Quick Valentines
Never did I think I would make bonnets and then blog about them

The auction quilts

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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!!!


He he he. Funny how that happened.

rachel | buttons magee

they both look awesome! And i am loving that you bought your own quilt!

Sarah Jackson

I love your new quilt. And the other one too. They're both stunning.


ha ha ha . . . that is hilarious. I'm glad that you got something out of all the effort, too.


they're beautiful. well done!


Great job, and I can't wait to steal this idea when my daughter is in first grade!


They came out great! Funny how you come home with one ;) (I don't blame you!)


they're beautiful! congratulations on your new purchase - although how you walked away with only one is beyond me! such self control. :)


Your quilts are awesome. After all the hours of work you deserve to "win" at least one of them back.


they are fantastic! i want my kids to go to your kids' school!

Leslie Renee

I love it!!! Not only did you make the quilt but then you bought it!! What a good Mom!!


Lovely! I love auction quilts and they normally raise a lot of money. I'm glad you managed to snag one back.


Those are amazing! And I think it is so funny that you ended up buying one of them. :)


They are both gorgeous - so glad you "got" to keep one :-)


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!


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!


under the sea in your family room?


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.

Melissa Crowe

Beautiful! But, um, is that a flip flop? Are you trying to make me cry?


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.

amy h

They both came out beautifully!


the quilts are gorgeous! and good for you for buying one back. :) how handy that it matches your living room.


erin...i am SO happy you got one..........and i am trying to figure out which one.......zoo?

kat \ Taylor Made designs

I would buy it back too. So gorgeous. The school is lucky to have a talented + generous parent like you in their mist :)


They look great!

Mama Urchin

So the zoo is at your house? I'm just proud they didn't both come home with you.


I am so impressed! Thank you for providing such fantastic directions for the rest of us.

Kelly in Canada

these are fantastic. what a fabulous idea...i may just copy you!


These are so awesome! I love that you purchased a quilt that you created. :)


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.



you're a super star, erin. for creating these wonders, and too for making sure one stayed with you.

mary smith

That is one gorgeous quilt. I like it too!


what a sweet surprise to your story...you are amazing to tackle two!


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.


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.


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.


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!)


You school auction moms blow me away. Congratulations on being the high bidder. Nice way to play it.


they are both to die for! I am so jealous that you are able to wear flip-flops!


what a treasure! I love the colors. YOu are so talented.


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.


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.


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!


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?

knitting sandwich

what gorgeous quilts!
and what a brilliant idea!


sew katie did

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!

Kristen Brown

Do you make these to sell?! This is exactly what I am
Looking for for my child's class auction

Erin | house on hill road

Hi Kristen - Thanks for asking. I don't make these to sell. Sorry! Erin

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