exactly what I am
Looking for for my child's class auction
Posted by: Kristen Brown | September 26, 2016 at 12:14 AM
Hi Kristen - Thanks for asking. I don't make these to sell. Sorry! Erin
Posted by: Erin | house on hill road | September 26, 2016 at 08:00 AM