My son has autism. He is in a special classroom just for kids with autism. This is his second year with the same teacher in the same unit. He has a main teacher (contracted, licensed teacher), with three assistants/techs (hourly wage probably with no teaching degree).
It looks like he is ready to move on to another classroom that is higher-functioning and more academic, for next year. Yay!!!!!
I just don't have a lot of time right now, but I'd sure like to do something for his teacher. But do I make something just for her, or something for each of the assistants as well?
Is something like Eleanor Burns Quilt in a Day "Hugs n Kisses" appropriate for a teacher gift? I like this pattern because it makes a bunch of projects from one layer cake.
Sue Pelland of www.suepellanddesigns.com recently called me a dynamo. The day I received her email, I didn't feel like a dynamo. But tonight I do!
I just finished the Silver-and-Gold block--and look, it really is silver and gold colored.
It is the fourth block in a row with Y-seams that i have just finished! Four LeMoyne-type stars with lots of diamonds and set-in patches. They are my favorite, but there are a lot of Y-seams. Some people hate them. Some people fear them. They just take practice.
I think I've done quite well, even on tiny spurts of time that I have right now. All four blocks took me several weeks to complete, but tah-Dah!
Y-seam dynamo, at your service!
Anyone have ideas on how to help make the centers lay a little flatter with all that bulk? Yes, I did press all the seams joining the diamonds flat.
Several bloggers have stopped by my blog and requested instructions on how to make my Maltese Cross Dresden for firefighter family or friends. Here we go!
* Please note: this is an original design and pattern by me, Rachell Reilly. Copyright 2012. Please give credit and please DO NOT sell my design or tutorial. All work and photos are mine and belong to me.
Circle tutorial by Karen's Quilting is linked by permission.
Maltese Cross graphic was found on the web from a friend's memorial badge graphic. You should probably do a web search for one.
Maltese Cross Dresden
-Cut One 6.5"x WOF (Width of Fabric) strip red solid or red tone-on-tone blender
-Trace One 8" diameter Circle from same red fabric, cut out 1/4" larger than marked circle
-cardboard or heat-resistant Mylar circle 7 1/2" diameter
-Cut one 19" square background fabric
-Double-sided paper-backed fusible web, like Pellon Wonder Under or Steam-A-Seam 2
-EZ Dresden ruler by Darlene Zimmerman
-Leaves Galore--size: Grande-- Appliqué Template Ruler by Sue
Assemble the arms of the Cross (Dresden part)
1--use EZ Dresden ruler to cut wedges from the 6.5" strip. Line up the bottom edge of ruler with one edge of strip, and the 6.5" marking on the ruler with the opposite side of the strip. Make your first cut to make the first angle, and then cut your first wedge.
Then rotate the ruler upside down, line up the cut edge angle on the fabric to the ruler and the same top and bottom measurements, and cut the next wedge.
*It might help to walk around to cut from the other side, or rotate your cutting mat (I did that, below).
-Cut 16 wedges.
2--Sew four wedges together to make 1 wedge set, pressing seams open.
Make 4 wedge sets (the quarters of the Dresden and arms of the cross).
-Then press under 1/4" on the long outside side edges of the wedge sets (see fingers in the photo).
3--Use Leaves Galore Template to cut the curves on the outside edge of each wedge set.
--Use the 4" side of the ruler.
--Use the right side of the wedge set. Line up the little "a" in the center of the inside curve (concave) of the ruler to the outside center seam of the wedge set. The "a" edge will barely sit on the edge of the fabric, or sit next to the fabric.
--On the two side edges of the wedge sets, line up the "c" on the outside of each side of the convex curve of the ruler (the outside of the 4" marking). The "c" marks will sit about 1/4" below the corners edges of the fabric. The marks will look like they're creating a cross-hatch across the corners.
--Hold the ruler firmly, and use a small 28 mm rotary cutter. Cut slowly, and carefully snug the cutter to the curves of the ruler.
This is what is left:
Repeat the cutting with all four wedge sets.
Appliqué the arms of the cross
1--On the background square, fold in half and quarters and lightly press to mark centers and quarters. Fold on the diagonals in half and lightly press to mark the diagonal quarters.
* Decide whether you want your Maltese Cross set straight or set on-point.
Straight set/square set:
Copywrite Rachell Reilly. Original Pattern: Maltese Cross Dresden
copywrite Rachell Reilly, original pattern: Maltese Cross Dresden.
2--Apply fusible web to the backs of the wedges:
--Cut 4 fusible web pieces roughly just smaller than the wedge set pieces.
--Apply fusible web to wrong side of each wedge set with hot iron, following manufacturer's instructions. Allow to cool, then remove paper backing only right before the next step.
--Using the center seams on each wedge set and the pressed marks in the background square, line up and lay out the wedges on the background square. The corner sides of each wedge should just touch in the center, leaving a blank "circle" uncovered in the center of the square--see fingertips in the picture.
--When you are satisfied with placement, whether squared or on-point, pin wedges in place on background square, then fuse with hot iron.
--Appliqué the wedges. To anchor the wedges, I used a longer straight stitch in a matching color, scantly inside the wedges. Then I used a shiny, matching-color embroidery thread to satin-stitch around each edge and hiding the anchor-stitching. (I used Sulky)
Make the center circle.
This is where you will need the spray starch and the cardboard or Mylar 7 1/2" circle form. Basting-stitch on the marked 8" circle, then follow the tutorial:
Use the tutorial on perfect circles from Karen's Quilting.
--Finally, embroider, if desired, the firefighter scramble (helmet, ax, ladder, pike pole, bugle) inside the circle. I used a light box or window to trace the scramble with a white washable pencil from a Maltese Cross graphic. I used white embroidery floss and hand-embroidered using an outline or stem-stitch. You can use an embroidery machine if desired or if you have one.
Applique the center circle :
1--Cut a circle of fusible web slightly smaller than your finished circle. Apply webbing to wrong side of circle. Let cool and remove paper, then center on Maltese Cross and fuse in place. Allow to cool, then satin-stitch around the edges with matching embroidery thread. I also used white or silver thread to satin-stitch a circle around the scramble. Then I quilted straight stitch in the ditch on each side around the satin-stitched circle.
*If desired, then embroider by machine or hand in the arms of the cross: the fire department name, the name of your firefighter, "Fire and Rescue", the hydrant and EMT symbols, or anything else you desire, seeing picture above. Or you can do the embroidery before appliquéing the cross wedges on the background.
Trim background square to 18 1/2" square. Use in your quilt! I use it as a medallion center.
*When my quilt is sandwiched and ready to quilt, I use white quilting thread to stitch in the ditch around the center circle, then quilt along the traced/satin-stitched circle around the scramble. Use invisible thread to stitch-in-the-ditch around the edges of the rest of the cross. Use red matching thread to quilt in the ditch along each seamline in the wedge sets, and outline around the scramble elements. Then I used thread matching the background, or white, to radiate straight quilting lines from the center outward, starting from the outside edges of the wedge sets, extending from each seamline of each wedge. See following pictures.
Fabric used: Robert Kaufman "Marbleous" in red. Grey background: Keepsake Calico by Joann Fabric in grey gravel
Thread: Sulky 40 wt rayon embroidery Color 943, Coats and Clark cotton white quilting, Gutermann red polyester and silver polyester for piecing.
*Sue's Leaves Galore Templates can be found on her website: www.suepellanddesigns.com
I purchased mine at www.anniescatalog.com
The EZ Dresden ruler can be found at Joann's fabric stores, and many other quilting websites.
Two great resources for a basic history of the firefighter Maltese Cross, and some sources for graphics and decals to help you with your embroidery:
So with a 1-month-old, he's starting to sleep for some chunks of time at night. Which means I'm still tired during the day, but it's barely manageable: Because I don't do much else besides sit on my behind and nurse him off and on all day. When I can put him down asleep or otherwise, I get about 20 minutes at a time. That means about enough time for me to go potty and do one other thing: quick shower, sandwich, wipe a potty-training four-yr-old's behind, feed the four-yr-old, put older brother on the bus, etc.
I miss my sewing machine.
If I can manage a few minutes to do something quilting-related, it makes me happy.
Cut a few strips for a paper-pieced block..
Prepare a practice sandwich for a new quilting motif I want to try and use.
Trim HSTs from the Swoon to use for the teacher quilt.
Sew one or two seams at a time to finish a block, like the Blazing Star below.
Then Strip-piece and cut diamonds for blocks....now that I've got the Blazing Star done, I can do the one for the baby's star sampler. (I had to size it up from 6" in the book to 12" and I had to experiment how big to cut the strips.)
And my brain started working, after a recent in-the-line-of-duty-death by a local sheriff's deputy. I saw his memorial posts and sheriff's star. Then I've been admiring and wanting to get Jaybird Quilts' "Night-Sky" and other patterns with her new rulers. Then Connecting Threads posted this post about hand-piecing six-pointed stars. Ka-Ching: my brain went off and connected the three ideas. I just created a firefighter motif block, so I should make a quilt with police or sheriff motifs out of 6-pointed stars. That wouldn't be too original, though.
Island Batik's Facebook page had a Super Bowl Sunday contest...with the two teams' color bundles up for giveaway. I guessed Seattle Seahawks would win, and I won the drawing! Pretty batiks in one yard cuts--navy. Grey swirl, and a white with a hint of green dot, plus a half yard of green. Beautiful!
On Saturday, I also managed to get some strips cut for two more paper-pieced blocks of the baby's star sampler.