My new friend Tori Gilbert asked me to help create a quilt project for kids at Harlem Grown, a volunteer organization that teaches children about healthy living through urban gardening. Today was the day and here’s the result!

When Tori told me we would have one hour with about 10 kids aged 6 to 10 and she wanted them to make a quilt I knew we would have to design and prepare the project well. Together we came up with this plan: each child would make a potholder that they could keep. We sandwiched blocks and finished the edges “pillow case” style, meaning we sewed each block together inside-out and then turned them right side out and closed them. This way we didn’t have to worry about binding or finishing edges. We brought pre-fused fabric for them to cut out shapes that we helped them fuse to the block.  (Tori suggested to the kids they make their favorite fruit or vegetable.) Then they used needles and thread to quilt their quilt. .

When Tori showed up to our prep session with earthy greens and browns I wondered why she had chosen what seemed to me rather dull colors. But the lightbulb went off in my head when she laid all the blocks together for the photo: not only did they look like a patchwork quilt, but they also looked like a garden!