Tuesday, October 30, 2012

READY to quilt!

During the Mountain Days Festival earlier this month, I was approached about teaching a workshop to kids through an after school enrichment program at a local elementary school.  Well, I'm doing it!  The school received a 3-year READY grant (I don't know what the acronym stands for), and there will be workshops offered to the kids each quarter.  For now, I'm just starting with this marking period - we'll see how it fits into my schedule and how well the kids and I like working together.  I'll be doing 2 workshops per day, twice per week, one with grades K-2 and one with grades 3-5.  My workshop is called READY TO QUILT!

I set up a blog to be able to communicate with parents about what we are doing and so the kids can show off their work.  I made my first post today (http://centralquilts.blogspot.com), outlining workshop goals and displaying my class samples (since Hurricane Sandy canceled our Open House on Monday).  Basically, I want the kids to:

1) make at least one take home project, either a pillow or a composition book cover.  In keeping with the season, here are my class samples:
I recovered one of my couch pillows.  I drew the design freehand.  If I were doing it again, I think I'd leave out the word EEK and make the spider bigger.

I figure the kids should be able to do a backstitch, right?

For the first time, I made the pillow cover small enough that the pillow is plump, without wrinkles or empty corners

Envelope back so it can be removed
Donald wants this composition book cover for himself!  I told him I'd teach him how to make his own.

I don't know where I got that skulls fabric, but I love it, and have been trying to figure out what to make with it for a while now.
2) contribute to a group quilt to enter in the quilt show at the 2013 Rockbridge County Fair, along the lines of this quilt that I made with my cub scouts two years ago
The boys won 2nd place at the County Fair quilt show that year.

They traced images and then colored the blocks with crayons

3) assist in making a denim rag quilt to donate to my guild's Comfort Quilt program.  I want them to understand quilting's history as a community building activity.
The denim quilt I made for Jason earlier this year

The back of the denim quilt
 I'm so excited!!!  One of the things I'm going to do is incorporate some children's books into my workshops, probably starting each session with a reading.  I know I'm going to use the following books, but if you have suggestions for others I can use, please let me know.  Since there are 8 weeks, I'd love to have 8 books to share.

Sam Johnson and the Blue Ribbon Quilt - to talk about how quilting is not just for girls, about entering quilts in fairs and how working together often allows us to make something even better than if we work separately

Reuben and the Quilt - another quilt that shows boys quilting and introduces the idea of giving a quilt to comfort someone else

The Quiltmaker's Gift - to talk about how it is better to give than to receive (and because the illustrations in that book are AWESOME!)

The Patchwork Quilt - showing how quilting is an intergenerational and a multicultural activity

The Keeping Quilt - I've not read this, but the READY coordinator really likes it and wants me to use it

Have any of you or do any of you currently teach quiltmaking to kids?  If so, do you have any suggestions for me?