Thomas Fire blocks and zippered candy pouches

The fire of Ventura County, known as the “Thomas Fire” is still burning.  However, as of a day ago, it is mostly contained.  That doesn’t mean it’s over, but the end is in sight.  It is now the largest brushfire in the history of California.  Wow!  I can’t even imagine the recovery effort it will take to rebuild such a vast area.  Naturally the quilt community has rallied to help.  The Ventura Modern Quilt Guild has begun a quilt-making endeavor.  Their VP designed a simple and very effective block that they are calling the “Thomas fire block”.  They are asking for quilt block donations using this design.  Guild members will be pulling all the many 12 inch blocks into completed quilts.

http://www.venturamodernquiltguild.com/2017/12/11/thomas-fire-blocks/

I had some quiet time yesterday and had a great time sewing up some of these wonderful Thomas blocks.   Here are my 13 completed blocks that will be sent to Ventura this week.  You can see how 4 of the blocks can form a medallion type design.  I love how something so simple can be used in many different ways.

Here are the last 5 of my blocks showing diagonal rows.  The photo below is purposely sideways to emphasize the diagonal possibilities of this block.  I can’t wait to see some full quilts being put together by the guild.  They will be gorgeous and the variety should be striking,  Many quilters around the nation will participate in helping to give a new quilt to a homeowner who lost everything in the fire.

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The top left two blocks may be my favorites.  I never put lime and navy together before and it is kind of interesting.  While I always love purple of course, the pale blue is a nice light shade to round it off.

Back to my sewing students….just before the winter break they completed their fully-lined appliqued zippered pouches.  The applique was a perfect addition to this project, but my takeaway is that zippers are too hard for 1st and 2nd graders at this skill level.  My 5th graders had no problem whatsoever, but otherwise, this project took much longer than expected.  Some of these students, despite being 2nd year repeats, are just not adept enough for the fine detail required for zippered projects.  Nevertheless, we kept going and got through any derailments…learning how to change machine needles in the process!

Our last class was still Hanukkah and thankfully put the final touches on the zippered bags and got to take them home.  I had promised candy as a treat to fill the bags so that was extra fun.  Everyone went home satisfied and filled with sugar to last quite awhile.  You can’t tell from the photos, but every last lollipop, bag of gelt, and Hershey bars and kisses were accounted for!

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Some students also added a button as a zipper tab.  This was also a fun new step to this classic project.   This young lady chose the perfect girly butterfly button for her princess bag.

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A small goody bag project that was for those who had already finished their zippered bags.  This was a welcome relief for those students who want instant gratification with a completed project to take home each week!

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When our class resumes, I hope to make pillowcases with them.  Our challenge will be the usual with kids wanting to rush through and make a second one.  For the older students, perhaps they will want to make a few pillowcases to donate.  To be continued after the New Year.  Happy 2018 everyone!

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