Quilting with Children

Sharon's class quilt made with first graders in Minnesota

(and a quilt made by the staff for a principal)

Sharon's quilt

We have a non-graded reading program at our school, Walker-Hackensack-Akeley School in Walker, MN. My reading group is made up of 10 top readers in the first grade. In order to keep these children constantly challenged and motivated, I use many resources. One of the most popular authors/illustrators is Jan Brett. The class and I have used many ideas and projects from her web site www.janbrett.com. Jan uses hedgehogs in many of her stories, and that gave us an idea to also use them in a class project. I had each child trace their hand and write their name on a white square of cloth. At home, I embroidered hedgehogs on squares with the embroidery attachment on my sewing machine. We alternated these blocks with colorful squares. Jan Brett was scheduled to be in St. Paul, MN for a book signing, and one of our parents took the quilt there and Ms. Brett traced her hand and signed the quilt for us! It hangs in a place of honor in our classroom.

Sharon's quilt

Our elementary principal retired this spring (1998), and I gave each staff member an 11 inch muslin square to decorate. Some of them embroidered a motif, some used fabric paints, and some appliqued a picture. I received 42 squares from the staff, and joined them with blue calico strips. I backed the quilt with a multicolored calico of blues, reds and golds. We presented the quilt to him and his wife at a get together after school one day. I knew it was a hit when his wife asked me for some of the blue fabric so that she could make tabs to hang it on the wall in their home!

If you'd like to share your story on these pages, please email Heddi at qwc@thecraftstudio.com.

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