Educational Quilts For Kids

A month or so ago I received an email from Rita. Here’s what she wrote:

I attended your repliqué class at the Bismarck Quiltfest and purchased your book for kids…..the one with colors and numbers. the reason I am emailing you is to get your input on the color and number quilts for my special needs granddaughter…..Emma is almost two and she has Down syndrome. I was hoping to put the two designs in one quilt……I think I will eliminate the cursive writing and just put the appliqué number with the cute buttons on that particular block and try to use them in one quilt…..I think I will need to use the “0” and cut the block down to better try to fit it together.  I am trying to make it a bit simpler for her level of development.   I have also decided to use only nine of the color blocks to simplify it a bit for her level! Do you have any ideas to make this work?”

When she wrote to me I was in Hawaii and I didn’t get back to her in a very timely fashion. This may have been a good thing, because she moved forward on her own and her ideas and execution were great. I finally wrote her back and said I loved the idea, and it would be easy to resize and adjust things when copying the patterns from the book. She responded:

“Thank you for taking time to hopefully help me……So I have attached two photos of the blocks I have completed so far……. I only did some of the color blocks to try to keep it simpler for little Emma….I made the blocks the same size in your pattern but I am stuck on the placement now because of course they are different dimensions… I have a couple of different options which incorporate sashings or borders. I would entertain your input on these ……I want you to know I am not trying to redesign your awesome patterns but to make it a bit simpler for Emma for a development tool.”

This time I responded that she should trust her judgement because Emma would love it whatever she chose (I actually didn’t say it that well, but I wish I had). This time she sent me one more option and wrote:

“This might work too?”

I could tell from Rita’s email that she was pleased with this simpler setting and I agreed. Her next email began:

“I thought I would send you a photo of Emma’s quilt – I finished tonight.   I hope it does your two patterns justice!  I really love the size for her and combining the two patterns.   The math was a bit challenging to get the blocks to work but I love the way it turned out!  I know she will use it to work on her color and number development!”

I am so impressed and very pleased that Rita took my ideas and made them her own. I wrote her that this is when a teacher really feels successful.

Many years ago I had a student take one of my Snuggle and Learn classes. She made the “Touch Me, Feel Me, Read Me” quilt for her daughter because she said her husband was blind and he would be able to “read” this quilt to her.

What a blessing to be able to encourage quilters to make quilts that help those with handicaps! Praise the Lord!

I think Rita’s quilt is spectacular! and what a wonderful story! Rita sent me these photos of her with Emma, and Emma with her quilt.

Over the course of our email exchange she shared one other thought concerning a future blog topic:

“I think this would be an awesome blog post to learn about “adjusting” patterns to fit a persons projects!”

Hmm. That sounds a bit challenging, but I love a challenge. Stay tuned :-)!

4 Opinions

  • Barb said:

    I just love this quilt!! What a wonderful teaching tool for that beautiful little girl. Great job Grandma, she is a very luck little girl. Give each other a big hug!👏🏻👏🏻☺️

  • MaryAnn said:

    I love this adjustment to your pattern. As a former educator of young children, many with disabilities…. remember how reading works – left to right and top to bottom. This grandmom did a wonderful job

  • Wanda Kruger said:

    WONDERFUL Blog; great quilt.

  • Judy Rosynek said:

    I really think she did a great job on this quilt. The colors alone will be a great thing for her granddaughter. It will always give her a happy time.


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