Quilts: Traditions and Trends – Idea File

Students examine and compare the work of two quilters. After viewing various creations, students consider the various styles of quilting and create their own quilt pattern using construction paper shapes.
Grades: 6-8

Recycled Threads

Teaching Concepts:

  • Quilts are created for functional purposes, but may fulfill other purposes of art as well.
  • Quilters use elements of art and principles of design.

Academic Content

  • Visual Arts: elements of art and principles of design
  • Purposes of Art: functional
  • Social Studies: quilting through history

Lesson Idea

Open: Show an example of a quilt and discuss the quilt as a functional work of art. Discuss how art created for functional purposes often ends up fulfilling other purposes as well.

View: The “Recycled Threads” excerpt. Discuss how Pauline Proffitt’s rugs and quilts fulfill many purposes for her family.

Present students with a list of the elements of art and principles of design. Guide them to take notes on the use of these elements and principles as they watch quilter Juanita Yeager. View the “Quilts: Juanita Yeager” excerpt. Yeager’s quilts are decorative, not used as bed coverings.

Discuss: How the elements of art and principles of design are used in Yeager’s work. Pause the video to examine pieces more closely.

Expand: Distribute construction paper, templates for creating shapes, and scissors. Encourage students to create several patterns and designs and to use glue after selecting a design.

Explore: Search the index of the Kentucky Virtual Art Museum for quilts and other objects created for functional uses. Select one quilt as a class for students to analyze in terms of the elements of art and principles of design.

Author: Mary Henson

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K-12The Arts