I have a Charlotte!

Two weekends ago Charlotte came over for the weekend as she normally does. But this time (queue jazz hands) she had a school project to finish, and it involved making a quilt! Eeek! Like, I can’t get enough of this one. Some people have cats, I have a Charlotte! Her year eleven school assignment stipulated she create “a toy that had a purpose,” which led her to designing a play mat with solar system elements that Velcro-ed on and off. She wanted the stated purpose to be educational, while also drawing on her interest in textiles. As parents, I don’t know how we got so lucky, but praise all the Madonnas, and even the Donnas too!

Charlotte had already created a sketch of her quilt design. She came armed with some fabric, but like the good fabric fairy I am, I said, “Oh no. This just will not do. Why don’t we have a peek in my closet?” So we started rummaging through my stacks of fabric, improving upon her original selection of solids. I mean, who wants a solid yellow sun, when you can have a batik of molten, swirling yellow and oranges? I also found some thick interfacing that we used to make the planets a bit more dimensional. I knew I was saving that for some reason!

After she had interfaced all the selected fabrics, it was a mad dash around the house trying to find homewares of varying circular sizes. You’d be surprised how many circles you can find, and how many circles you have to run to find them! Once that was all done she set about piecing it all together. Not gonna lie, there were some sticky Velcro dramas, but we got there in the end. Charlotte normally uses the Bernina I gave her, but as you can see below she looks right at home on the Juki as well!

To save time and energy, we forewent the binding, instead creating a cushion-like enclosure that we turned inside out then stitched up the pocket. The backing is a polar fleece which makes it as comfy as it is educational. For the quilting, Charlotte stitched in the ditch the borders indicating the moon phases, as well as around the various planets. (#JusticeForPluto) As talented as she is, she’s in her I-don’t-pose-for-pictures phase. Diva! Clearly, Mr. Sparkles is not in that phase.

So here’s her nearly finished educational toy with a purpose. I say “nearly” because she created labels for each planet that were stuck on when she got home. Charlotte was the total creative director of this project. I sort of acted as executive producer, but that mostly accounted for me opening my supply closet and pushing her inside. Can we also take a moment just to note how perfect that fabric for Jupiter is?! It was part of the recent Sunday Stash #217, and I nearly left it at Fabrics By the Pound. I remember thinking, do I really need another woodgrain fabric? Truth be told, probably not, but I obviously needed a Jupiter fabric! Potential disaster averted!

Despite seeing dozens of planetary dioramas created on countless cliche sitcoms while growing up, not once did I ever get to make one for a school project. Flash forward twenty years later, and here I am marking that experience off the bucket list. Oh, and of course Charlotte received high marks. You bet Uranus she did! (It had to be done).

21 Responses

  1. Luisa says:

    Wow, just wow, what a fantastic result! Isn’t Charlotte a lucky girl to have access to your fabrics! And also to have you to guide her. Fabulous!

  2. Oh, this is amazing! Gorgeus quilt, perfect fabrics and fantastic idea generally! x Teje

  3. Charlotte, if this is your own creation now, what the future holds is enormous!!! Fantastically ” Fabriluscious”!!! I am totally amazed at your talent, originality, and quilting skills. When I was your age, ( more or less) I was helping on the farm, driving the tractor, feeding out hay and silage, and milking cows. moving electric fences, and treating cows for bloat!!! I hope the ribbon or medal is displayed for all to see. Raid that stash again and again,

  4. Patricia says:

    What an amazing girl! Love the mat.

  5. Sandra Daldry says:


  6. Lisa says:


  7. Peggy says:

    A-ma-zing! Stellar job (sorry also had to be done).

  8. Quilter 501 says:

    What a wonderful project! But the best parts are the memories of making it! As a 44 year school teacher, I always tried to have some part parents could help…AKA bond……with during the process. But I also provided “angels” meaning other helpers and opened my home and after school classroom for those students whose parents couldn’t for some reason help. Not always totally successful….but I tried! Your experience was what I always hoped for!

  9. Julie says:

    Way to go Charlotte! And… I am just sitting here innocently drinking my coffee. I manage to get all the way to the last sentence without spilling it (a feat) then boom… coffee everywhere ’cause you make me laugh. **MUAH

  10. Sam says:

    awesome all…..charlotte, Molli (and your stash), design, finished project! Thanks for sharing. Working with young people is so much fun.

  11. Susan Spiers says:

    How lucky you are to have a Charlotte! – very nice! Congrats to Charlotte on a wonderful project!

  12. This is awesome, and I love how happy Mr. Sparkles is in the photo. Well done, Charlotte, and thanks for sharing your stash and love, Molli. This is a very cool school project!

  13. Mary Ann says:

    Fabulous project Charlotte! It’s so nice when they let us play along too.😂

  14. @susansquiltstudio says:

    Totally amazing! SO creative and beautifully done. Congrats to Charlotte and her support team!

  15. Nancy says:

    What a fabulous school project. Learning to create and sew is a fabulous skill that will stand Charlotte in good stead.

  16. Oh, Molli, I don’t know how you wound up with a Charlotte, but, boy is she lucky that you have her. Who better to teach her to create such a *FABULOUS* project. You both rock!

  17. Linda Bick says:

    Of course it had to be done! 😂🤣 Beautiful!

  18. Afton says:

    I was a first/second grade teacher; you bet I love this. Well done justifying the wood grain fabric. It clearly needed to be bought.

  19. Maureen says:

    A. What an awesome project! I kind of want it for myself. 🙂
    B. The fabric for Jupiter is perfect!
    C. The photo of Mr. Sparkles proudly holding up the quilt and Charlotte with her nose buried in her phone made me LOL.

  20. Margaret Andrews says:

    What a beautiful wall hanging quilt and educational too. Your choice of fabrics is fabulous. The planets look just like they are suppose to. I am glad that you got an A, you certainly earned it. Thanks to your teacher to make you think and for you succeeding!

  21. Neame says:

    Lovin’ this post. Thanks for sharing.

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