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Quilting with Kids – Bosque Farms School

Last spring, I was honored to be invited to teach a quilting class for the “Art Day” at Bosque Farms Elementary School.  It was organized by music teacher, Sherilyn Welton, the music teacher for that school.  Each year, they hold a special day to explore various themes, and this year, it was the ARTS.  I would be teaching back to back classes for all grade levels, all day long.  Now, for standard classroom teaching, this is a normal thing.  However, for a quilting instructor, it presented a whole new challenge.  What would be suitable for kindergarteners and fifth graders?  I opted for two different projects with overlap for the youngest students.  Fortunately, I got to practice on the older students first.

Fun with Strips!

Fun with Strips!

My pattern was the traditional Log Cabin Block.  I printed enough papers so each student would have their own block.  In advance of the class, I pre-cut strips that fit exactly into the various log shapes, in light and dark values (with a little help from my friend, Michele Hymel – okay a LOT of help!).  Then, on each table of the classroom, I placed one set of strips.  For instance, all the 1″ x 3″ strips were on one table, and all the 1″ x 5″ strips were on another table.  Students had to travel among the tables to collect all  the strips they would need to complete the blocks.

Gathering Strips

Gathering Strips

Before the students got started, I showed them a traditional Log Cabin quilt and we talked about how each block needed light values on one side and dark values on the other side to make it work.  The individual log cabin papers also were labeled with ‘light’ and ‘dark’ in the appropriate strips to help students remember.  Each table also had enough glue sticks so no sharing was needed.

Student with completed Log Cabin block

Student with completed Log Cabin block

It didn’t take long at all for the older students to catch on!  It was really interesting how individual  students perceived color.  Some, like this girl, worked hard to try to collect the same light and dark fabrics in the various strip sizes.

Students with random lights and dark in her quilt block.

Students with random lights and dark in her quilt block

This young lady kept her lights and darks on the appropriate side, but opted for wide variation in the individual strips.

Student with completed block.

Student with completed block.

Interestingly, the colors selected by the male students were markedly different than the pastels often chosen by the females.

More student blocks

More student blocks

The room was buzzing as students mingled among the various tables.  We had only about 30 minutes to complete the project before they would move on to the next class.

Building Blocks

Building Blocks

As the blocks were completed, students worked to arrange them into various designs.

Completed blocks, group 1

Completed blocks, group 1

Then, they posed for the photo of their group project, although each student took home their own block.

Bosque Farms School Quilting Art Class

Bosque Farms School Quilting Art Class

Depending on the size of the class (student-wise), some block sets were larger than others.  And, some students opted for total creativity and did not adhere to the suggested color arrangements.  Check out the boy in the center of the photo.
What worked really well for students in grades 3-5, was not at all successful for the youngest students.  Fortunately, I had anticipated this and had another plan for them.  Using greatly thinned down acrylic paints, we made a painted hand-stamped piece of fabric with a hand print from each student. While one student came up, put on the paint shirt and got their hand stamped, the others were given the same log cabin blocks but asked only to make a design of their own choosing on the paper using the strips leftover from the other classes. They had great fun with this and came up with some very interesting designs – but I was so busy with hand stamping that I didn’t get any photos of that.

Painted Hand Print Quilt Top

Painted Hand Print Quilt Top

What a fun day I had.  I hope the students enjoyed it too.  Boy, was I pooped at the end of the day!  Thanks, Sherilyn, for making this all come together!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Response to “Quilting with Kids – Bosque Farms School”

  1. Sherilyn says:

    Gail:
    It was a great day and I was so impressed at how organized you were and how easily the projects came together with the students. It was absolutely beautiful!! I know the students enjoyed it immensely!
    Serilyn

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