My great grandmother was quite
particular about the stitches in her
quilts. She felt that sloppy stitching said something about a person’s
character. With this in mind, I told
students they needed to have pride
in their stitches. Even though they
were going to draw their stitches,
each “stitch” needed to be the same
length and the spaces between the
stitches need to be the same length.
I showed my example and demonstrated drawing proper stitches.
Since we were making a crazy quilt
I told the students their quilt blocks
should have at least four different types of stitches. I handed out
sheets with examples of embroidery
stitches, their artwork, and extra-fine, black permanent markers. Students could use any of my examples
or make up stitches of their own.
Joining the Blocks
Each block was mounted onto a 10
x 10" sheet of black construction
paper. We laid down a long sheet of
brown roll paper on our tables, positioned the blocks onto the paper, and
then glued them in place. We measured, cut out, and taped together
long strips of black roll paper and
glued them on between each block.
pillow was set on top and other pillows were placed on a chair. The rest
of the students’ work was combined
for wall hangings. In the children’s
words, “It was too cool!”
LaDora Flood is an elementary art teacher
at Bloom-Carroll Elementary School in
Carroll, Ohio. Ladoraf@earthlink.net
For the art show, we turned a conference room into a bedroom. We used
a long table as a bed and added a real
headboard, a vase, and flowers. The
top of a bed sheet was made by cutting paper doilies in half and taping
them to the top of the quilt. A small
Students use visual structures and
functions of art to communicate
Adding Black Silhouettes
To embellish their blocks, I asked
students to choose an animal or
other object they wanted to make for
a silhouette. They drew this shape
on white paper and then cut it out
and traced it onto black paper. This
was then cut out and glued onto the
quilt block. Before they glued down
their objects I suggested that they
play with the design first and again
ask a buddy to give feedback. On the
back of the block, I asked them to
add their name, grade, color choice,
and animal name or the name of
whatever they used in their silhouette.
1. Is my name, grade, color choice
and animal name/object on the
back of my block?
2. Is there a pleasing balance
between the colors and shapes?
3. Have I cut out the shapes
4. Did I glue down my shapes
5. Have I used at least four
6. In each stitch type does each
stitch look much like the others?
7. Is the space between the stitches
the same size?
8. Is my silhouette a good size for
my block, not too big and not
9. Am I happy with my artwork?
• quilts, quilt books
9 x 9" ( 23 x 23 cm) white
• colored paper scraps
• resealable plastic bags to
store cut shapes
• glue sticks
• extra-fine, permanent black
• white drawing paper
• handout of embroidery
10 x 10" ( 25 x 25 cm) black
• paper doilies
• magazine/picture file of
quilts and animals