From my Sketchbook: Back to School
EDIT: You can now buy this pattern - renamed Kindergarten - as a PDF here or as a Paper Pattern here.
You may have noticed my *cough* slight obsession with house blocks, but one that always eluded me was the classic schoolhouse. Traditionally it’s made with lots of bias edged pieces and they’re not my favourite, but as I was playing with my CakeSlice Template* I realised I had a foolproof way of creating this beautiful block and I’m very excited to share it with you in issue 78 of Today’s Quilter!
*Don't worry, you won't need a CakeSlice, there's a paper template in the pattern.
Back to School is a row-by-row quilt and I made mine with a Layer Cake, but feel free to dip into your scraps or keep it simple with a two colour version (I was really tempted to make that one). I used an older collection from my stash with a fresh swiss dot for the border and binding, but anything Bonnie & Camille or a 1930s reproduction would capture the same look.
One of the joys of this year has been seeing our schools full of children again, so I’ve included a chain of happy boys and girls and some picture books for good measure. These blocks all build on the same simple technique for creating the angles, so before you know it you'll be creating gables, dresses, trousers and book pages (as you do) and just like reading, practise makes perfect!
You can read more about the basic principles of that technique - and how to make the triangle in a square block - in my very first blog post here.
Jayne and I had one of our lengthy phone chats about the quilting and settled on a simple, scribbly flower, which seemed suitably child-like. We are now very happy to be having quilting chats in person. Still lengthy.
As with all row-by-row quilts, you have plenty of options for making them your own: repeat a single row across the quilt or make just one for a fun table or bed runner. And a single block would make a wonderful motif on a book bag (with a new picture book inside, of course) for your favourite little person!
I had some fun - and a few trips down memory lane - searching out some of my boys' old toys as props for these photos. Don't tell him I told you, but that bear still sits on my son's bed ;-)