This is Chester. He's a raccoon that lives in my son's kindergarten classroom. He was wearing a Valentine sweater for the Valentine's Day party today. He also gave Valentines to all the children. He really gets involved in what's happening with the class. On the weekends, Chester travels home with a child and has a little adventure, which the child then writes about in a special journal. When we had our turn with Chester back in October we took him across the border to Maine. We made him a little passport. Chester is a special raccoon because he is from a children's story. He is the main character in the book The Kissing Hand by author Audrey Penn. It is a wonderful story about a young raccoon who receives a kiss from his mother on his hand. Without spoiling anything for those who may want to read the story, I'll just say it's a special kiss that can help Chester out if he's feeling unsure. (It is the perfect story for children starting school) See the little red heart on Chester's hand in the above photo? That is his kissing hand. So you can see why he's a special raccoon. And since Chester is such an important part of my son's classroom and his kindergarten experience, I decided to make Chester a little quilt. That's what we quilters do right? The idea struck me before Christmas, but I thought it might be fun to wait until Valentine's Day since kisses and love fit in with the day so well. - So that is Chester's quilt above. It is small because he is small. It's only a little bigger than a placemat. There are raccoons on some squares of course, but then there are the little red hearts that say Kiss. That fabric was what gave me the idea for the quilt in the first place. I mean red hearts just like on Chester's hand and complete with the word Kiss? I had to make the quilt! Here's a close up of the binding and the quilting. I quilted it with wavy lines in a very bright pink thread. I love this fabric on the back representing the kids in the class. See them all smiling? It's because they love Chester. (In fact the very first bulletin board display of the school year was a collection of drawings of Chester by the children in the class under the heading "We Love Chester!") My sweet guy with the quilt. He was so excited to take it to school with him and he did such a great job keeping it secret up until today. There is joy in every age and stage your child passes through, but I must say that my joy right now is knowing that my son can be a real boy's boy who loves Star Wars and hockey, but at the same time he can be thrilled with a little red and pink quilt that his Mom made for a stuffed raccoon. - Chester is now wrapped up in the quilt nice and cosy in the classroom. - If you're looking for a sweet book for a kindergarten child, you may wish to consider The Kissing Hand. - Happy Valentine's Day!
I am adding this link to a special Teacher Appreciation Version of Made by You Monday!