Patsy Magelssen knew what she had when she started her quilting projects with parents of Eisenhower Elementary School students, she just wasn’t sure what she would end up with.
The Eisenhower Elementary Parent-Teacher Organization called upon the sewing skills of the Trash to Treasurer chairperson’s sewing skills last month to help the school with a craft activity during a family night event. Magelssen was happy to help and came up with the idea of creating quilts with the students’ hand prints as part of the design.
The original project included three quilts and the hand prints of the students present at the PTO event. Magelssen was happy with the resulting project but decided she wanted to include all of the students, thus tripling her workload.
“I felt bad for all of the students that didn’t get to be a part of the original project,” Magelssen said. “So I talked to the principal about getting each student’s hand print on the quilts.”
Once each of the students donated their hand print to the project, the once in-home babysitter began the more than 100 hours of assembling hand-print quilts.
“It was like a puzzle but you didn’t know what it was supposed to look like,” Magelssen said of assembling the fabric strips and pieces with the handprints.
Going into the project, Magelseen said she had an idea of what she wanted the quilts to look like and admits, they turned out pretty true to plan.
“I wanted the quilts to be whimsical and colorful and incorporate the school colors,” Magelssen said.
The students were given a choice of hand print color and allowed to place their painted hand one a strip of blank fabric. The strips, which varied in size to incorporate one to four hand prints, were incorporated into the quilt with strips of fabric from the Trash to Treasure collection.
“I spent a day just looking through all of the fabric and finding ones with the colors I want,” Magelssen said.
Each quilt has different fabric strips but Magelseen said she was careful to carry some fabrics through all of the quilts.
“I made sure I used the sunflower fabric in all of the quilts to symbolize Kansas,” she said.
The resulting quilts are now hanging in the Eisenhower Elementary commons area and will be on display for the remainder of the school year.
“They’re not coming down any time soon,” said Eisenhower Elementary principal Craig Marshall. “They are really great.”