Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Beachside Kids Explorer Club

I forgot to introduce the Beachside Kid Explorers Club!   

A lot of the homeschool group activities are on the other side of the river, which isn't that far away, but still, its nice to have something close to home.   So we have a group that meets Beachside, and so far, its been lots of fun!  The focus is on kid-led exploration and learning, with the kids learning by getting their hands in things and being out in nature.   The "club" belongs to the kids, so they got to name it too.

Last week, we did a group project where we laid out a couple of sheets, handed the kids a whole bunch of permanent fabric paints, permanent markers, brushes, and other tools, and let them have at it.  Yes, everyone was told to dress for a mess! 

Then we had to decide what on earth to do with two big sheets covered in a crazy assortment of paint blobs, hand prints, little drawings, and a sprinkling of dirt.

Shirts!   The sheets were handed over to me, and I used the group masterpieces to create club shirts for all of the kids.  

The process:


Then climb a tree. 

Let dry.

Heat set in the dryer, then wash and dry.

Then the appliques, here is a quick rundown on how I made them:

  1. Use a circle template to cut out circles of sheet where the coolest looking blobs are located.   I used an 8" circle quilting ruler.
  2. Cut  pieces of iron on interfacing the size of the circles, I just roughly cut these out. 
  3. With the right side of the fabric to the iron-on side of the interfacing, stitch all the way around the circles. 
  4. Use pinking shears to trim all the way around.  
  5. Cut a slit in the middle of the interfacing, doesn't have to be pretty, you won't see it in the end.  Turn right side out and finger press it flat (no iron!)
  6. Now put it on the shirt, iron it down
  7. Stitch all the way around, you can use any stitch, I usually use a "blanket stitch" on my machine, but on these I chose a zig-zag. 
That's it!  I've made 16 for all the shirts I got, but some people will be giving me theirs too so I have some more to do.     This technique is great for odd shapes where you want the edges turned under instead of a satin stitch.  You can even make these appliques "puffy" which is even more fun.  

Then, for the backs I used puff paint to put the club name.   I made a template by printing out the text, laminating it, and then cutting out the letters.  Then laid that on the shirt and drew the text inside the cut outs, to make them all look the same. 

Backs:  (not all of the shirts are here, I had the rest on another table)

Fronts, all of the shirts:

My friend Tammy pointed out that they look "Earth Shaped" which is fitting for the club anyways.   I hadn't thought of that, I just chose circles because I thought it would work best with the "blob" designs on the sheets, and because I like circles! 

The bottom right one I made into a dress, because that particular kiddo will only wear dresses, not shirts, and I wanted her to wear it!   Its a simple t-shirt dress, easy to make and super cute. 

Kid approved!

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