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).