Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Quilting in the Classroom

I love to make quilts with my class! I try to make one every year on a different theme. It's lots of fun and the children just love it, too! I started this with my best friend: She taught with me in a different grade level and we decided to do "Study Buddy" activities throughout the year. The annual quilt was one of those activities. When she retired, I just kept making them! Here are some of the quilts I've made with my classes.

This was the first one we did: We nicknamed it the "ugly quilt" because we'd asked parents for donation and I swear, the fabric they sent in was some of the ugliest fabric we'd ever seen: But it made the cutest quilt! We started off with simple applique patterns. Eventually, as you'll see, the process changed. 

This quilt was the one we made after 9/11. Every child was given a small square of their own at the end of the school year. . . so we'd never forget.

We made a picnic quilt another year. Of course, when it was done, we had to go have a picnic. We walked to one of the parent's houses and ate sandwiches, watermelon, chocolate cake, and lemonade! We all had such a good time!

I personally sewed every one of these little books (enough for 55 children, two classes) so they could create their own book about their favorite book. Both classes anguished over what book they should choose to write about and spotlight - by the end, I was happy to see those little books finished! But it sure turned out cute, didn't it?

Then, one year, I taught a combination class, with high first graders and high second graders: The principal decided that it should run like a GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) class, with accelerated curriculum. It was great fun, and very challenging! I had the children design their own bug to put in the jar and they selected their own fabrics from a choice that we offered. We applied for (and got!) a grant that year to purchase the fabric and materials. This was the turning point: From then on, each year, the children designed their own pattern on a specific theme. 

 We did two garden themed quilts in a row, one each year: One was a flower garden, with the children creating their own flowers; the other was a vegetable garden. Our school has a Master Garden program so we thought this would be really appropriate.

The last quilt I have to share with you today is the zoo quilt! The children chose their own animal, drew it, and selected their own fabrics: Some of them even use different fabrics to make their stripes and spots. Really cute!

I'm missing some pictures of the other quilts we've done: I'll try to find them and share them with you!  I hope you enjoyed seeing them today! Leave a comment - I'd love to hear from you!


  1. Wow! Now that's talent!


  2. So AWESOME!!!! I would love to do make quilts in the classroom. Last year I wanted to do a service project and make small quilts for a camp that serves children with serious illnesses. This year I am going to get started early. The quilts won't be as amazing as your quilts.

  3. They were sooooo much fun to make but time consuming. I love how my classroom looks, though - I'll post a picture of my room with the quilts hanging up.

  4. This is so cute! It would be such a cute keepsake! Thanks for sharing!

    I just started a new Kindergarten blog and would love for you (and anyone else!) to check it out! Thanks! :)



  5. Hi Mrs Mac!

    Can I please ask, how you coordinate the quilt making? Do you have each child design and cut their section and you sew? Or do they do the sewing as well?

    These are so beautiful I would love to give it a go in a classroom!

  6. Hi Elizabeth,
    I select a theme and then each child designs their square. I give them paper the size of the finished square and the draw and draw. Once they're happy with one of their designs, I xerox their square several times and cut it apart into parts. Then I trace them onto tag board and put all the pieces into a ziploc bag. The children select their fabrics, which have wonder under on the back. I trace their pieces onto the fabric and cut them out. (I teach first grade). Then they help iron the pieces down and they do the sewing. Once all the blocks are sewed, I put them together on my sewing machine. They'll help quilt it, using buttons or long pieces of embroidery thread. It's a long process but it's fun - even the boys get into it!

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