Quilting with Children

Tolliver's Secret quilt

The Story Behind the Quilt

Tolliver's quilt

This was the first quilt that I ever made with students. I student taught with a wonderful woman who shared my love of quilting and she went along with my idea that the class could make a quilt. We were reading the book Tolliver's Secret and the students were keeping a journal in which they were recording their favorite parts of the book and how they felt about various events. When we were finished, I asked each student to pick a favorite part of the story to illustrate on fabric.

How it was Created

The students used a combination of Pentel Fabric Crayons and fabric markers to illustrate their drawings. When they were completed, I asked each student to write a sentence or two about what was happening in their block from the main character's point of view. We then inked these comments onto the block using a Micron Pigma pen. We showed the students a variety of layouts and let them vote on which one they wanted to use and then the students sewed the pieced blocks. Students who finished early sewed the border pieces together. Two students were in charge of putting the picture blocks in chronological and the whole class approved the final layout. The quilt was quick turned and tied by the students.

This project was finished early enough in the year that each student was allowed to take the quilt home as an overnight guest after they had returned a permission form signed by the child and the parent. That was the highlight of the project for many of the kids and the quilt often was returned by parents late the next day after they had taken it to share with relatives and neighbors.

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