Thursday, December 19, 2013

Teacher Gifts From the Heart

Little K has some amazing teachers this year.  

I look forward to picking her up from school every day just to hear her talk about what she has learned, or the funny way her teachers interact with the students, or the exciting experiments/projects they are working on.  These teachers have pushed her beyond her limits - and she has succeeded.  They have made her most difficult subjects exciting and easier to comprehend.  I am forever grateful for their passion - and for sharing it with my child.

(note:  she also has a particularly difficult teacher this year that makes me appreciate the others all that much more)

We don't usually give Teachers gifts at the Holidays - but this year was an exception.

When I came across this quote:  "Great Teachers teach from the Heart, Not from the Book".  I knew it was a perfect way to express how we feel. 

So I made it into a stuffed embroidered fabric picture.  One for each of her favorite teachers.  

The quote is printed on fabric - using Freezer Paper.  If you have never tried this technique before - it so much easier than it sounds.  

THANKS - to my Mom for introducing me to this fun method.

 Cut a piece of fabric slightly larger than a piece of paper.  Also tear a strip of freezer paper of a similar size.  Using a hot iron (no steam), iron the paper (shiny side down) to the back of the fabric.  After just a few seconds of applied heat - the fabric and paper are temporarily fused together.

Cut the paper backed fabric to fit your printer paper size (8 1/2" X 11").  I used a rotary cutter, but a paper cutter works well also.

To get the printed image onto the fabric - load the paper backed fabric into your printer and PRINT.  It's that simple.  Really!

Peel the paper from the fabric.

Then heat set the ink with a few more seconds under a hot iron.  This prevents smudges and bleeding.  It will also make the ink water safe (for hand washing). 

What makes this project so sweet (in my opinion) is the added details of a felt heart stitched to the printed fabric quote using embroidery floss and a blanket stitch.

I'm pretty impressed with myself that I remembered how to do a blanket stitch.  I love how finished it makes the edges of the heart.  If I knew my stitches would be so neat - I might have even attempted a contrast stitching.  Maybe next time.

You can download the printed quote here.

The last step is to layer the printed/embroidered fabric over a layer of batting and wrap it around the frame backing (you know - the piece that you remove from the back of the frame to insert the picture). 

I removed the glass - so the stuffed fabric would puff out of the frame a little.  Insert into the frame and you are done.  

I think it's the perfect gift for several teachers (both Male and Female) that we really appreciate.