Twinkle Twinkle, Very Big Starfish…

So my partner Robert’s school is moving into a spanking brand new building (the sawdust hasn’t even been cleaned off the floors yet), and so all the teachers have been giving up weekends and doing late nights in order to get the classrooms all ready for the early May opening day.  Robert teaches 4-5 years old, what is called here in China at many international schools as K1 (K2 being the oldest class of 5-6 year olds, pre K being 3-4, and toddlers being 2-3; yes they go to school that early, I teach a few myself), and his class’s name is Blue Whale, so of course there was going to be an ocean theme to the classroom.  Because Robert has a bit of difficulty in the art department, he asked if I could come along and help him and his coteacher make their classroom look nice (more on this in the next post, when I have pictures.  I was a little preoccupied this morning to worry about getting pictures).

Anyway, each classroom is rather large, has a sleeping area for the children, and is just large enough to have a reading area.  I thought it would be rather fun, and both Robert and his coteacher agreed, would be to have ocean themed floor cushions for the kids to sit on while they read.  I had some leftover materials from a while ago, fleece that ended up not getting used for its intended purpose, and so I drafted up the first pattern this afternoon, and whipped up this gem of a starfish to take into the classroom tomorrow.

His name is Sherman. (P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney Australia…yes the classroom ended up taking on a Finding Nemo type theme, Marlin, Dory and Nemo all made appearances on the window).

pattern piecesFirst I made a basic oblong diamond pattern, of which you need 5 of each color for each side, or 10 Pieces.

Then you put them together along the short sides (right sides together of course), until all the pieces have been sewn together like so…

red side yellow side

Then you put these two together and sew along the outside edge, leaving an opening to turn the starfish right side out.  Now because this is for children, I double sewed the seams, once with a straight stitch and once with a zigzag.  Not entirely sure if it was necessary, but better to have it done, then to have to fix it later.

After you’re finished sewing comes the fun part of stuffing it.  Because this is a floor cushion, and a rather large one at that, I ended up using A LOT of stuffing, and now that it’s finished,

Once you’re finished stuffing, you’ll get something that looks like this.finished yellow side finished red side

Lol, my puppy Bodhi is trying very hard not to attack and kill the huge red monster on the living room floor.  But that doesn’t mean he won’t try to stare it down.

I think I may actually need to put some more stuffing in too, since it’s still a bit floppy in places.  But overall I like how he turned out and hope that the children in Robert’s class get a lot of use out of him.

Sherman finished

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