Sunday, May 6, 2012

Crafts: Teacher Appreciation

Teachers in America are undervalued, amongst other things. That’s why it’s so important we parents get involved in our children’s education and do what we can to help our nation’s teachers. Of course our time is the most important thing to volunteer, but giving little gifts for holidays and Teacher Appreciation Week (7 - 11 May) is another way to remind teachers we support them and their role in our little ones’ lives.

My son has two teachers (one he sees each weekday and another twice weekly), and I wanted to make something that has an academic bend yet is fashionable and functional for work and beyond. Keyka Lou published the Swatch Book Cover Pattern, and I thought it the perfect choice. As an added bonus, I'd be able to utilize fabric scraps to make both covers.

While I was at it, I made two more: one each for the preschool director and owner.

The pattern offers two size options (small and large), the small being roughly 4 X 6 inches and the large 6 X 9 inches. Both are quick and easy to make, with well-drawn directions. Moleskine Cahier journals (sold in sets of three) best fit the large version, but less expensive journals easily fit the small size (Target brand journals, for example).

I noted one discrepancy in the pattern, however: the velcro placement on the body of the small cover should be the same as the large version. As written, the size large flap closely hugs the body of the cover, whereas the size small flap leaves a sizable gap. I prefer a tightly bound journal.

I did alter the pattern slightly. I used patchwork instead of a single focus fabric, and I used fusible fleece instead of interfacing for the body of the cover. As directed, I used interfacing for the lining and pockets. Nevertheless, the thickness of the cover is scarcely more than it would be with the prescribed layers of interfacing, and I find the quilted cover more pleasing to touch.

If interested, I used 2.5 inch squares of various Denyse Schmidt, Bonnie and Camille (from their Ruby line), and Lizzy House fabrics. The large cover has 5 X 6 = 30 squares (no trimming necessary), and the small cover has 4 X 4 = 16 squares trimmed to size. I quilted all covers with a crosshatch design for durability.

My son wrote the inside message, and we hope his teachers enjoy and use their gifts.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

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