Apple Quilt for a Teacher

By: Penny Halgren

 Tradition has it that students should bring an apple to a teacher to win her (or his) favor. Why not give your child's teacher an apple they can keep forever, and possibly pass onto a future generation?

This quilt with an apple is simple to make and involves every child in the class.

Although I don't remember how large this quilt was, I do remember that my son wanted it to be BIG! And, in all fairness, there were 30 students in his 5th grade class, and I wanted every one to sign their name.


teacher quilt with appleWe made this quilt for my son's 5th grade teacher and every student signed their name on
the background.


And so, this was a fairly large quilt. In reality, the size doesn't matter a lot. You just want to make it large enough for the apple and all of the children's names.

This was just about the easiest teacher quilt I ever made. The most difficult part was getting an apple shape that I was happy with.

To get the shape, I took a piece of butcher paper, folded it in half and then drew a kind of apple slice shape. Keeping it folded, I cut out the shape, unfolded it and had a somewhat-too-symmetrical apple shape. It probably would have been better if I had been able to draw it freehand. But, the teacher didn't complain.

The apple, stem and leaf were hand appliqued onto a solid background fabric. They could also easily be machine appliqued onto the solid fabric. The saying on the apple is: "A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind and touches a heart."

The idea was that this was to look like a chalkboard (or more correctly, a whiteboard). So the background was an off-white, and the border was brown, in keeping with the border surrounding the whiteboards in his classroom. I'm certain that black or green would work. Then you would use white paint or ink for the kids to sign their names.

For the backing fabric, we chose a bright blue that had crayons, pencils and other school-like images. Generally I prefer to use a light fabric on the back when I use white on the quilt top. However, the overriding factor here was that it was for my son's teacher, and I let him pick the fabric.

The quilt was layered and hand quilted. The only quilting was horizontal lines that made it look like the chalkboard had lines on it (which some of them actually do).

One day when his teacher was out for a training, I took the quilt into the class and had all the children sign their name. There was only one student who changed his mind after he started to sign, and scratched his name out

Most teachers are very forgiving of less-than-perfect quilts, especially when the students are the ones causing the imperfections. After all, the teacher knows her kids!

Feel free to copy the design!

Happy Quilting!


Penny Halgren
Master Quilter