One day, I was walking past the 4th grade classrooms and noticed the students were reading the story called "The Keeping Quilt" by Patricia Polacco. The homeroom teachers were doing class book cover contests, paper quilt patterns, and written responses inspired by the book and hanging their work in the hallways. I was so excited when I saw the work they were doing, I asked if I could join in the fun!
Now for a little back story, before I was a teacher, I was a textile conservator. In art school, I focused on the fiber arts, combining traditional methods with modern technology. I would print photos onto fabric and create "story quilts." This one below was created over 10 years ago for my grandma! We added photos of our ancestry into one quilt!
So back to the story, I joined with the teachers in doing a quilt project of my own, inspired by The Keeping Quilt and an artwork by Gustav Klimt (titled Baby) seen below:
On the first day introducing the lesson, I was talking with my students about quilts and patterns while demonstrating the motions of the project. I was sharing how I learned how to quilt from my own mother, and the students started asking if they could meet her! Since my students were so interested, I invited my mom to my 4th grade class! Here's some pictures of quilts she had made herself!
My mom has been making quilts since I was a baby. She's been part of a local quilt guild for years and has made over 20+ quilts over the years.
She explained to the students the process of appliqué and embroidery, and how quilters hand stitched piece by piece before modern technologies.
This is one of the first quilts my mom had made. It was my brother's baby quilt!
This one is a story quilt made by all her guild members. Each member created a block of their child's favorite childhood story book. The pieces were combined together and quilted, then hung in their local library.
Thank you, mom, for coming in and sharing your works with my students!
Now the project I shared is a familiar one I've seen from a few different bloggers on Pinterest. Arts and Activities had also shared a similar project, which you can find here.
-10.5" x 16" white paper, about 60# weight
-12"x 18" colored paper for frame
-Black permanent markers
After reading "The Keeping Quilt" and discussing the artwork Baby by Gustav Klimt, students create a drawing of themselves sleeping under a quilt. The quilts were to be filled with different patterns, then painted with watercolors.
Once completed, students reflected on their work by writing what their future dreams were and what they had accomplished with their project.