October 14, 2013

Ancient History Quilting Project and Free Pattern

Free Pattern

You may remember that we made a plan to have each of the kids applique a quilt block for each major theme in our ancient history studies this year.  Well, Joe was out of town for the week and we make a big mess when we work on quilts, so it seemed like the right time to wrap it up.  We've got a while yet on our history studies, but Greece, Rome, and Christianity seem to mostly make up the remaining months and we're already familiar enough with each of those that we didn't feel like we needed to wait until they were behind us to make the blocks.

From top right to left, we have a pyramid to represent Egypt, a Sumerian temple for ancient Mesopotamia, and a burning bush for Jewish traditions.  In the middle row we've got the symbols for Buddhism and Hinduism, followed by a yin yang, which the kids picked to represent ancient China.  I'm not sure if that symbol dates as far back as our studies, but the kids had their hearts set on it from a list of symbols for ancient China, so I went with it.  It is their quilt, after all.  And then on the bottom we have crumbling Greek columns, the profile of a Roman senator, and then the crosses to represent the rise of Christianity.  

I designed each row to have block patterns in line with the different skill levels of the kids, so there are some tricky ones and some simple ones in each unit row.  Hannah Jane (10) did the burning bush, the Hindu symbol, and the senator.  Hunter (7) did the pyramid, the Buddhist wheel, and the crosses.  And Haven (6) did the Sumerian temple, the yin yang, and the columns.

Each  block was made on a quarter of a fat quarter.  Could I have made that more confusing?  Choose a fat quarter and cut it into 4ths.  All of the pieces are from scraps in my fabric stash.  The pattern has suggested colors, but the pieces are so small that if you have any size fabric stash at all, you've probably got most of the right colored scraps if you get a little creative.  I mean, it really doesn't matter what color some of the symbols are.   

We used lightweight Ultra Bond interfacing and did a fat zig zag around the edges, except on the senator's face.  Hannah Jane felt like the curvature of his nose and lips were really important and it's hard to be that precise with a fat zig zag, so for him, she straight stitched just inside the boundaries of the applique.  You can't see those curves in the picture because she was so proud of him, she felt the need to point at him with her long pointer finger, but you'll see on the pattern.  We did a bit of research into what makes for a Roman looking profile and it turns out that the nose is very important.  Thus, it had to be preserved at all costs!

The plan is to finish this baby up and hang it on the play room wall.  They're all quite proud and excited.

You can find the applique patterns here.  If you have any questions about how to use it, feel free to drop me a note and I'll help you out!

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