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Keepsake quilt preserves memories of 2008 students for Perham teacher

For teacher Lance Rach, the 2007-2008 school year is full of warm fuzzies--literally and forever.

On a cold winter night in, say, year 2021, the Heart of the Lakes elementary teacher will be wrapped in warm memories of his fourth grade class.

Rach's students and their parents surprised him earlier this month with a handmade quilt, with each square individually created and signed by one of his students.

Each of the 30 squares has special artwork that will remind him of the students.

"Mr. Rach Rachs," is one of the messages on the quilt.

"School is cool with Mr. Rach" was another.

There are pictures of pets, critters, landscapes and sunrises.

Images, created with color crayons, were heat-sealed to permanently preserve them. Then, Linda Boedigheimer and Bay Window Quilt Shop designed and sewed the squares together into a keepsake quilt. Most of the materials were donated, except the quilting, which parents bought with $5 donations.

Several of the parents joined the surprise presentation May 8 in Rach's classroom.

A quilt project has been an annual classroom activity for Rach's grade school students--but it has always been a paper quilt.

Since this is the year he had his own son, Chandler, in the class, it was a wonderful opportunity to have a permanent keepsake. Almost dead-center on the quilt is Chandler's wooded scene, with a whitetail deer in the foreground.