Auction Projects


This year, I’m again working on my daughter’s elementary school auction project. We decided to make a flower mandala, so I designed this to be made with almost 400 children. I made each grade a ring of the mandala (PP-6th grade), so there was math involved. Boo. Each grade is using a different technique on a square piece of paper, then we’re cutting the shapes and mounting them to the white background, which will then be framed. The finished piece will be around 36″ square, so the pieces are pretty tiny. Anyone want to offer framing services? Really.

The kids are doing watercolor with salt, collage and painted paper, styrofoam printing, pastel and watercolor relief, tissue paper collage, zentangle, and cross-hatching. Luckily, our school art teacher makes the art with the kids so all I have to do is assemble the piece. I hope to have the piece ready in a couple of days. Fingers crossed.


Class Auction Quilt

Finished up the class auction quilt the other day. As I mentioned before, we used the glue batik technique with the kids. I didn’t get the best photo of this quilt and probably should have done more top quilting in the sashing, but wanted to be done! It looks much better lying flat than hanging as it is here. I used a natural linen and cotton blend for the framing and as you can see, the kids painted the fabric squares with shades of green and blue. It’s backed with Lizzy House’s jewels fabric in aqua, a small-scale print that worked well with the colors, while keeping the front as the main focus. Finished is the key here.

I did give the kids some images of mandalas as inspiration as the project was loosely based on an Indian theme and they practiced their drawings on paper, then transferred them to fabric. You can find a tutorial on That Artist Woman. You should note that when you have the kids paint, you’ll need to make sure you are using felt or quilt batting under the fabric so the paint doesn’t bleed through from the back.


Auction Quilt Update

I thought I’d show you some photos of how the auction quilt is coming along. We still have kids who need to work on it, and of course we still have to put it together (and remove those chalk lines), but I’m really loving the handmade look. Over 400 kids will have sewn on this quilt when it’s all finished. And while it’s been a time-consuming process, it’s so exciting to see the kids get interested in sewing!

You can read my previous posts about this project here and here.

School Auction Quilt

Fool that I am, I have volunteered to coordinate the auction quilt for my daughters’ entire elementary school (almost 400 kids). So I thought it would be interesting to show our progress here on the blog. I wanted the quilt to be something that the kids could really get their hands on rather than something the other volunteers and I sew on our own, and with my children’s previous Montessori experience I immediately thought of embroidery.

So, again, fool that I am, I’m going for a stitched quilt as you can see in the digital sketch above. The school starts in the pre-primary years, so children from age three through sixth grade will be working on it (nine age groups). My idea is to make the stitching progressively more complex from the youngest to oldest kids — top to bottom. I think they will all be running stitches, maybe some back stitching and some simple cross stitching in the older grades. So far, I have only bought the fabric, but I plan to cut the fabric and mark out the designs with chalk, serge the edges since it will be handled a lot, and get all of the supplies ready to go for next week.

The colors will be slightly different from those shown above. I initially wanted to do it on a white background, but I think it has a more child-like quality with the bright colors. So, this could be a complete disaster, or it could turn out beautifully. You’ll have to wait and see!

Luckily, Deborah of Whipstitch Fabrics donated the fabric for us. Thank you, Deborah! If you live in Atlanta, you really should visit her shop on Marietta Street if you haven’t made it over there yet. And if you’re not local, you can still buy some wonderful fabric from her Etsy shop here. And more luck — Melody Miller, the fabulous designer of Kokka’s new line, Ruby Star Rising, has children at the same school so she’ll be helping with the project. And there are a handful of other wonderful people who have volunteered to help, so at least I’m not in this alone!

Auction Projects: check.


It’s good to get things done. I just finished up the two auction projects for my daughter’s first grade class. Neither of these projects was my idea. The first is a scratch foam printing project that I saw at Glitter Goods. Ours is a night time scene of Atlanta to fit with the auction’s Starry Night theme. The children made drawings, traced them onto styrofoam and I printed them. Hint: Remember that words will need to be mirror image for the prints, so you can scan in the drawing, reverse it and print it out again for the kids to trace. I forgot this, so had to make some fixes. Or you could just skip the letters in your project.


And the wall hanging/table runner is a batik project that I saw on Swallowfield, but the tutorial can be found at That Artist Woman. The kids glued on the fabric, let it dry for a day, painted it, then I washed off the glue and sewed the pieces together. I gave them some ideas about patterns, but they mostly came up with their own designs. I debated if each square should just have one color, but in the end I let the kids decide. As you can see, most kids decided to use multiple colors. Hint: These first-graders found it tiring to squeeze the glue bottle and you do have to squeeze pretty hard. For younger kids, you could cut the tip off the bottle to allow the glue to come out easier. Also, I was going for a brighter color palette, but the fabric paint does fade a bit so be sure to go darker with the paint.


Both of these were manageable projects for kids and weren’t too overwhelming. Good auction project ideas. Thanks to Glitter Goods, Swallowfield and That Artist Woman for the creative inspiration! I can’t wait to show these to the kids today. For those of you with younger children, I have found first-grade to be sort of a magical year — they can do things for themselves, can understand much about the world, and they get jokes. But they’ll tell you that sarcasm is rude and that you shouldn’t use the f-word. Everyone needs a first-grader around.