Clearly, the 2020-21 school year was an exceptional one for any teacher. I was in awe of our educators, teaching through the unknowns and showing great flexibility and creativity in connecting with the students.
This quilt is for one teacher in particular – my son’s. She inspired me to make this quilt as she handled the year and all that came with it with seemingly superhuman patience and grace. Plus, she is at heart a very talented educator. It’s beautiful to see people doing the thing in the world it seems like they were born to do.
The teacher’s favorite color is yellow, and finding the right shade was critical to the whole composition. I used the Riley Blake solid in Lemon Zest. I was inspired by a Birds in the Air quilt from 1860 (Holstein, Jonathan. The Pieced Quilt an American Design Tradition. New York, Galahad Books, 1973. Plate 76.) Since the school’s mascot is in the avian family, birds worked well here. I used as many different fabrics as I could find to represent how each student is unique. There are four waves of birds in each block, one for each semester. I modified the traditional block to include a white rising sun, and iterated the block in the quilt to show that day after day she rose to meet the challenge and gave each student a fresh start.