Saturday, July 14, 2018

Another Excitement

This past week was also when it was crunch time to finish making the items I contributed to decorate Amazing Grace Early Learning Center (ELC) - kites, valances, and quilts ready to hang. I'm happy to say that everything was finished and put up on Wednesday, with help from friend Joanne who has a gift for interior decorating. She's the decision-maker behind the DIY valances, and kites for the walls.

The Amazing Grace Early Learning Center is this brand new building, behind the church which is located in Oxford, Florida.

Off to the left, behind the white picket fence is the new playground, with plans for a children's garden. Several brand new pedal toys are just waiting for children to come and play.

Just inside the front glass doors is this vestibule. Joanne worked with colorful furnishings and chose  two bright red-background rugs to brighten the space. 

These wooden doors lead into a wide hallway off of which are six large rooms - the activity room (for indoor rainy day fun); an infant room; and rooms for 1, 2, 3, and 4 year-olds. 

The kites sure give the walls color! I'm grateful for piecing help from my friend Sarah who put together the blue and red kite tops. Without her help, (including some red fabric pieces from Sarah and another friend Selina), I might not have completed these in time for the open house.

The director of the ELC is Julie; she's seated in the middle, wearing the royal blue shirt.

As seen from behind the office counter. The open house attracted church members and visitors!

Thus far I've made only three valances following instructions on DownhomeInspiration. I'm getting the knack of cutting the panel board which behaves much like styrofoam. I use toothpicks and duct-taping to piece together panel boards for the needed 54" width.

Of course the fabric had to be seamed too, so there was matching involved, including making two of the valances with identically-positioned chevron patterns! Both valances can be seen simultaneously in the front office and in the director's office, so they needed to be alike.

It's sure tough to get a good photo when aiming into the light, but... this is the valance over the director's office window.

And this is outside her office. This space will later have a small bed and will be designated as an area for any child who becomes sick. That's my quilt on the wall too.

I made "Building Fun" in 2016 from a pattern by Geta Grama. I used the first collection of Blueberry Park fabrics to put it together, and after finishing it, stored it away in the top of the closet. It turned out to be the perfect wall hanging for this venue, and I'm thrilled it has a home now.
"Building Fun," 48" X 58-1/2"
As well, I offered another wall hanging. This is "Modern Princess Feathers" made in 2015. It's English paper-pieced, appliquéd to a background, and domestic machine quilted with big stitch hand quilting to enhance the color changes. I designed this and submitted it for publication to a quilting magazine. It was rejected, and so it too went into the top of the closet... until now. I'm very happy knowing it will be used to help teach colors to two year-olds!  

Over the next few weeks, I'll continue to work on valances for the six remaining windows in the ELC. Each teacher is choosing fabric for her classroom, so once those have been selected, I'll do yardage calculations and ordering, and eventually the making too. 

Dan has also helped get the ELC ready by installing hand towel dispensers and wall baskets that hold emergency information. Together, he and I assembled a child's grocery store. That was probably our biggest challenge! A "work together" project isn't always easy.

Everything we've helped with at the ELC has been very rewarding. Now, we're looking forward to hearing that by early to mid August, the ELC fills enrollment at 62 children. Linda


  1. What a wonderful endeavor and great venue for your quilted and sewn items. Oh, that chevron fabric is a challenge for sure, and they need to match - it would be quite noticeable if not. You've been very inventive with the materials!

  2. Well done. Nice to finally have homes for those quilts, much too nice for a life spent on shelf in the closet.

  3. oh this is all wonderful! Love that a couple of your quilts found homes. And cool the center has an infant program. The child development center where I work has one of the few infant programs in our area. What a nice way to give of your time and talents, Linda!

  4. As a retired pre-school teacher, I can really appreciate the lovely touches you have created for the child development center. The Modern Princess Feathers quilt is wonderful. I can't believe it wasn't accepted for publication. It looks so fresh and lively.

  5. You are becoming quite the handy woman, Linda! The valances (which we call pelmets) look great. A valance, here in Australia, is used around the lower part of the bed to hide what lurks beneath! And how wonderful to have two of your beautiful quilts gracing the walls too! I've also learned something else about where you live- I thought it was just retirees and didn't imagine an ELC would be 'required'!

  6. Thank you for your service to this ELC, Linda. You have provided just the right finishing touches, and the Center look so cheery and welcoming. I love that you gave two of your quilts to them, as they signal the care and love that you put into everything!

  7. The kites and valances are really great. I love that so many personal touches are going into this special place.


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