Every time the new school year rolls around, I am filled with anticipation. I love all of the back to school sales, the excited children (and their exhausted parents!) shopping for school clothes and supplies. I even love buying a little box of crayons and a few notebooks, a little white bottle of glue and whatever ...for me! I can't resist the memories or the fun!
So, with so many teachers in my own family, and so many friends who teach... I also love to give little gifts when I can! And this year I had the perfect fabric purchased from a charming littlequilt shop in Independence, Oregon.
With little stick figures of children and ABC's, pencils and such as a border logo, it was relatively easy to design and whip up a bag.
I had seen a bag that stood up on its own..one of the new modern styles as they are known, but didn't have access to the pattern as it wasn't online and I couldn't drive many hours to where it seemed to originate...so I just made my own inventing my own theory of how one could be made.
It ended up very generous in size..the perfect catchall for a busy teacher to toss her lessons plans, notebooks, lunch bag, even a purse into as she got ready for school in the morning. A bag that might also be used at home. I made it in a day and photographed it quickly and the photos do not do it justice. But there are pockets on both sides..inside and out. The 'School Days' logo for a nod to pencil bags ..one pocket on the front and one on the inside, and another set of pockets made with the ABC fabric.
And then, because I had a big piece of co-coordinating fleece and could, I made a great big fleece blanket to roll up inside. The kind we all love to make in a hurry and best of all, cuddle up under..for no matter how much we love to quilt and all of our quilts, when we're sick or hurting, or cold..fleece is so nice and quite delicious to wrap up with, as well!
Fabric as long as it is wide, double layered and fringe cut and knotted all around. And because I love deep fringe, cutting 4" deep all along the edges, removing that corner square at each corner and tying simple double knots with every double strand of fringe. Remember to be careful knot to pull or stretch the fringe too tightly as you tie... or you end up with a gigantic fleece bowl instead of a blankie, Ask me how I know and then remember once again ? ;-)
If you've ever been a teacher or even just know one, they come home exhausted.....especially from the primary grades....when all the little ones are going through so many transitions of their own. So pack up the self standing but still soft bag with your things and go off to work, and then unpack it at home and cuddle up for some R and R under the extra gift of the big, ultra soft fleece napper..for some time of your own!
Hope your back to school week was a good one whether you still have little ones, or know someone who does and whether or not you had as much 'back to school fun' as I did!!
Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares a quilting journey through her life in Salem, Oregon and Douglas, Alaska. Sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting, with small format art quilts, prayer flags, and comfort quilts for a variety of charitable programs. And best of all, sharing thousands of links to Free Quilt and Quilt Block Patterns and encouraging others to join her and make and donate quilts to charitable causes. Help us change the world, one little quilt, art quilt, and prayer flag at a time!