Friday, August 26, 2011

My 13 y.o. student - Jordan

A former colleague lives on Roses Road and I used to frequently stay with her family when traveling through their area for my work. Her daughter, Jordan - 8 years old in 2006, came along to a quilt shop with me and I instructed her to find fat quarters that coordinated with some roses fabric that I had found and thought would make a lovely quilt for her. She had already shown promise artistically at her young age, so I thought this would be fun to see how she does with this task.

The years went by and I had not made the quilt. Spring 2011 I wrote to her mother asking if Jordan might be interested at this stage of life in taking a week with me to make a quilt using those very fabrics that she had selected years ago. I wondered if I could teach a 13 y.o.! ?? Long-story short...the reality was this week!

Here are the fabrics...

and Jordan starting to figure out what she wants to use.

I chose a four-patch posie so she could have a bit of fun putting the kaleidoscopic blocks together. With the variety of fat quarters we had a bit of scrappiness too, so she got to select various prints and put them together in a pleasing way. By far these parts of the decisioning process were her most fun. Kaye England's 'English Tiles' quilt seemed like a great way to use the four-patch posie and give me some space to quilt as well. (Jordan's mum's family is of British origin so this seemed especially appropriate.)

I was impressed with Jordan's spatial recognition and ability to quickly learn both visually and audibly. Although when the TV was on, it was a bit of a distraction, she still made good progress and she completed the quilt in 4.5 days.

Here is the progression... Making four-patch posies with 4 identical cuts of fabric.
Deciding on how to place each set of 4 squares, stitching them together, then where to place them in the quilt.

Adding strips of green on two sides.

Then add the corner stones to strips of green and then add those strips to the opposite side of the blocks.

Cut the yellow setting triangles and decide placement. Sew diagonal strip sets of one yellow triangle, block and yellow triangle on the opposite side. This was the trickiest part (it turns out). I should have instructed her on placement of both ends of the triangle. I just had her make sure the right angles were aligned, but with the bias edge of the setting triangles we ended up losing a lot of vertical in the quilt. Then sew the diagonal sets together to make a strip set as seen in the left pic above. We trimmed up the extra overhang so it looks fine as a finished product. On her own she occassionally chose to use the back side of the fabric rather than the 'right' side of the fabric to get a more pleasing affect of color. We do that sometimes, but that was her own idea. After adding the strips of the original roses fabric, it just needed a top and a bottom border.

We chose to use a yellow/pink fat back batik.

I encouraged her to give the quilting a try by doodling some ideas, then I doodled what I thought would look nice and she decided she wanted me to quilt it. She stole the camera and captured me working on the quilt. I had a lot of fun filling the space.

Jordan selected some of the pinkish and redish fabrics to make a scrappy binding and did a completely by machine binding of the quilt.

Here is the finished product! So proud of her!

She has named it 'Beaucoup de Roses' -- Many Roses in French.

Mom Lucy, Jordan and friend Michael
Thanks for spending the week in my neck of the woods! I hope this inspires you to make more.


  1. We both spent time with young quilters this week... Mine was my Oldest Grand-daughter. I enjoyed seeing what she thought up using my scrappy squares on the Design Wall. Her quilt was only 22x27 and I did the stitching. The quilting Tradition carries on!

  2. Great job, Jordan! (And teacher!) I like the "before and after" progression from pieces of fabric to finished quilt.

    Tricia (a family friend from San Francisco)

  3. How fun! Jordan must be really excited about her quilt, and you must have really enjoyed sharing your talent and love of quilting with another young woman. :)